New Book Focuses on Art Practice with Young Children

The Ark is delighted to announce the publication of Working with Young Children in Museums: Weaving Theory and Practice (Routledge 2020). The book features a chapter case study of The Ark’s John Coolahan Early Years Artist Residency with visual artist Lucy Hill (2018/2019).

As the title suggests, the publication brings together current academic research with a range of case studies of art practice with young children. The book is edited by Manchester Metropolitan University colleagues Abigail Hackett, Rachel Holmes and Christina MacRae.

Dr MacRae mentored Lucy Hill during her yearlong residency at The Ark and invited us to make a submission for this book. Our chapter was written by Lucy Hill in collaboration with Aisling O’Gorman, Creative Arts Manager at The Ark. This is the first time that the work of The Ark has been featured in an academic publication of this kind.

We are also very pleased that the image chosen for the front cover of the book features one of Lucy’s early years workshops, The Paper Playground, which took place in The Ark during her residency year. Many thanks to photographer Magda Kacperska of Memories Photography for the use of her beautiful photograph.

Working with Young Children in Museums makes a major contribution to the small body of extant research on engaging with young children in museums, galleries and heritage sites. Bridging theory and practice, the book introduces theoretical concepts whilst also providing inspirational insights into everyday programming in galleries and museums.

Structured around three key themes, this book introduces a body of theories which enable a focus on the body, movement, materiality and place and which have not yet been widely shared or developed within the gallery and museum sector or explicitly connected to art practice. This book outlines these theories in an accessible way, explaining their usefulness and connecting them to practical examples of programming in a range of locations via a series of contributed case studies.

Connecting theory to practice for readers in a way that emphasises possibility, Working with Young Children in Museums should be essential reading for practitioners working in a range of institutions around the world. It will be of interest to researchers and students engaged in the study of museum and gallery learning, as well as arts programmers, artists and early childhood educators.

If you are interested purchasing the book you can order copies on the link below. There is also a contribution from the National Gallery of Ireland as well as a wealth of other organisations and practitioners.

If it is a good time for you for some reading then we’d love to hear your responses to The Ark’s chapter!