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Growing Children's Art in the Flower City.

Aalsmeer, the Netherlands, is known as "The Flower City" because flowers from many countries are collected at its huge flower markets and shipped around the world. The Museum for Children's Art in Aalsmeer is also a collecting place--for children's art!

The museum was founded in 1998 by child art collector Annefie van Itterzon as part of the Foundation for Art and Culture. It is located in a historic town hall built in the 18th century, which is an elegant location for a children's museum. The museum now has a collection of drawings by children from more than 40 countries including the Congo, Peru, Ukraine, Japan, and Iceland.

The curators of the museum believe children's art is valuable and can be inspirational for adult artists. With that in mind, they offer the exhibit "Lost Children's Drawings." This exhibit shows a collection of hard-to-find drawings made by famous Dutch artists when they were still children. Some of the pieces date back to 1914. Imagine if you were to become a famous artist one day. Your early works--the pieces that you are doing now--would become sought after.

Art Exchange Program Increases International Understanding

If you could create the house of your dreams, what would it look like? Would your fantasy house be up in a tree, or would it float on a lake? What colors would it be?

What would the word "house" mean to you if you were a fish, or a bird. What if your home moved with you, like a turtle? You can see that animals have different perspectives on what a house is.

In a similar way, children from different countries drawing the home of their dreams have very different perspectives. Some live where it is very cold year-round. Others live in a city. Still others live near the equator and experience the hot sun just about every day. Their dream homes reflect these different conditions.

This year, Dutch children are creating art on the theme "Home of Your Dreams" during workshops at the Museum for Children's Art. Child artists from around the world are invited to create art on this theme and share their work with the museum. Annefie and the museum's other curators believe that art is a good way for children and adults to learn about other cultures.

Build Your Dream House in one Afternoon!

Get out your art supplies and start building the home of your dreams--a home that resides now only in your imagination.

What you'll need:

1. Crayons or paints and related supplies (brushes, water, smock, paper towels)

2. White or colored paper measuring at least 30 by 40 centimeters (12 by 16 inches)

3. Your imagination!

Here are some questions to get you started:

Where will your dream house be located?

How many rooms will it have?

Who will live there?

What materials will it be built with?

What colors?

How big will it be?

What features make it special?

How to join the International Art Exchange

Talk to your art teacher about joining Annefie's International Art Exchange!

You and your classmates can submit drawings, and receive drawings by Dutch children and information about the museum in exchange. You could do the theme of "My Dream Home", or choose one of the other themes which include: daily life in my country, family, animals, music and dance, people at work, fairy tales, self-portrait, games, national and religious days, and the circus.

Children participating in the Art Exchange Program have their drawings exhibited in the museum. Your drawing must be in crayon or paint on white or colored paper, with minimum size 30x40cm (12x16in). Put your name and age on the lower side of the drawing, and if you like, you can also write something about your artwork on the lower edge. Send to: Annefie van Itterzon, P.C. Hooftstraat 7711, 1071 BP Amsterdam, the Netherlands or email her at
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Title Annotation:The Netherlands
Author:Montag, Sara
Geographic Code:4EUNE
Date:Apr 1, 2004
Previous Article:Art from the land of the midnight sun.
Next Article:An African Safari.

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