Four-year-old Yasmeen Buchheit could not contain her happiness in front of a four-foot-tall wax cylinder. In her hand was a small utensil she was using to carve and shave designs into the wax.
“This is my favorite thing so far! It looks like a big candle, and I’m going to blow it out like in a birthday cake,” said the kindergartner, who visited the new location of the Young At Art Museum in Davie, “I want to come back 50 times again!”
IF YOU GOYoung At Art's new location is 751 SW 121st Ave. in Davie. It's open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $13 for adults, $12 for seniors and children, and $11 for Broward County residents. Call 954-424-0085 or visit YoungAtArtMuseum.org.
The Young At Art Museum first opened in 1989 in Plantation, after Mindy Shrago, artist and CEO of the museum, realized there was no place where children could go to be artistically inspired.
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“My mom and I sat down to think about what we could do to help this community broaden the arts and fill the void for the lack of arts in Broward County,” said Shrago. “That’s how we started Young At Art.”
The museum opened at a new location on Saturday, its third move.
“This is like Disney World,” said Katina Taylor of Weston, who brought two of her kids. “Having indoor activities for the summer when it’s hot is a dream come true for parents.”
The new $26 million facility includes the museum and the Broward County Library at Young At Art, the first library location that is exclusively focused on kids.
“We work in cooperation rather than competition,” said library branch manager Gina Moon.
Broward County purchased the land and leased the space to Young At Art. The partnership began in 2002. “It was a win-win partnership to be able to infuse art- and literacy-based learning,” Shrago said.
The library is free but there is an admission fee for the museum, which includes access to its four permanent art galleries designed for children and adults.
“It was a tiny museum before. This one is completely different — it’s hands-on and colorful,” said Virginia Engestrom, who brought her 10-year-old son and two neighbors.
Each of the four galleries has a specific theme, including WonderScape — an area dedicated to toddlers that helps them learn through art, literacy and play.
Tia Dubuisson of Weston, visiting with 2- and 4-year-olds, said, "They have very practical ways of making amazing happen.”
The other three galleries are GreenScapes, which calls attention to environmental issues and incorporates go-green activities; CultureScapes, which incorporates contemporary artists' works and is home to Making Waves — an 18-foot climbable structure; and ArtScapes, which takes kids on a fun and educational journey of art history.
The museum is designed for all ages. Mark Halavin lives in Cocoa Beach, but was visiting his family and decided to bring his 13-year-old son to the museum.
“It was very wonderful, all the exhibits were fun and exciting to see,” said Noah Halavin, who is in the sixth grade.
The museum also includes areas for workshops, where fifth-grader Jessica Ortiz was making papier mache.
The museum features the work of more than 60 artists, including Pablo Cano, a Miami-based artist who created a marionette theater, gallery and workshop.
“It’s not just for kids; it’s for adults and artists. This museum incorporates fine arts,” said Cano.