New year, new art

It is going to be another art-filled year at The New Children’s Museum, with multiple artist collaborations and partnerships.

SMILE by Panca.

Chula Vista-born artist Panca has been an integral part of the vibrant Tijuana-San Diego border art scene for many years. Her new work for the Museum includes a 48-foot-long mural SMILE, welcoming visitors along the Museum’s entry bridge. Playful eyes and hearts are scattered through lines of color, creating the impression of deconstructed, curious faces. “I used to visit the Museum as a child and paint the iconic truck,” said the 32-year-old Panca. “It was the first time I got to paint something on a large scale. It’s so cool to be here now exhibiting at the Museum as a commissioned artist.”

SDSU Design Students Create New Clay Studio Furniture

The Museum collaborated with SDSU School of Art and Design students to enhance their popular outdoor studio where families sculpt with clay. Students in SDSU’s Community Partnership in Applied Design, along with Adam J. Manley, designed the new furniture. “It’s been great to tap into creative college students,” said Lani Bautista Cabanilla, Manager of Visitor Programs. “We’re proud to provide them with real-life design experience while also getting a beautiful finished product for our Museum.” The project was supported in part by Seth Sprague Educational and Charitable Foundation and Tony and Cristina Yahyai.

International Artist Toshiko MacAdam

Perhaps the biggest news is a newly commissioned work by internationally recognized fiber artist Toshiko MacAdam. Originally from Japan and currently residing in Canada, MacAdam is best known for her climbable large-scale textile structures. She was inspired to create textile playground spaces after children climbed into a three-dimensional textile sculpture that she was exhibiting. Her playscape structures are made almost entirely by hand and each is one-of-a-kind. MacAdam’s new original work for the Museum is slated to open in early June. “From the first time my son played in MacAdam’s “Woods of Net” Pavilion at the Hakone Open Air Museum in Japan, I dreamed of collaborating with her,” Tomoko Kuta, Deputy Museum Director shared with Giving Back Magazine. The MacAdam installation is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and Laurie Mitchell and Brent Woods.

Childsplay Artist Tanya Aguiñiga Returns for Artist Residency

Tanya Aguiñiga was first commissioned for the Museum’s grand opening in 2008 for Texture Forest, a whimsical toddler play space. In the decade since, she has developed her career and recently received the inaugural Johnson Fellowship, which recognizes artists who have made significant contributions towards positive changes in US communities. As artist in residence, Aguiñiga will participate in workshops for the Museum’ annual Mass Creativity program, while also reimagining the Tot Studio space (opening in the Fall).
“I loved creating Texture Forest, an environment that children could play and interact with,” said Aguiñiga. “Now, as a mother, I’m excited to come back to my hometown to create an immersive experience for the community. I believe in the Museum’s mission and absolutely love working with their incredible staff who I’ve become very close with!” Funding for this project provided in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.