I love how much my daughter has taken to art. It has been such a fun experience as she tells me what artists she knows. Chrissy Crawford, founder and director of Little Collector, an online retailer committed to inspiring a love of collecting in children ages 3 and up all the way to pre-teenm also greatly believes in art education and appreciation for children. During a recent interview I learned more about this incredible company and how they are getting children to understand and better appreciate art.
They are also hosting a fun event at Langham Place, Fifth Avenue where families can experience a tour on March 9. This will include access to a special breakfast by Chef David Vandenabeele in Measure Lounge at Langham Place, Fifth Avenue at 10 am, during which he will prepare a menu of special treats specifically for a young palate, followed by a guided tour of The Armory Show, starting at 12 pm, led by the experts from Little Collector. See below in the interview for more information.
Momtrends: How did the idea for LittleCollector come about?
Chrissy Crawford: I had an art advisory business and my collectors kept asking me to find art for their kid's rooms. They wanted to share their passion with their children and introduce them to contemporary art. The only options where reappropriating adult work for kids or buying uninspirational posters from Pottery Barn. I ran the idea of creating something fun and special just for kids by a few artists and they loved it, hence LittleCollector was born.
Momtrends: How do you teach children to appreciate art?
Chrissy Crawford:An important part of our mission is art education. We produce free and public art events for families, donate LittleCollector prints to public schools, and built an educational portion to our website called Art101. Parents can access Art101 on their smartphones and tablets and use as an educational tool in museums, galleries, or at home. Everything in Art101 is written and designed for children.
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Momtrends: What are some pieces of art that young children love?
Chrissy Crawford: Kids are purists and have very strong opinions and taste. They like something because they like the image and not the artist's cache. I see a lot of children liking our bright, bold, pop art works, especially the Fast Food Fast Car series by Matthew Carden and Simon Monk's Secret Identity Super Heroes, which are playful and fun works.
Momtrends: What surprises you about how art can change or influence children?
Chrissy Crawford: I am constantly surprised by children's insight into art. We lead LittleCollector tours of art fairs and New York's Chelsea galleries and when I ask the children questions about the work, I always receive a different and highly intelligent answer. My favorite question is asking kids to think of a name for a piece of art. The titles are never literal- they are very abstract and insightful.
Momtrends: How do you find the art that you curate on your website?
Chrissy Crawford: We work with artists that we admire and would love to have in our own collections. Actually I do collect most of our artists' work and own two prints by Mickalene Thomas, a Julie Heffernan, and a William Wegman.
Momtrends: Tell us about how the partnership with the Langham Place came about?
Chrissy Crawford: Langham Place is very innovative with their art programming as a brand. They wanted to offer families a way to engage with the vibrant New York art scene and teach their children about contemporary art. LittleCollector helps Langham Place's guests interact with galleries, dealers and artists as well as each other with our guided tour of The Armory Show. It's fun to see people learning about art as a family.
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