CMA Stories

Calling All Tiny Curators! Five Projects to Turn Your Home into an Art Museum

Museums and other cultural centers may be temporarily closed, but don’t let that get you down — museums are all around us, even within our own homes! You and your child can your hands at being an Exhibition Designer, Curator, Preparator, and  more with these five projects for turning your home into an art museum. Don’t forget to be a Social Media Manager as well — show us your completed projects using the hashtag #cmanychallenge!

1. Create an Art Museum

CMA is a contemporary art museum for families. We show work from contemporary artists, as well as young artists like you! The current show at CMA is Home Sweet Home: Is a Home a Sanctuary? This show is about what makes a home and what makes you feel safe and comfortable. While we are all taking safety and comfort in our homes, you have an opportunity to turn your home into a museum!

LOOK around your home at all the photographs, your own artwork, school projects, objects, and other decorations hanging on the walls.

MAKE labels for these items on your walls, shelves, or tables. Include the artist’s name, artwork title, medium, and other bits of information. Your labels can be serious or silly, fascinating or fake!

SHARE your exhibition by giving a guided tour to your family and friends. 

2. Build a Display Case for Your Clay Creature

There are many objects in one’s house that have a special meaning. LOOK around your house and find a very meaningful object that makes you think of a nice memory, represent a family tradition, or something that you have made yourself. 

MAKE a display case for your special object. You can use something as simple as a cereal box by unfolding and turning the box inside out, then reshaping the box into your own display case. Cut a small hole at the top to provide dramatic lighting from a flashlight or cell phone. Start with one case, then make more! Turn an entire room into Cabinets of Wonder, where collections of art objects are stored. 

SHARE your Cabinets of Wonder and tell stories about each of your special objects.

3. Curate a Collection

Cabinets of Wonder: The Art of Collecting was an exhibition of works that encouraged curiosity about the world. The exhibition presented the work of contemporary artists who collected and re-displayed familiar objects from nature and everyday life. Collecting is an activity that always fascinates us. Anything can be an object for collecting, from cooking spoons to paintings of cooking spoons! Cabinets of Wonder encouraged viewers to consider their own habits of collecting, whether it is figures from the Clay Bar or stamps. What do you collect? Toy cars, shells, action figures, stuffed animals… ?

LOOK around a room and find objects that are similar. 

MAKE an interesting way to organize your collection by size, color, or shape. Once you have arranged them, draw or take photos of your display. 

SHARE your collections and drawings / photos with your family members and ask them what they like to collect.

4. Make a Stuffed Animal Exhibition 

How many of you have favorite stuffed animals? LOOK at your stuffed animals (or plants, shells, rocks, etc) and arrange them around a room. 

MAKE museum labels for each one, identifying its name, type of animal, rock or shell, age, and where it might be from. Research each object on the internet or in books to include information about what they like to eat, where they live, and other interesting facts. 

SHARE your findings with your family members and give them a tour of your exhibition!

While our doors are closed, CMA is here for you and your family with at-home art projects to keep children entertained and engaged. However, every day we’re closed puts the future of CMA in further jeopardy. 

Will you be there for us? Every dollar you donate directly supports the Museum and ensures that CMA will remain a pillar of educational and artistic leadership in New York City. Click here to donate.

More in Art Projects

  • New York City-born artist Francesca DiMattio fuses architectural, design, cultural, and historical references to create large paintings and ceramic sculptures. Since 2010, her focus has shifted to still lifes and domestic interiors, specifically ceramic vessels that ask us to consider how… Read more

  • Sculptor Julia Kunin makes otherworldly and often semi-figurative forms with iridescent surfaces that shimmer and shine in the light. Her artwork Iridescent Gorilla Hand is included in CMA’s 2021 Art Auction and Fundraiser Exhibition, Now is Not the Time, which brings… Read more

  • Brooklyn-via-California artist Daniele Frazier creates public artworks that focus on themes of ecology, climate change, natural history, and social critique. Her large-scale outdoor artwork Giant Flower (Daffodil) is included in CMA’s 2021 Art Auction and Fundraiser Exhibition, Now is Not… Read more

Sign up to get updates and special invitations