Imagine you are the tour guide for the 3rd grade class of PS130, great kids, great grades, parents engaged. Until they arrive at THE MET for their school Art tour.

I enter at the 81st St entrance, calm, not many people, a few mums with strollers huffing and puffing, re-iterating no more juice, but nothing unusual for the Upper East Side in Manhattan. I put my coat into the coat check, and make my way to the meeting point in Carson Family Hall for the Arts Works New York team.

The noise level rose immediately with 500 school children ready to be put in groups and review the art they had been studying at school. They were running everywhere, getting coats off, putting their lunch bags in storage, and moving into their allocated groups. I was not sure I was in the right place!

We moved on our way to follow the path designated for this grade, on our way to review paintings that they had been learning about in class at school. We discussed colors, tree shapes, people, light and dark. With great emphasis on ‘what do they see’, ‘how does this painting make you feel’?

A review of the American Indian section of costumes, had them intrigued with all the brilliant colored beads, baby pouches and headdress.

We were continually reeling them back into the group, with the rule ‘no one goes ahead of the guides’ and keeping them together to ask questions. The questions were in the hundreds! Curious minds abound! They were a delight, their knowledge and interest in art astounded me, and even more so, they were excited to have a rookie in their group, aka. me.

I officially start in April as an Art Works NY Guide at the met, with classroom art lessons for 3rd and 4th graders each month as well. I will have the same class for the year, as we review and enjoy the art at The Met, with a millions questions, and ways to enjoy what it has to offer. A very pleasant way to spend a few mornings a week.

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