When I worked in the Collins/Russell St area of the city ArtPlay was a regular bypass during my lunch time stroll along the Yarra. I always wondered what went on in there and felt that it could only be fun and more fun! I had been meaning to get along to a workshop for sometime and saw something recently that piqued my interest, Super Box Friends…
ArtPlay first opened in 2004 with the aim of being Melbourne’s premier children’s art centre. It has been designed to be a warm, engaging space that allows children to let their creative spirits run free. When I entered the red-brick building on the banks of the Yarra I felt that the designers had hit their mark. The light filled space feels like a blank canvass that begs to be designed within.
Super Box Friends, run by the team at Cake Industries, is one of many creative fun-filled workshops that are hosted at ArtPlay. The workshop is designed for children over the age of five and involves a little bit of skill. Jesse, on of the Cake Industries’ artists, talked me through the setup. Essentially the aim is to create a mechanised box ‘friend’ from a plain cardboard box and let it roam free. Kids are given basic templates and a run down of the overall mechanics but in general they are allowed to use a level of creativity that only kids seem to possess. Their creations had me wondering when we stop become creative as adults! We tried…
We saw what can only be described as a hipster box, a lion and a platypus. Each one was allowed to roam around and the kids even put together a drag strip made out of cushions. It’s times like this when I wish there were grown-up kid workshops for adults (business idea anyone!). If the faces of the parents at the workshop were any indication I think they’d be a hit.
ArtPlay has a jam packed schedule of fun events. Events are generally designed around age ranges under 5, 5+ and 9+. There are a host of free workshops too. Super Box Friends, for example, had both a paid and free component with the free component allowing kids that weren’t a part of the work shop to see the designs created.
I can’t think of a better way for a kid (adult) to spend their day than through creating at ArtPlay!
Disclosure: The Plus Ones attended Super Box Friends courtesy of ArtPlay