Although many activities children enjoy are fads, others endure through the generations.
The work of Eric Carle, author and illustrator of several children’s books such as “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” published in 1969, is one of those enduring elements that children have enjoyed for several decades. Starting June 13th at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, kids can experience Carle’s work through the interactive exhibit “Very Eric Carle.”
“What we explore in this exhibit is how Eric Carle works as an artist,” said Bill Schlageter, director of marketing at the museum. “So a section of the exhibit is called the studio.”
In that area, visitors will be able to create art in styles similar to Carle’s. Surrounding the studio, there will be several areas where children can play along with Carle’s different storybooks.
“Kids can become the hungry caterpillar by following its path, or they can weave a web with a very busy spider,” Schlageter said. “They can make a clumsy click beetle flip and jump, and they can even help a very quiet cricket compose a night symphony.”
Schlageter said the exhibit is premiering in Pittsburgh due to the relationship the staff at the museum formed with Carle after Fred Rogers introduced them in 1999.
Since then, the Children’s Museum has continued to work with Carle and his museum, the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Although the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh has hosted other Carle exhibits in the past, this is the first traveling one, according to Schlageter.
“When we announced a year ago that this exhibit was going to be available, it was on track to be rented for five years,” Schlageter said. “And right now, it is on track for a 10 year national tour.”
The exhibit will open at 11 a.m. with a ribbon-pull ceremony, according to Schlageter.
“It’s one of those exhibits where you can take a tumble in the grass,” he said, “you can build a spider web, you can make new friends and you can even become a beautiful butterfly.”