HoMA keeps art education alive during COVID-19 with new art kits

Sponsored by Honolulu Museum of Art

The Honolulu Museum of Art (HoMA) has had to make adjustments in its approach to providing art education and engaging its audiences at a time when stay-at-home restrictions have made it more difficult for people to come to the museum in-person. With its new art kits, the museum has been able to bring art education back to Oahu classrooms and homes.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, HoMA created and distributed over 1,200 art kits to keiki in four Title 1 eligible schools on O’ahu, enabling teachers and students to continue learning about the importance of art and the art making process despite stay-at-home orders.

“Education here at the museum has been a pillar for 90 years,” says Director of Learning and Engagement Aaron Padilla. “Just like other museums across the country, we’ve been moving our physical experiences onto our website and social media.”

One problem this did not solve was reaching communities and people that did not have access to the internet.

“Our solution there was to develop these kits that were based on the digital resources that we’ve provided, based on the programs that we’ve been doing for many, many years, and then sending it out to schools and organization so they can actually have that experience making art with their hands,” Padilla explains.

The HoMA Art Pack is a kit of art supplies for two simple self-directed projects, instructional sheets, and small reproductions of collection work for inspiration. Also included are links to the HoMA’s website where students can view videos of the projects being created by HoMA art instructors.

“The kits helped us connect by bringing some kind of art into their hands,” says Brandi Kahoano from Ka’iulani Elementary.

She says seeing the students connect with their friends online while creating art was touching.

“We’re so excited to see each other as well as do something creative,” she adds. “It helped us bring the community together by bringing the Honolulu Museum of Art to our school to share the word with them.”

For more information: Honolulumuseum.org, or Facebook and Instagram: @honolulumuseum