Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Kaleidoscope for Kids; Creating Art in a Funhouse

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Kaleidoscope for Kids; Creating Art in a Funhouse

Article excerpt

Byline: John Carter, Times-Union staff writer

If you're headed downtown, you can't miss it.

It's big and purple and filled with dozens of giddy youngsters.

It's Kaleidoscope, two giant traveling trailers that transform into a whimsical, slightly goofy, 2,000-square-foot playground for kids to explore and even craft their own crazy creations.

The traveling exhibit pulled into Jacksonville early this week and set up for a "sneak peek" for hundreds of bused-in school kids Tuesday. The giant purple funhouse is set up in the visitors' parking lot of CSX Transportation Corp. at Water and Pearl streets.

The madness continues from noon to 4 p.m. today and Sunday and will be reprised noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 8 and 9; Tuesday, Nov. 11; and Saturday, Nov. 15.

The giant purple contraption is the creation of the Hallmark card company, which promises to provide a ton of scrap art materials for the hundreds of budding artists expected to visit during the Jacksonville stay.

"We believe in children and the idea of helping them learn to create something fun from simple materials," said Jan Hile, Hallmark's program coordinator. "It's also a great way to recycle paper materials."

The company also provides ribbon, melted crayons and lots of other bight, shiny, sparkly stuff. Some of the surplus greeting card paper is creased and "die-cut" to help kids complete some of the star necklaces, visors, airplanes and other art projects.

During the Kaleidoscope "journey," kids can dream up extraterrestrial art during a "space trip," or craft splashy concoctions during a plunge into the "aqua-jungle."

Organizers expect up to 500 children to attend the traveling exhibit each day, requiring about 150 volunteers provided by the Junior League of Jacksonville, a co-sponsor of the event along with CSX Transportation.

Deborah Moore, president of the Jacksonville Junior League, said Kaleidoscope is a great opportunity to bring art to kids. …

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