Getting Dirty at the Denver Art Museum


What is mud? Is it something that gives your parents a reason to yell at you? Is it a play toy? Or is it art?

What is mud? Is it something that gives your parents a reason to yell at you? Is it a play toy? Or is it art? It can be all three, but Marvelous Mud, an exhibit at the Denver Art Museum, shows you how to turn it into art and what real finished clay works look like. This brilliant exhibit is going on through September 18.


It is a very mind blowing exhibit to see the limitless possibilities of clay. Athena Steen, one of the clay workers in an interactive exhibit outside the museum, says this: "I want to show children that they can build anything using clay, from houses to ovens to benches to pots." Cole Long, a child visitor to the museum, liked to make canoes and dinosaurs out of clay. "I like making my own designs," Cole said. The Mud exhibit has also had a positive effect on restaurants near it, bringing people into the area. Tim Schlenker, manager of Mad Greens, a restaurant near the art museum, has been getting more business thanks to the mud exhibit.


The Mud exhibit is divided into three main parts. The interactive part is where kids get to try the potters wheel and make stuff with their hands. They are allowed to bring home what they make by hand, NOT what they make on the potters wheel. There are real clay artists in the interactive room.


One was making a bowl out of clay and then hand-painting the whole thing, and he did it in less than three hours. "I like the painting because I am most free with my creativity," he said in Spanish with an interpreter. The second part is the modern clay art. It is amazing. It does not look like clay at all. One showcase looks like alien eggs are falling down a hill and knocking over a telephone wire. Another is these clay antlers with lights attached to them. You can look at them forever but they never get boring. The one (in my opinion) that looks the least like clay is like little containers with sculptures that look like organs pouring out of it.


The third and final part shows what people in ancient times made with clay. There was an old funeral urn there, which they used put dead peoples' bodies. There was also a kind of underwear made out of clay, which did not look comfortable. It was extremely fun to see all of the stuff they used in ancient times.


All in all, Marvelous Mud is an enjoyable experience for all.