Kristin Reiber Harris is an artist, designer, animator and art educator.
She's also a children's docent at the Maier ART Museum at Randolph College and conducts monthly kids art workshops at the Daura Gallery at Lynchburg College, in Virginia, USA. Her blog is dedicated to kids, art, technology and her experience as media producer of educational material for young children.
We were lucky enough to meet her on a Forum for family friendly apps developers. You can read the rest of the story below, in the beautiful review she wrote on PlayART, in our opinion the best we have read so far. This is why we have decided to copy it on our blog.
Thank you Kristin!
PlayART: Create with the Masters for Fun
What a delightful discovery I made this morning. I have recently joined the forum Parents with Apps, a developers resource for kid-oriented apps. In the process of introducing myself to the community I read a post by another new member, Isabella Pingitore, Web & Content Editor of Tapook. Isabella was discussing their new app PlayArt. This app features the work of some of the great masters of Western art. My own app development focuses on master artwork (and introducing young children to museum collections). I downloaded it immediately to check it out.
What a beautifully designed program Tapook has created. The featured artists are Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, Paul Klee, Paul Cezanne and Henry Rousseau. The first page has an image from each artists, their name and a link to a short animation narrated by a child with information about the artist; an eventfrom the artist's life or an overview of their work. In contrast to the full color reproductions of the artists work, these animations are simple black and white line drawings inspired by the respective artist's paintings.
The Van Gogh animation illustrates Paul Gauguin caming to stay with Van Gogh in the Yellow House. Did you know that Paul Klee made over 10,000 paintings and drawings? Or that Paul Cezanne painted Mont Sainte Victoire, a mountain by his studio, more than fifty times. Believe it or not, Henry Rousseau never left Paris. These little vignettes are more sophisticated than the child's voice implies but very sweet.
The heart of this app is taking imagery from the artists and creating "original" artwork. How is this done? When an artist is selected a page opens with a blank canvas and numerous icons from the artists work, ie Van Gogh's page has sunflowers, vases, irises, a sun, a bed and a chair. Tapping on any one of the icons places it on the canvas. Once on the canvas it can be rotated, scaled and moved around. An assortment of controls allow icons to be placed in the back or front, mirrored, duplicated or locked. There is even an undo.The canvas button changes the backgrounds by cycling through selections of Van Gogh images.
There are two museums included in PlayART. The Artists Museum has 5 or 6 reproductions of each artists work framed on a wall. Tapping enlarges to enhance viewing. My Museum has copies of the compilation images the user has created. They can be enlarged as well as shared either to the photo album (and emailed) or sent to Facebook.
I love this concept and Tapook's execution. It makes master works accessible to kids and really anyone who wants to play. I do wish there were more artists, including non_Western artists and women artists. I hope Tapook is planning on adding artwork to this collection.