An annual exhibit of innovative art pieces created by artists from around the world. The Tough Art artist residency challenges artists and audiences to rethink their ideas of interactive museum experiences in one of the toughest venues — a children’s museum. Participating artists learn how their artworks connect with visitors outside of the typical museum environment, and what it takes to create artwork that can sustain the rigors of a hands-on environment.
our task, regarding creativity, is to help children climb their own mountains, as high as possible. No one can do more.
creator and developer of the Reggio Emilia Approach
tough art exhibit
The 2023 Tough Artists’ art work is now on exhibit
Meet the artists
Tough Art is an annual exhibit started in 2007 that showcases the work of artists who complete a summer residency at the Children’s Museum to prototype and create a new art work that children interact with and the art can withstand the rigor and enthusiasm of the interaction. It is one of the Museum’s longest running and most rewarding programs.
The program connects artists from all arts to the resources and visitors at the Children’s Museum. Selected artists generate and implement interactive, immersive and/or collaborative projects and connect the art-making process to the larger museum context and the museum visitor. Artists are tasked to make a direct impact on the visitor experience by creating an entirely new piece to be displayed in the Museum. Throughout the residency, artists prototype and evaluate their process to achieve the desired outcome. We believe the magic of the Tough Art residency comes from this on-the-floor prototyping, where children interact with the art.
Questions? Contact Lacey Murray, Art Exhibition and Residencies Manager, [email protected]
tough art @ home
Duing the COVID pandemic, we transitioned our Tough Art residency to a virtual experience in Summer 2020. It yielded such interesting work that we continued it in 2021.
Selected artists created art-making activities related to and inspired by their artwork/process for people to engage with at home or wherever they might be.
Check out the projects:
past tough artists
Isla Hansen and Luke Loeffler
Jennifer Van Winkle
tough art on display in the children's museum
Artist(s): Charles Sowers, 2015
Residency: Across from the Kindness Gallery
An Obscured Neutral Moment #1
Artist(s): Rick Gribenas, 2008
Residency: Tunnel to the Art Studio
Artist(s): Scott Garner, 2013
Residency: Across from the Garage
Artist(s): Agnes Bolt & Arthur Jones, 2010
Residency: Stairs to second floor
Artist(s): Isaac Levine, 2018
Residency: Buhl hallway
tough art on display at museumlab
Artist(s): Ryder Henry, 2019
Residency: MuseumLab lobby
Artist(s): Neil Mendoza, 2018
Residency: Tech Lab