The i.d.e.a. Museum, formerly the Arizona Museum for Youth, is dedicated to presenting, teaching, and researching the visual and performing arts. As of February 6, 2014, it is referred to by its abbreviation i.d.e.a., which stands for “imagination, design, experience, art.” While the i.d.e.a. Museum’s primary audience is children, adults of all ages will find something of interest there.
The ArtVille miniature art city is one of the museum’s many changing displays aimed at youngsters under the age of four. Classes, workshops, and family-friendly programs that cover art history, theory, and practice accompany the displays. Located at 150 Pepper Place in the center of Mesa’s downtown, the i.d.e.a. Museum is run by the city itself.
The mission of the i.d.e.a. Museum is to inspire visitors of all ages to look at the world around them in a fresh and interesting way via the mediums of art, creativity, and imagination. Years of planning by valley donors Jack and John Whiteman paid off in 1978, when the museum was given 501(c)(3) status and officially established.
Since its grand inception in 1980, this museum has been the only facility of its kind in the whole country. In 1987, the City of Mesa and the nonprofit organization Arizona Museum for Youth Friends, Inc. collaborated to open the Arizona Museum for Youth.
There are almost twenty thousand square feet of public display space in the museum’s old 1950s grocery store home. This includes the Whiteman Family Exhibit Gallery, ArtVille, the HUB gallery, the Snackery, and three classrooms. Multiple times a year, the gallery presents new shows that focus on a certain theme or issue.
Building constructions from recycled materials, making drawings on a dry erase marker wall, and putting together devices with the Rigamajig are just some of the interesting art activities that visitors of all ages can enjoy in the HUB gallery. For infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, the ArtVille permanent exhibition and activity area is fashioned as a tiny town.
Classes are offered year-round for children as young as six months and as old as twelve. Family activities, summer camps, Girl Scout Badge classes, and one-of-a-kind drop-in workshops are all available at the museum every Saturday in addition to the exhibitions. During school tours, knowledgeable gallery docents utilize all three spaces to conduct art-related activities with groups of kids.
At The Snackery, customers can relax in a spacious lounge equipped with tables, games, and snack vending machines. Feel free to bring in your own refreshments. If you happen to be in Mesa City or nearby, visiting the IDEA Museum part of Mesa Art Center would be such a good thing. An experience they’d not forget in a long time! Visit today!