Looking for an indoor and educational summer activity? Try heading over to the Oshkosh Public Museum and checking out their latest and greatest exhibition: Steampunk! Called Steampunk: Gadgets*Arts*Costumes, this display explores the alternate reality and fantastical remake of the Victorian Age with a steamy twist. Showcasing the work of numerous artists, this museum has surely taken a foreword step in pleasing the growing demand of many Steampunk appetites.
This display is open to the public through September 8, 2013. It involves a number of hands on attractions and activities for young children, so this is fun for the whole family. Explore paintings, drawings, costumes, and contraptions in an artfully designed presentation where you can learn about what it means to live a Steampunk lifestyle. One of the things that makes this exhibit so incredible is that the artists are everyday people who simply have a passion for this beautiful genre. Many of the artists are not well known at all and aren’t looking for fame. Instead, they are doing what they love, and that includes expressing their creativity through an outlet that helps educate others about the magic of this genre-turned-culture. Some of the things displayed include paintings, actual machines based off of an Industrial Age look, clothes and shoes, gadgets and accessories such as steampunk goggles in a variety of styles, shades, and forms. You can even purchase a number of souvenirs from the Tesla Lounge gift shop or take pictures with a steampunk backdrop in the Nemo Salon gallery.
In addition, this museum has hands on activities the second Saturday of every month. A quick look at past activities will show the creative nature of these crafts. On June 8th, children and their parents got to design and create their own steampunk accessories. This included such things as monocles, cuffs, and fascinators—all in shades of black and gray with small gadgets and gears. This event was not only fun, it also taught the kids about the world of steampunk, influenced primarily by H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, the genre, and what it means today. This past Saturday, July 13th, 2013, everyone decorated their own mystery clock box with clock heads, gears, cogs, metal scraps, steamy colors and paints, and other steampunk garnishes. This box was large enough to become the house of these children’s steampunk treasures.
Every hands-on activity comes free with museum admission, so make sure you check out these exhibits and stay for the activity. As Kristine Berg, one of the volunteers, said, “We really try to incorporate the existing exhibits in the museum with hands-on activities for children and their families so that they can learn in a multi-faceted way, both with things in the exhibit, but also hands-on experience.”
So skip the beach one day and head over to this exhibit while it’s still around. You’ll get to enjoy fantastic art and have fun all at the same time.