Istanbul's Meşher exhibition space, initiated by the Vehbi Koç Foundation in 2019, has recently launched an online event for children, inspired by their recent exhibition titled “Preserving the Past: A Selection from the Sadberk Hanım Museum." The special event, which comprises exhibition tours and online workshops, will be held between Jan. 28 and Feb. 11.
The latest exhibition of Meşher was curated by Hülya Bilgi, art historian and the director of Sadberk Hanım Museum, and features over 200 distinguished works selected from the museum. The new online event created in parallel with the exhibition for children aims to instill an understanding of cultural heritage during the semester. Approximately 18 million students started a three-week-long break on Jan. 22 after receiving most of the first semester's lessons online and on television through the Education Information Network (EBA) due to coronavirus measures in Turkey.
As part of Meşher's online event, the children will attend online workshops after touring the exhibition and learning about Turkey's history pertaining to the sixth millennium B.C to the early 20th century through selected pieces.
One of the many online workshops that the art center has designed for children is called “What is there in this museum?” The workshop aims to answer questions such as “What is a museum?”, “What does cultural heritage mean?” and “How is a museum’s collection formed?” Its goal is to increase children's awareness of cultural heritages and preserving those values. Children will also form their own collection with different materials and will create a diorama of a museum of their dreams. The workshop will be held on Jan. 28 at 11:30 a.m. through a Zoom meeting.
A more unique workshop will be “Cultural Detectives in Pursuit,” where children will learn more about why cultural heritages have value. They will understand whether cultural heritages can fall ill like children and how they can be protected. The workshop involves an interdisciplinary approach with dramatizations to better engage children, where they will be able to get a glimpse of the profession of conservation. The event will be organized on Feb. 4 at 11 a.m. through a Zoom meeting.
Children will prepare their own paints as people in the past used to, in the tempera paint workshop, called “From Mother Nature to the Palette.” In this workshop, children will get to know ceramics, the nature of paint and its preservation. They will be asked to recreate the figures and patterns that adorn the ceramic plates displayed in the “Preserving the Past” exhibition. Meanwhile, they will intuitively learn about conservation. The workshop will take place on Feb. 9 at 11:30 a.m. through a Zoom meeting.
The last of the online workshops will teach children about cuneiform tablets. The workshop, titled “You've Got A Message,” will include a brief series of talks on the importance of cuneiform tablets touching on their different needs and purposes. Then the children will be asked to write messages given to them, by creating shapes with threads. The workshop will conclude with children deciphering secret messages on the tablets by assigning to them their equivalent Turkish letters, with the help of riddles. The workshop will meet children on Feb. 11 at 11:30 a.m. through a Zoom meeting.