Food & Culture

Cool Art for Kids and a Local Designer Gets Her Twirl On

Frye Art Museum’s ‘Smalll Frye’ program makes art easier for little ones to swallow; plus, a cool ne

By Kavita Varma-White August 8, 2011


This article originally appeared in the September 2011 issue of Seattle Magazine.


Sometimes exposing kids to culture is akin to getting them to take yucky-tasting medicine: You have to hide it in something sweet to get it down. The folks at Frye Art Museum have figured this out.

In an effort to promote community literacy and get little people (and their parents!) into the museum, they’re offering the terrific “Small Frye” program. The free storytelling sessions feature librarians from Seattle Public Library, who read from books that are related to a current exhibition. The sessions are held the first Friday of every month (11:15 a.m.; and include tales and tunes presented in a gorgeous gallery space surrounded by floor-to-ceiling art.

This month’s featured artist is the eccentric Munich painter Gabriel von Max, who was known for being a naturalist and collector of botanicals, bones and pet monkeys.  Frye youth program coordinator Jill Hardy says the storytelling will revolve around themes of the natural world and wonder. Message? Art, once you get it down, is full of surprises.


West Seattle-based Elise Hooper Designs had us at “blanket.” We’ve been enamored of the personalized baby blankets Hooper has been selling on Etsy for the past two years. But like a new girlfriend who keeps revealing parts of her personality, Hooper shows off a sassy side with her latest creation: the ruffled twirl skirt ($48), an update of the overdone tutu that’s sure to be worn by all the dancing, prancing cool little gals on the block this summer.

She describes each handmade circle skirt as “360 degrees of one-of-a-kind fun,” because the ruffles are created out of mismatched strips of colorful fabrics. Every skirt is made of 100 percent Kona cotton fabric, has an expandable waist, and comes in tangerine, lime green, periwinkle and raspberry. Now, if we could just convince Hooper to make a grown-up version, this relationship could go all the way.


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