Once upon a time... February 29 2016, 5 Comments

edna's room art for kids playroom anne luxton giraffe and elephant fine art prints

Image: Children's playroom with fine art prints, Giraffe and Elephant by Anne Luxton

welcome to edna's room
Our fairytale begins with our first blog post to let you know we are open for business, after a great deal of blood, sweat and tears (but who's counting). We are an online art gallery featuring contemporary art for babies, children and the young at heart, called ednasroom.com. In edna's room, you'll find a selection of original artwork made by real artists that we have carefully curated for children's spaces; whether you are designing a baby nursery, a child's bedroom or children's playroom. 

Mom and baby edna's room art for kids

Image: Me with my mom, before she became an art historian

why art for babies and children?

I was encouraged to be creative at a young age by my own mother who is a successful art historian and consultant for corporate and private collectors.

I grew up with different works of art coming and going from my house. My sisters and I would laugh at huge nudes in my basement because the man was "naked!", artists would drop off different pottery pieces that we were not allowed to go ANYWHERE near in case they'd break.

As children, my mother would rush us into contemporary art galleries and shows. I remember hurrying in a cab to the Art Institute Chicago. We arrived 15 minutes before closing (which was past the entry deadline) and she convinced the staff to let us run in because "I just need my daughter to see Andy Warhol's Mao, that's it." As we ran through the gallery, she told me about the significance of the piece and why it was so important. The scale and power of Warhol's majestic silkscreen took my breath away. 

Andy Warhol Mao 1973 edna's room art for kids
Image: Andy Warhol, Mao,
1973 Art Institute Chicago


inspiration for edna's room
After I had my first daughter, I started thinking about the world differently. I quickly appreciated my mother for all the values she instilled in us, especially that of creativity. I wanted my daughter to grow up being surrounded by art and to give her some of the same exposure to art and creative expression I was so lucky to have as a child. When we live in a world of mass production and where such commodities are valued for profits rather than the craft or creation itself, it is hard to go against the grain. I knew then that I wanted to create ​e​dna's r​oom – a place that would allow children to be surrounded by original art, by real artists who have expressed themselves in a way that will inspire a child.

As an adult and new mother, I started thinking about how in my life before children, whenever I travelled, after trying the local cuisine, the first place I would go is a modern art gallery to get in touch with the local culture and see how artists there represent their story. I realized how rich these experiences are and I'm so happy the exposure to art through my upbringing is what created this pattern of curiosity in the world.

Kelly Kirkpatrick with her second daughter edna's room art for kids

My second baby and I, from our About Us page Photo credit: Richard Sibbald 

designing a nursery
The idea came to me when I was pregnant with my second daughter and I was finally getting around to decorate my eldest daughter's nursery who was only 9 months old. Her crib was in our room until she was just over 6 months old and with the shift to motherhood being quite overwhelming for me, frankly, I hadn't gotten around to creating a nursery yet. I wanted the room to be inspiring and unique and original and full of beautiful art and objects she could enjoy throughout her childhood.

I found it so hard to find this with the current choices of room decor. What I found was mass produced and limiting, all with the same aesthetic, pink and blue. If you wanted original art for children​, you really had to dig for it.

With my background in design from Ontario College of Art and Design, and from working with illustrators and photographers during my time art directing magazines, I began asking some of my artistic community if they'd like to create some work for the site. The enthusiasm was there, and word quickly spread. Now, we have a wonderfully diverse little group of textile artists and printmakers, oil and watercolor ​painters,​ and photographers.

I began to build and curate the site with works by real artists whom I either know personally or I've found along my journey. I've fallen in love with their work, and all the pieces that I've included can only be found on edna's room.

I'm hoping you enjoy the artwork featured on ednasroom.com, please sign up for our newsletter, join us on facebook, pinterest, ​instagram or twitter ​and spread the word to anyone who may want to light up a child's life with original art.

I can't wait to hear your thoughts, 

Kelly Kirkpatrick