opposites abstract

explore the complicated yet simple concept of opposites through the words and images of children's book author/illustrator Mo Willems

sat & sun, noon - 5 pm

a message from mo willems

about the exhibit

Is this dark? Is this light? Is this broken? Is this fixed?

MuseumLab is proud to debut a new exhibit based on the exploration of opposites in best selling children’s book author/illustrator Mo Willems’ new book, Opposites Abstract.

Taking inspiration from the eye-popping, emotive and highly-accessible words and images of the book, the exhibit leads children and former children of all ages to explore the complicated yet simple concept of opposites though hands-on experiences, art making and performances.


Explore opposites with these hands-on activities:


Twenty colorful, large-scale ink and acrylic paintings on paper created by Mo Willems explore opposites through abstraction and provoking questions that help us explore how we see and experience the world.

drawing machine

As you draw lines and shapes on one side of a screen, compare it to the OPPOSITE drawing that appears on the other side.

word abstractor

Choose a pair of OPPOSITES, then use the buttons and rollers to change how the words look. Do the changes affect what the words mean? How many different combinations can you make?

color reverser

Hold one of the masks or cards up to the screen and press the button. How do the colors change? How does the reverser change the feeling of the image?

sound slower

Play a melody, then turn the crank to change the speed of the music and notice how the song changes.

ball launcher

Pull a lever to send an individual ball through a group of pegs. See if you can make the ball disappear into one of the groups.

shape projector

Create your own abstract artwork using light, color and shadow play. Move the colorful and translucent shapes to create your composition. Choose an OPPOSITE ABSTRACT question to go with your artwork

shape stacker

Intentionally stack colored shapes in a vertical frame to build a composition. Once complete, pull the knob to dump the blocks onto the table top. How does this accidental composition compare to your intentional arrangement?

art blender

Combine an Element of Art and an OPPOSITE into a single artwork and hang your work in the section of the board that represents the two ideas.

tactile book

Touch the art and discover! This tactile book features raised lines and textures that make artwork more accessible for people who are blind, have low vision or like to learn through touch. Created by Touch Graphics, Inc.

Opposites Abstract: A Mo Willems Exhibit was created by the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh in partnership with The Mo Willems Studio. Art © Mo Willems