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The Rain House

Ernest “Ernie” Silva, 1948-2014

Permanent installation

Located: Upper level

Originally commissioned in 1994, the current structure was built in 2008 and is the second incarnation of this artwork. The Rain House evolved from the idea of offering a contemplative and creative space where children could explore and play as they might on a rainy day at home.

The Rain House serves as a playhouse and was originally home to the museum’s bi-national programming. The artwork continues to inspire many different workshops for our visitors and members. 

What is it?

A much loved and long-standing art installation at The New Children’s Museum.

 "Cora's Rainhouse" 1994

The original Rain House was built for the Children’s Museum of San Diego/Museo de los Ninos in 1993 in the old warehouse, titled “Cora’s Rain House,” dedicated to Ernie’s first wife who passed away. The first structure had a corrugated tin roof and used sprinklers to create “rain.”

 

The Rain House 2008

The current Rain House was built for The New Children’s Museum in 2008. The current foam puzzle pieces were created and installed for Animal Art, the Museum’s second major exhibition. The space is designed to give visitors a sense of shelter and contemplation. Click here for the original signage from our opening in 2008. 

What will I do when I get there?

  • Go inside The Rain House. Do you notice any sounds? What does it make you think of?
  • Take apart the floor puzzle, move the pieces around, and then reassemble the pieces.
  • Look at all of the images and words included in the artwork. What do they mean to you?

Who made this?

San Diego-based artist Ernest Silva worked in a variety of media including painting, sculpture, drawing and installation. His work relies on familiar or iconic imagery to create what he calls “visual storytelling.” He often worked with images from nature and likes to create artwork with multiple interpretations.  To listen to an interview of Ernie about the Rain House, click here.  For a full bio click here.