I'm in Dallas for for the next few weeks for a visit with my sister-in-law and niece!
My niece is 12 and very interested in the creative arts. When we lived here a few years ago I uesed my sister-in-law's garage as a studio and my niece made me a great sign to hang that read ... "Paul's Art Room." She was fascinated by the idea of setting aside a whole room to make art in. She set up a card table beside my table and brought out her water colors and colored pencils. We even took a break from my usual jazz cd's to give Britney and the Backstreet Boys a listen!
When she was three I took her to see a Brice Marden show at the Dallas Museum of Art. She mimicked the other viewers---walking from painting to painting and pausing before each to take it in. When she was in the third grade she called to tell me that she had told her classmates that her uncle was an artist and they didn't believe her. She could not believe that her little peers did not know what abstract art was. She said she told them "...abstract art IS something but it doesn't LOOK like anything."
That's about as good an explanation as I've ever heard!