ELEMENTARY ART is a place to explore. In all my art classes, beginning with elementary art, students work on: CREATING Because I believe the more students are allowed to discover on their own the more likely they are to stay engaged, students will be given the opportunity early in their art making experiences to make choices and solve problems. One way to encourage problem solvers is to help them understand that “mistakes” in art making are actually opportunities to discover the “something more” a material can do or the change in direction a process might entail.
Students at all levels will be asked to translate what they see, feel, or hear onto 2-dimensional surfaces and into 3-dimensional objects. In addition to rendering their observations objectively (using recognizable images or objects), they will be encouraged to interpret their internal and external environments abstractly as well. Each project will introduce students to new methods or materials, hone skills they have already begun to develop, or expand their understanding and skill through practice and experimentation.
PRESENTING Part of art education includes understanding the whys and wheres of art. Students will have the opportunity to prepare their work for presentation and see their art work displayed. We’ll talk about museums, galleries, and public spaces for art and who pays for them. We’ll explore art related questions, like who decides what we see, and why do we even collect and show art.
RESPONDING Even as young artists students will be asked to talk about art. Each student will be given an opportunity to talk with me one-on-one during the making phase. They will also be expected to present to the whole class during the “critique” phase. Early in the critique process we will follow a guided feedback format during which students will be expected to utilize the language of art they are learning. We will focus on 1). describing what they see, 2). recognizing what makes art successful, and 3). learning how to ask for more information and talk about what is confusing. In this way students learn to distinguish between their personal esthetic (what they like and don’t like) and the goals and success of other artists.
AND, CONNECTING Students will have the chance to learn about art and artists from other cultures and from our past. Students will also be challenged to see art in the world around them and to explore the multiple ways in which we use art to communicate within as well as influence the world in which we live. By understanding what art tells us about our own culture and the people, customs, and values of others, young artists begin to understand what their art communicates about them. This understanding encourages them to become more intentional about their own art making.