The Artists

May 24, 2015 § 2 Comments

After a semester-long learning about art (What is art? What constitutes as art? Why art?), studying famous artists and their styles -not as means to reproduce the artist’s work, but to recognize and experiment with techniques-, using correct terminologies as a way to expand art lexicon, and of course, expressing ideas through making own art, it finally culminated in the children’s art exhibition that was held yesterday.

I was absolutely thrilled about the event, not only because we got to showcase the children’s endeavor in art throughout the year, but was pleasantly surprised to see parents’ enthusiasm in participating in the event.

preparation

Children helping to set up the classroom to be the exhibition venue the day prior to the event. My girl was seen trying hard to pull the heavy shelf while the boys were “helping” to move the chairs aside.. by playing “bus”.

classroom

Shelves were turned around against the wall. Artworks displayed. Classroom turned to gallery!

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Still life painting of fruits. Media: acrylic on canvas.

The objective, of course, is not to paint fruits with perfect resemblance, but to observe and discover shades of colors, contours, light and shadow that falls. Art is not about the end product, but a process.

still life

Painting 1] by a 5 year old, 2] by a 6 year old, 3] by a 4 year old. Click to see the beautiful detail of their work :)

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Self portrait of a 4 year old. Media: pencil and watercolor on paper. The process in making the artwork was done while observing self with a hand mirror. Children were invited to analyze their facial features shape, move their eyes/lips/chin to see how the lines could change, change facial expressions, etc..

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Self portrait of a 6 (top) and a 4 year old (bottom). Media: pencil and watercolor on paper.

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Matisse inspired cut-out art.

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Families coming to view and we also provided parents’ art station (sketching, watercolor painting, and clay moulding). So the event would not turn out only to be a social gathering of parents chit chatting, but also to “experience” the art.

exhibition

[Pic 1] Child explaining work to the parents [Pic 2] At the parents’ busy art station. We initially expected hesitation from parents if invited to make own art, but they actually spent almost an hour trying to perfect their drawings! Some made more than one.

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Drawing by a 4 year old who is obsessed with skeletons and mummies. Media: white crayon on black paper.

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Mondrian inspired art by a 5 year old. Media: Square shaped metal inset, marker and crayon on paper.

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Mix media art by a 5 year old.

 clay

We refrain from asking the children “what is it?” about their sculpting or drawing. Art does not always have to be a representation of an object, they could just be experimenting with forms or expressing a feeling/emotion. When we ask them “What shape is this or what drawing is this?” they would start to think of the most similar object, and it could also do damage when they think art has to look like something. I have met a discouraged three year old boy, due to a friend called his work a”coret2” or mere scribbling. So ask description rather than interpretation. Ask them to describe the process, so it becomes more deliberate.

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Wire art

parents work

Display of parents’ work. After spending hours trying to perfect his clay masterpiece, let’s not forget to take picture.

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[Pic 1] by a Dad, who wished he had five hours to make his car more elaborate – [Pic 2] by an Uncle – [Pic 3] “Satay” by a 2 year old sister

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§ 2 Responses to The Artists

  • I Made Bhaskara says:

    Most of the time when I get involved in conversation around art it gets shifted to looking for the external benefits of art (e.g. art helps kids do better academically). While it is true that art has many developmental benefits, there is something to say about doing art for art’s sake. I think that opening our children’s eyes to new, exciting world found in art is reason enough. I am so happy about this article. Thank you for sharing.

  • ariane alana says:

    I like how you put it: ‘world found in art’. I think many adults have forgotten what it means to play with ideas and express oneself in the world of art. Few of the mothers in the event hesitated in the beginning when we invited them to make an artwork, their response was classic, “But I cannot draw”. This logic is deeply rooted in us because education has taught generation after generation to get it “right”. So not only that the importance of art has been neglected, but art itself, has been misunderstood.

    The way Reggio Emilia approach regards art never cease to fascinate me. Art is used as means for investigation. Art is a reflection of feelings, observations, experiences, or theories. Art, is a language. For me, art reminds us of our humanity.

    The more important question now, I think, is what kind of art experience that we want to provide our children, and how :)

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