“I think that art is supposed to be ahead of the times.”
~ Anna Deveare Smith
Dear Families and Friends,
Diving into their artwork, fourth graders amazed us today. With 33 portfolios spread onto table tops, each student retrieved his or her prints and prepared to apply one of the techniques learned.
Artists had set up two classrooms with the necessary materials. Children knew just what to do. Some got their stamps and took hold of a brayer. Others mixed paint so that they could make a print more colorful. In four weeks time they’d mastered multiple processes and knew how to take charge. Every child was on task, feeling both intentional and spontaneous!
We marveled at their skills, their ability to apply them, and their willingness to share what they knew with their peers.
At the end of the morning we talked about what had transpired. Alexis and Susan chose some art to share with the group. Kids were ready to talk about what they noticed, while Alexis reminded us that when we look at art, “Lots of people in the audience see different things!” “I see an archipelago.” “I see meteors in space!” I see water.” “I see footprints.”
“With the island I scrumbled my brush. I painted it, and it came out in a striped form. Somebody in my group suggested that I add waves. But it didn’t work that well. The waves were the same color.”
Students had figured out that not everything worked they way they’d anticipated, but they knew how to move on. “I didn’t like the black so I added colors. I started out with a flat collagraph. I added pinkish red and went around the edges with greenish.”
Alexis summed up the morning, “You can let the artwork change your mind!” and complimented the two classes, “Today was a day of really good planning and connecting!” Tomorrow kids will make finishing touches and select their work for the exhibition.
We’ve seen what the process of making art does for kids’ thinking and imaginations. We’ve noticed what it’s done for their confidence. We’re certain that fourth graders are “ahead of” the times. Our visitor, CMCA’s Creative Director, Jonathan Laurence remarked at the end of the morning, “When I was in fourth grade we didn’t do anything like this kind of thinking and creating!”
These children are feeling mighty strong!
We look forward to our last day together,
Nancy, Alexis, Sarah, Susan, and Lizzie
Mark your calendars for Friday, February 26, at 1 PM when children will be sharing their art with families and friends at Jonathan Frost Gallery in Rockland.