Sunday, December 23, 2012

Choice Based Art Education

Choice Based Art Education

BASA Art Class, Week 3

Based on conversations that I had with the kids last week about being flexible and adapting their projects when things don't go exactly as planned, I decided to read the book Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg.  The class really enjoyed the book and we talked about how you can transform things that might seem like "mistakes".

I also brought a book about Hundertwasser for everyone to look at.  This Austrian artist made incredible use of lines and color in his paintings and architecture.  I thought this might be of particular interest to the kids that have been gravitating to the construction center.

This week I also opened the sewing center.  Several of the kids dug right in and started sewing pillows, pouches and a banner.

I am looking forward to more creative fun in 2013 - happy new year!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Choice Based Art Education

Choice Based Art Education

BASA Art Class, Week 2

For my "five minute museum" talk at the beginning of class, we had a discussion about lines.  The kids offered comments about where we see lines in two and three dimensional art.  They also listed the kinds of lines you can see: curvy, horizontal, diagonal, etc.  I brought in two books to show work by Miro and Klee.

The next forty-five minutes, all ten kids were actively engaged in art making.  There was a lot of experimentation going on in the construction center.  Some projects did not turn out as desired, but that provided a great opportunity to talk to everyone about how to salvage the parts that you like and remain flexible with your ideas.

The last ten minutes of class were reserved for cleaning up and having a sharing session.  Each student was able to say something about what they made, what their inspiration was and what they learned.  I was pleased with how attentive they were to each other and how receptive they were to talking about their work.  This may have been the first time anyone has asked them to participate in this kind of "critical thinking" in regards to visual art.  In an art class  that is product-oriented, there is little variety or creativity in the student work to be discussed.

At the end of the class one boy said, "This is the best art class ever!  You get to make anything you want!" Hooray for student-directed art!  I couldn't be happier.