Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Artists

Setting up a space for art to happen and for children to be curious about, is a provocation, as is looking over the kindergarten fence.  I had taken out a large piece of cardboard, some pencils and paper and put it just inside the front fenceline. I asked the children that gathered, to notice what was across the road and they quickly spied the beautiful tree changing colour and loosing its leaves.  This then led to discussions about why trees loose their leaves and autumn time. I wrote down some of their comments, such as, "The leaves die and the wind blows them off", "It is autumn time you know and the leaves turn brown".
It was time to draw what we could see over the fence and this is what happened.  The results were stunning, and their concept of the tree and leaves reminded me of the importance of allowing children to draw their world as they see it.  There is alot of research that says that colouring in can have negative effects on children's creativity and how they view themselves as artists. 
 The group moved inside at the end of the tree drawing and I added another provocation, "How to draw a face" into their drawing group.  The girls took up the challenge with both courage and excitement, they celebrated each others efforts and with ease they followed the steps to draw the face.  It walked them through drawing lines to line up the different parts of their face.  Another provocation was added with skin coloured pastels and they talked about which colour they thought they needed to use.  Eye colour and hair were talked about without any prompting.
"I think it is time to have an art exhibition" I stated.  The girls were very excited, and as it was the end of the day I promised that their work would be up on display the next day for others to see their artwork too.

An important part of being an artist is having other people view it, just as they do all around the world. We want children to strengthen their dispositions to be artists, to reflect on their own work, and to celebrate and collaborate in ways that honour each person's work.
There are a number of works up on display, so check out the environment and feel free to leave feedback for anyone of the artists at Nayland Kindergarten.

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