Kids Aartz

February 23rd, 2009

A child of five
would understand this.
Send someone
to fetch a child of five.

Groucho Marx

Gotta love Groucho.
The children who chose to spend last week with me were all older than five, but still fully connected to the creative source that gives them the ability to make spontaneously beautiful art.
Every child is an artist.
The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.
Pablo Picasso

Last week I spent 24 hours making art with 10 children. 9am- 3pm Mon-Thurs. It was so much fun, very intense and wonderful. Each artist created two Mardi Gras masks (one from scratch, the other from a pre-shaped mask form) painted in wet-on-wet watercolor and experimented with raised gesso relief drawings.

Every day we walked up into town and had a picnic at either The Inside Scoop or Briggs Carriage Bookstore. Both locations are chock-full of inspiring art, from the Mexican Folk art retablos and Day of the Dead constructions at the Inside Scoop, to the huge paintings, great photos and great books on the walls of the bookstore. Inspiration abounds in Brandon.

Art education is often the first program cut in elementary schools. Those who slice and dice budgets don't realize how important it is to allow children to be creative just for the sake of exercising that part of the brain. An art program must teach more than technique, and should not have finite answers. Checking off a list of manual skills is not the objective in my classes, though that quantifiable goal allows administrators to justify the art budget.

Solving problems through creative thinking is how we got to the moon, how the wheel was invented, how we learned to grow wheat in the Fertile Crescent. Don't mean to sound preachy- just passionate. I am an artist and have been since childhood, but being a painter/sculptor is not the only goal of visual arts programs!

Listen to your muse!

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Leave a Reply