Saturday, December 3

Art of Student Teaching Exhibit

Student teaching was one of the hardest things I ever did, and so I have great appreciation for the emerging artist-teachers who put up this show. There's a reception tomorrow, Sunday December 4th from 2-4 to celebrate the accomplishments of the newest round of student art teachers at Tyler School of Art, Temple University. I got a sneak peak this past week after my thesis meeting. There's a lot of things that are familiar, but these projects stood out (forgive me- I totally forgot to write down names and schools, but if I make it over there tomorrow I'll try to catch them).
 There's an awesome elementary (1st grade?) collaborative project themed "The Lion Hunt". It reminds me of a Rousseau painting with wild animals peeking out of the dense jungle. The students each drew their own lion as well as a leaf with bugs and flowers. I even like the non-rectilinear format of the final assemblage, as it looks like an exploding flower off the wall/
 I think the rest of these are from high school level Art I classes, so they deal with a lot of elements and principles and could be done with lower age groups as well. I've seen a lot of mandala/radial symmetry projects out there, but this one wowed me. It combines a sort of Andy Goldsworthy approach to using elements from Nature for art, a Victorian found object collage style, and of course, radial symmetry. I imagine this is an easier project for those who have more access to natural materials than here in the city...
 This project was from the same school I believe- They are organic shaped slabs of clay with various sneaker prints smushed into them for texture with color to emphasize the texture. The best thing- this was by a special needs class. I think it might be my favorite project in the whole show.
 Finally, I was impressed by these large abstract pastel drawings, which apparently started with scattered torn paper across a background, which was then then looked at through a viewfinder for interesting compositions to sketch. The best sketch was then enlarged using grid method and then colored with emphasis on contrast or color and value. They're really dynamic.
I really enjoy kid art shows- especially when I see evidence of teachers encouraging creativity, process, and critical thinking. I also think it's really important for kids, families, and communities to see the artwork of children. It gives us clues into how they experience the world and what different things they are capable of. Extra bonus for us art educators out there- we get some cool ideas for what to do with our own students.

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