At the beginning of the school year, we spent some time learning where to find what we need to create art in the Art Studio. I asked students to tell me what they knew about various art tools, and I compiled their answers to share on the windows looking into the studio. They knew about the basics, but they also had some creative insights on how to use each tool. I’m sharing a few below but take a minute to stop by and read the rest the next time you are at preschool.
Recently, I took a small group of students to Public Space One to visit the current exhibit - "Give and Take". The exhibit is about mothers who create alongside their children, and includes art work by both the mothers and the children.
Next spring, Preucil will be having our own art show in a gallery. My purpose for visiting with this committee of students was to gather information about "What is a gallery?" and "How can we display our artwork?". This show was perfect, since we got to see a variety of display techniques, as well as a variety of art media represented - even better, much of it was created by kids!
We were fortunate to get a tour from curator and featured artist Heidi Casto. Heidi is also a previous Preucil preschool parent, and preschool alumna Beatrice had pieces on display.
Heidi shared her knowledge about the artists, and gave us some valuable information about how to display our work. We had come up with ideas like clips, nails, tape, and frames for our artwork, but she taught us about super strong mini magnets and special shelves for 3D art.
Heidi also taught us about how and why an artist must edit their creations before deciding what to put into a gallery exhibit. Our gallery committee was observant and noticed the animal theme in Heidi and her daughters' creations.
all (awesome) gallery photos by Rebecca Sanabria
Later, the gallery committee shared our experience at PS1 with the rest of our classmates. We discussed what the gallery looked like, what we learned, and that we will be talking more about a Preucil art show as the school year continues.
"Give and Take" will be on display at Public Space One through September, and it is worth a stop while you are downtown!
Gallery hours are: Thursdays 1-8pm, Fridays 1-4pm, Saturdays 12-4pm, Sundays 1-4pm, and by appointment: firstname.lastname@example.org
Also look forward to the kid-friendly "Spooky House" exhibit coming up in October.
I came here to post a few samples of artwork made in the studio today because all three made me feel thankful to be returning to this space to work with this age group. These drawings show the freedom preschoolers feel with materials, as well as the thoughtful intentions behind their marks - discovered by a simple question, "Would you tell me about what you created?".
"It's for Riley and me. There's a sun and a pool for ducks and a park." - E.
"It's a treehouse. The tape is the ladder." - J.
."There's a little frog on the water on a leaf and it missed its mama because its mama was at home. And there's a little heart because it loves its mama. The snail was alone and crying but then it found a mama." - C
We made initials out of model magic clay for our egg tray collages, and some kids enjoyed it so much that we decided to make the whole alphabet for the Art Studio.
First, we made a list of the alphabet letters, then volunteers stopped by the table to make a letter - or two or three. We checked them off our list as they were completed, and had the whole alphabet completed in one morning.
The next day, more preschool volunteers stopped in and painted the letters with liquid watercolors. Finally, I mounted and hung them above one of our windows. Stop by and check out our colorful creations!
When a family donated a huge stack of these great square egg trays, I knew it would be fun to have all the morning preschoolers use them as canvases. They each painted them - some all one color, some a mix of random colors, some with a carefully chosen and executed pattern of colors.
After the paint, we glued beads and sequins and other bits to the collage surface. Again, some students went with a random design, some a careful pattern, and others just tried to get as much glue as possible into the recessed areas.
Finally, we made intials with model magic clay, and then painted them with liquid watercolors and mounted them in the center of the square.
I love the way the preschoolers preferences show through in their artwork. Some were very interested in the painting part, some added texture and paint designs to their clay letter, and others spend a long time choosing the perfect beads to add as a finishing touch. A few begrudgingly hustled through all the steps so they could move on to working on a completely different project in the studio. Ha! It's all part of the process and part of being together in this creative space.
Our playground and the surrounding grass is bursting with dandelions. We spent some time doing art + experimentation with the blooms. We used rolling pins and hammers to try and transfer the bright yellow from the blossom to white paper. We got mixed results, but it was lots of fun!
Some preschoolers' thoughts about the process:
"I wonder what happens if..."
"My paper ripped because I was pushing too hard."
"The green comes off the leaves, too."
"When you press hard, the petals go inside the paper."
"Look! I found a new idea!"
"My daddy does this at home, too."
"I smashed a fly on mine."
"The flower's juice goes to the other side, like when you jab a marker onto a paper."
How many stuffed friends can we make in an hour? Today it was 9 - plus 1 scarf for a special stuffed animal. Each kiddo had a unique idea, drew it on fabric, and I helped them sew and cut it out, then they stuffed it. Look at the proud faces on those creators!
We spent a gorgeous Thursday morning at Harvest Preserve enjoying the first warm day of spring. As one student exclaimed on our hike: “Just smell that fresh air!”
Once we reached the Sacred Stone circle, some kids chose to make a drawing about something they had noticed. They were quick sketches in pen on post-it notes, but wonderful snapshots of the expected (sacred stones, towering and bare trees) and the unexpected (tire tracks in the mud) parts of the hike that had captured the children's attention.
””Claywork can be a language for exploring and communicating ideas. Like drawing, clay work enables children to to make their ideas visible - but in three dimensions. It can be an exciting experience for young children to discover that they have made something with a ‘back’ and ‘sides’ as well as a ‘front’ and even an ‘inside’ and ‘underneath’.” - Ursula Kolbe, Rapunzel’s Supermarket
" I made an X marks the spot." "I made a road."
It feels great to press and mold clay - colder and a bit stiffer than play dough, but satisfyingly easy to mold into the shape you want to create. We just played - with no end product in mind - but ended up with some great cakes, faces, and round shapes.
"Play doh is different colors, but clay is only one color."
"It smells like a bouncy house."
"It's harder to play with."
"It feels squishy."
"I know where it comes from, it comes from other clay."
"It's daddy's face. He looks a little freaked out."
Spending another beautiful spring day at Harvest Preserve filled us with joy! We spent the morning hiking, exploring, singing, playing, and also making drawings together.
We saw and heard many signs of spring at the preserve. Children chose to draw trees with buds, sprouting flowers, bees, birds, and many also noticed the bright blue sky.
Art Studio teacher