For the past two weeks I have been diligently brainstorming, planning and testing
out new art projects for our summer art camps. Although I always have many ideas for
projects, I have to think about my wide range of ages, and ways to may make it both challenging
for the older ones, and easy enough for the younger ones. Dickblick has great videos and
art projects that include material lists, so I sometimes use them for class ideas.
My most favorite way to get ideas for class projects is to go shopping! I can see inspiration
in so many things. Just strolling through the aisles of TJMaxx, Marshalls or Target I can get ideas for
art projects. True artists can see a piece of art in everything they look at; walking down the street,
driving through the countryside, and even shopping.
I recently watched the movie “Big Eyes” about an artist whose husband stole the
credit for all of her artwork. She signed their last name for every painting she had done,
and he “sold” it and became famous. This was a time in America when “modern” art
was popular (50’s-60’s) and artists like Warhol, Pollock and Picasso were “true” artists.
The art critic in the movie told Keane (the fake artist), that his art was “not art.” That
made me so mad!!!! Who says what art is and what art isn’t? Art is defined by
1. something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that
expresses important ideas or feelings.
2. works created by artists : paintings, sculptures, etc., that are created to be
beautiful or to express important ideas or feelings.
Who can say what beautiful is? Each of us has their own definition of beautiful. Each of
us has our own feelings, and ideas. So my definition of art may be different from yours.
Why am I ranting about this statement? I always make my students understand that
although they are learning new skills in my class, they are the ultimate say in what their
art is. I try to make them think of ways to improve their art, but if they look at it and say,
“I love it!” then that’s the way it’s going to stay. This age is so important in the creative
process. If we tell our children that something doesn’t look good it could ruin them for
life! I’m not saying that it could ruin their life, but it could set a seed in their brains that
says “I’m not good at art.” How many people reading this have had someone say that
It’s important to me that you know what kind of teacher is teaching your
children for a full week during the summer. I am a teacher who encourages, empowers
and try’s to uplift each student to do their very best. Do I ask my students to try harder?
Yes! Do I ask them to do things differently than they normally would? Yes! If we don’t
take chances in life than we just stay the same. We grow with each new challenge. So,
let’s put on our aprons, get in our right brains, and start creating! (Camps start June 15th)