Thursday, September 10, 2015
I began teaching art when my youngest was in 4th grade, he is now 25. I began teaching because, well, he was attending a school that is known for having a fabulous art department, to me, however, they were still missing the mark of what art can do for a child. What I was seeing, even the art department was having to answer to standards. Standards are a good outline, my question is, "why do the standards have to strip away the creative aspects, the point of surprise, discovery, and outcome, out of the process?
As it says in my blog bio "To give children a voice through art. No other curriculum allows a child to explore, from beginning to end, discovering from a point of unknown to a point of completion, with the results of self confidence and awareness." The concept incorporates that if something doesn't work out (failure to most), what can we do as artists to change the outcome? Creativity is so powerful, it allows the brain to take in all information, formulate, calculate, and then reprocess, discovering a new outcome. Studio 4 Art does this through teaching art. This is the point. The reason I do what I do. Empowering children, through art, is the best gift I can give. Without standards to answer to.
Guess what too? I do find value in standards. I go to National Arts Education Association conferences and follow along with what children should be learning with each grade level in state standards. I use these as guidelines. Often times, our 8 year old students are working on projects that are high school level. Why? Well, one reason is because I find the subject material much more interesting. And two, because our students are capable. It is all in the teaching, understanding of a child, and the ability to teach on an individual level. At all times, we make sure that our students are working on projects (sculptures, paintings, drawings, mixed media, and even sewing) that are individual to them. They organize the idea, our teachers are there to help them execute the idea. Diversity is our goal, celebrating the individual gives them the confidence to know that their voice should, and can, be heard. The power we have that most art studios do not, we know how to incorporate creativity, individual thinking, process learning, and execution, with the knowledge of fine art techniques and terminology!
Thank you Marin Magazine for recognizing Studio 4 Art for its connection to community and children. We do love what we do and believe that getting crafty, is pretty crafty!