Displays of children’s artistic expression are often limited to the family refrigerator. Any child, upon seeing his or her creative endeavors hanging in a real art gallery gets a memorable and validating experience. It doesn’t happen every day, except for the artists whose work appears in the Museum’s Good Show! Gallery.
Filling the Good Show! Gallery with children’s thoughtful work offers many unique opportunities for local students, their families, and for Museum staff in investigating the impact of creating art on critical thinking and creative development. Targeting title one schools, the Museum’s Arts Specialist, works closely with school administrators and teachers to develop art projects that support art, math, science, and literacy curriculum.
Connections allow us to build and merge different materials and concepts in novel ways. Our connections to each other are what make our lives more meaningful and literally improve our health and wellbeing (Martino, Pegg, and Pegg Frates, 2017).
Artist Angela Lyonsmith works with communities to create art that explores the connections between people, ideas, play, and our community.
With this in mind, we invited first graders at Scott Elementary to engage in multimedia making, which weaves connection building and creativity. They began by drawing with oil pastels on a piece of wood, layered the pieces with watercolors in a resistive painting technique, placed nails into the wood, and used string and yarn to draw in three dimensions.
Each child’s artwork is evidence of creative thinking, planning, tinkering, and the joy in making art together.