Redline Young Artists: Literacy Edition
Another semester for us is underway at Redline Art Gallery in Denver for their Redline Young Artists classes. This session is about literacy and art. They have ALWAYS weaved children's stories and books into each course we have ever attended, see our last session here, but this session started with one of Eric Carle's infamous books, and then the class built on the art illustration methods similar to Carle. The class has a range of age groups, but somehow, they all seem to get along just fine, working individually with their parents or mentors and side by side, toddler with elementary aged students. Remy will be three in May, but gets along really well with first grade age range kiddos, her favorite cousins are 6, but she also still has an attention span of a toddler. We took a break to wander the gallery and view the latest sculptures and installations, all begging for a touch from these two. Remy is used to the gallery now, one of the basic foundations of the course was to familiarize the students with a gallery and encourage them to feel welcome amidst the art. It worked! Remy is fond of art class and Redline gallery now! Prancing in and running around to see what's new...but she also knows it's time for class, begging me and Arlo, "Come on, they're gonna start without us!"
This class worked on TEXTURE. After the story, the children could pick out their "paintbrushes" for the day from materials like cubed styrofoam, wedges of packing sponge, pipe cleaners, pieces of polyester plush fabric, and hole punched cardboard. Remy loved the cubes, was hesitant but curious about the fur, and dabbled with the rainbow shaped sponge. Arlo, yes she participated too at just 17 months!!!, she was interested in the pipe cleaner and the hole punched paper! Arlo's attention span and ability to sit side by side with Remy, and still on a bench impressed me! She was so curious and attentive to instructions and what the older children were doing. Look at her tiny fingers!!!
Since this class fell on the day before Valentine's Day, the instructors thought ahead, as usual, and had card stock cards available to make Valentines. So thoughtful!
The class ends with sharing. The children are encouraged to stay the entire period of the class, gather around at the end and share their work and the thought process behind their creations. Remy usually does well and makes it to the end, but this particular day she was antsy and ready to go home for nap time. With the younger set, you have to encourage patience, and guide them to be good students, listening, paying attention, taking direction, following instruction, but at the end of the day, they are two, and two year olds get sleepy...so we stayed as long as we could, and missed sharing our work, but that's okay. We'll try to make it longer next time.
On the way out, we usually wind our way out of the gallery and soak up the art. I let the girls wander to whatever catches their attention. Remy stopped to see a wheelbarrow piece. I explained a little bit of what I saw in the piece, how the mountains in the painting behind it were a triangle, and the wheel barrow in the front was also a triangle, but upside down. I explained how the painting had rocks, and dirt and the wheel barrow was carrying those things. I am not sure what children see, or what they remember, their level of understanding, but I know exposure, explanation, encouragement, and enabling them to be a part of art in some way can't be a bad thing, even at age two. I want to continue to raise the bar for them and challenge them to self discovery in all areas, art is just one part of that.
Thank you Bianca and Daphne for an amazing art experience!
If you are interested in signing up your little for the Redline Art Gallery Young Artist program, see here.