3rd Grade Mixed Media on Pizza boxes
Coming to class with a very basic idea after meeting with the teachers is always a surprise. For this session, I bought along a variety of samples from my own art practice showing both color and value samples. I gave an impromptu talk, which included a bit of brainstorming. While the core idea is to incorporate art into the academic curriculum, it is also an on the spot collaboration between teacher, artist and students to see what happens. Originally we had discussed incorporating the animal habitat studies but that curricular assignment and exhibit had already occurred. I asked the students what they would like to create on their pizza boxes, while many chose their researched animal many other subjects were explored.
It was so great to walk around and see the variety in their creations. I requested a gallery walk where every student talked about what they had done. Some described the artwork while others had elaborate narratives to accompany their work. A single student had a hurricane, a space ship, characters; animals and about 5 separate narratives describing each one. Another student wanted to create from mythological study and chose Neptune and his trident. I remember a zebra, a volcano, numerous animals, dragons, mountains, flowers, a Nike hiking cleat and entire airport, terminal and the names of the airlines involved. A student discovered that the baby wipe would alter the texture and appearance of the charcoal on the surface of the gessoed cardboard.
In conclusion, I observed that trust in our all of our combined expertise enabled the students creative and critical thinking skills to flow in an uninhibited atmosphere. Students drew from a multitude of learning and imagination. The initial core concept of their animal habitat studies provided confidence for many students. Through their own research they knew their subject intimately enabling freedom to experiment with media.