Isn’t that what we have been doing all year in art? Finding a way to express what isn’t easy to find words for. The answer could be themselves. Students’ inner souls, and their creativity, came out amazingly this past year.
I participated with the teacher of the first grade, and the music teacher at the project base learning on emotions. We listened to some music, and we associated certain types of music with a feeling, and then we tried to paint that emotion on paper. What color is associated with which feeling. The experiment was quite successful and interesting. I tried to do something similar with other classes, to see which emotion can be expressed better on canvases and colors. Some accepted the challenge and created beautiful paintings starting from a portrait. I was inspired also by the artist Kim Taeil, who uses chunks of colors to convey certain emotions on a side profile picture.
For most of the year, building houses took place. I could not imagine, before Christmas, the great success it would produce. My idea was just to give the kids a challenge, but PNA kids took it on a whole another level. They were super enthusiastic and started building any sort of houses: from engineered structures to snow bunker, from squirrel diner to a hut for winter, from a house with a pool to a place for rave music. And they had a lot of fun while doing so!! This is, for me, the best reward: having satisfaction, and emotions creating art! They learned how to build something sturdy, to collaborate in groups, to exchange ideas, to help each other, to go out of their comfort zone. But most of all, they put themselves into these works, and it is visible the different but amazing personalities that came alive.
Students had the pleasure also to make things out of clay. I think this is also a way to express themselves. Putting hands on “mushy” mud, cutting a piece from a block of clay, and transforming it into a creation, are satisfying tools for the person. Class after class was entertained by building with bare hands an animal, a flower, or something for the houses.
In this society, where computers are the basic training for students, for me it is important to go back to essential, natural habits of modeling the clay with our own hands. It helps the students to train their focus on something, and the importance of their work, s that they learn the feeling of creating something with their own two hands.
For this last part of the year, I let students be free to choose what they want to do in art. It is just so nice to see them picking their favorite activity, and work on it with intensity. They put in their best, and their results are stunning. Thanks to all these students who make their art in excellent ways, and felt free to create.