It’s Silent Auction time at Piedmont Progressive Preschool. That means that the teachers need to come up with a suitable art project for the class to work on that can be sold at the silent auction. Suitable means within our philosophy. But, boy, that’s hard.
Why? We don’t do directed art projects. We set out the materials and let the kids have at it. What happens, happens. We tell them that they are the boss of their art. They decide when it’s done, how it’s done, etc. And if they want to throw it in the trash, that’s fine with us.
Well, it sure was hard to step back and let ’em go. We, the teachers, wanted to step in and stop them before the kids decided they were done.
The project? A large art canvas divided into squares. Each kiddo chose a square and got to feather paint with the primary colors. Sounds pretty, huh?
First kid….swiped some blue. “I’m finished,” he declares and marches back into the classroom. Okaaay. We can handle that. Looks good.
“Look teacher, I’m making purple,” another says as he’s mixing paint with two feathers. Totally filled the square but created some fantastic texture with the feathers.
Little P. created some beautiful rainbow smears, but then didn’t want to stop, even with some rather rabid encouragement from moi and my co-teacher, and a delightful moosh of brown developed in spots. Some of the rainbows survived. We taught our artiste well and she resisted all of our efforts to stop when WE wanted her too and her square is delightful.
The final product looks beautiful. It really does. We grownups struggled with the definition of what was beautiful and who should define it. We struggled with creating something “saleable” for the silent auction while still not defining what was “art” to the munchkins. I think we all did OK. What do you think?
OK…so I can’t get the picture to load. I’ll mess with it AFTER the Silent Auction. Right now, I’m off to party. Toodles.