Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Artist

One of O's favorite school experiences this year was "the art unit". Every year, the director of our preschool spends several weeks at the end of the year teaching the pre-K students about art. They talk about what art is, learn about specific artists, and try out many different styles and media. The in-depth art adventure culminates with a trip to the local art museum and the grand opening of their own art gallery in the school gym. I remember this unit well from 2 years ago when C learned that "We are all Artists." I knew C enjoyed it, so I was interested to see what O would think.

In general, O does not love art. Or writing. Or working particularly hard. All year, we have gotten the feedback that O is very bright, but just does the bare minimum on his assignments so he can get back to playing with his friends. And what he produces is generally simplistic. As his teacher said at his final conference, "He does exactly what is asked of him, and nothing more." So I was anticipating that this art unit might be a little torturous for him. Boy, was I wrong!

Each day O came home bursting with information about the artist & style they had studied that day. Unlike C, who told me cryptic bits and pieces that I didn't really understand, O reported the names of the artists and styles with ease. And his teachers kept commenting on how hard he was working on all his art projects.

After the trip to the museum, O reported, "My favorite piece was the Chihuly. And the mobiles and stabiles by Alexander Calder. But we didn't get to see the Mondrian, because that gallery was closed. But we did see some Jackson Pollack!"

Me: (!!!) "What's a Chihuly?"

O: "Mom, don't you know? Chihuly is an artist who makes things out of glass. And it looked like a giant floating tree but it was really made of glass."

Nope. I didn't know that. I've never even heard of Chihuly. I love that O is teaching me things!

The next day, his art gallery opened, and O was thrilled that Hubby was able to join us for the exhibition. O took his responsibilities as our "docent" very seriously and led us around the room explaining all of the works. Just a sampling of some of the display (which included line art, shape composition, color composition, artistic interpretation, pop art, photo montage, abstract expressionism, kinetic art, and quilting). I think it's quite a collection for 5 years olds!

Looks like we'll have to plan a trip to the art museum this summer, so O can teach us even more about art!

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