Saturday, March 17, 2012

SOLSC #17 Art panels are complete!

We completed our Phillips' panels this week!  I mentioned earlier that our school is currently immersed in a fabulous art project with the Phillips Art Gallery in Washington, D.C.  All classes are exploring Jacob Lawrence's migration series and creating art that is inspired by this series. For me, with preschoolers, I am emphasizing his use of shapes and lines, his use of color.  (See two earlier blogposts from this month - SOLSC #6 and #9 - for more on this creativity by my class.)

I worked with our art teacher, Jessica Goede, to assemble the children's work on to the final panels.  Here are the results:

PANEL ONE: We leave our homes and go to school.  We live in Washington, D.C.

PANEL TWO:  We travel by metro train.

PANEL THREE:  We are a caring and learning community at school.

The panels were created in bits and pieces over more than a dozen small group sessions of "process art."  Children painted  backgrounds by rolling cars and trucks through  paint in vertical and horizontal directions.  Several sessions were spent cutting all sorts of shapes from wallpaper samples (in colors similar to those found in Jacob Lawrence's migration series).  These pieces were used in a variety of ways in all the panels.  Other sessions were spent painting cardboard pieces deep red, brown, off-white.  These cardboard pieces were cut into smaller rectangles and squares and, from these, children created houses and apartment buildings. 

As described in an earlier blogpost (SOLSC #9), one preschooler drew the image of the metro train and track.  Another drew the Washington Monument (on right side of panel).  I enlarged these and glued them to foam board; the children created a collage on these images.  This was probably the only art step that required any kind of precision - almost a coloring within the lines.  Here, my more detail-interested children were delighted to give it a try.

The train track on my kitchen floor!

The only real difficult part of the project was the labor required to cut out the train, track, and monument out of the foam board when the collage was done!  It took me some two hours to "exacto-knife" the train track that the children created...I was determined to preserve the integrity of their lines, as happenstance as these lines appeared.  This was work that I took home!  I am thrilled with the results.

All of us - children and teachers - had a lot of fun with this art exploration.  

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