The preschoolers have completed the three art panels for our art integration effort with the Phillips Collection. We were given the theme of "Art in the City," and every class in the school has created beautiful artwork. In the Big Cats, the creation of these panels has been an on-going project since early January, including a variety of activities:
- A field trip to the Phillips Gallery, to see "Art in the City" works by such artists as Paul Klee ("Way to the Citadel") and John Marin ("Pertaining to Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street").
- Working with lines, shapes, and color in lots of different ways,
- Cutting special paper shapes and exploring how we might use them in the panels,
- Painting the background of each panel with our feet! (The children stepped in paint and walked across the panels.)
- Creating houses out of shapes.
- Observing the city on our walks in the neighborhood and drawing our city observations (see earlier blog post),
- Studying our local map,
- and additional art processes, as needed, such as markers, watercolor paints, chalk, tempera paint "stamping," working with yarn, cutting and gluing.
Here are the final panels:
Panel One includes a "Paul Klee-like" interior which exemplifies our city block; this is surrounded by the children's own drawings of what we see as we walk the block. You can just barely decipher the children's footprints as background in this lively and busy art.
Panel Two illustrates our busy city - the children created individual houses and we set these in rows along chalk-drawn streets and a lively watercolor and footprint background
Panel Three illustrates our alley playground, with its blue Imagination Playground building blocks, bright hula hoops and jump ropes.
There is so much learning that has happened through this delightful art experience. The children have expanded their mathematical understanding of shapes and spatial relationships. They have developed their observational skills by focusing on objects in the neighborhood as we take our daily walks. They have stretched themselves cognitively as they remember and connect these experiences in artwork. They have honed their pre-literacy writing skills by working on their fine motor strength and coordination.
Later this month, families are invited to attend a special evening event at the Phillips Collection, to see these and other class projects on exhibit. Very exciting!