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Director's Column: Exploration of Art

The children were so excited and proud to see their artwork on display in the big room this week! Whenever I am in the classrooms, they love to pull me aside to show me their creations. Most children love the art center, because it is a place where they can be express themselves, be creative, and get messy! Yet, some children hesitate or even refuse to come to the art table. Maybe the project doesn’t seem as exciting as some of the other choices in the room, or maybe they doubt their artistic abilities. By putting out different projects, materials, and mediums, based on the children's interests, the teachers try to encourage

the inner artist in each child.

At Bowen we try to stress the importance of process over product. Many of the art projects are open ended; various materials are put out and the children decide how to use them. They are intentionally not given a model to copy or compare their work to, as this can lead to frustration and disappointment. Every child’s art is unique and every child’s art is their own. Our goal is for a child to finish an art project and say “Look what I made!” not “Can I be done?”

In the 3-Day class, most children are just discovering the materials and what they can do with them. They don’t necessarily care what the finished product looks like, they just want to enjoy the process. Sometimes a child will continue to paint or draw with color over color until they are left with one big brown splot.

In the 5-Day class the children are beginning to transition to more representational art. They have an idea of what they want to achieve, and go about creating art with a purpose. We give them many different mediums and tools to work with, so they can explore and experiment with different ways to create.

In the Pre-K class, many of the children have developed their own individual “style”. Their artwork is more pictorial, more complex and more detail oriented. Some children plan out their artwork before beginning, others just dive right in. We still see their feelings represented in their art … a child may draw their entire family using a red crayon because red is their favorite color. We hope you enjoyed the Spring Fling last night, and that you got to take home a masterpiece created by your child! Best, Nina

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