Friday, March 16, 2012

An Example of Art in the Montessori Classroom.

 “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
~ Pablo Picasso

Children are naturally inclined to create art. They are drawn to the process and are curious to explore and work with different media.

Working with Third Box of Color Tablets
Art is integrated into the Montessori learning environment using various methods. Geometric and Metal Insets introduce children to shapes and invite them to create designs. Geography work, such as Puzzle Maps, and Biology work, like Botany Puzzles, are traced and colored. Children mix colors as part of their Practical Life work. Color theory and relationships are explored through the use of Color Boxes. These are but a few examples of the integration of fine art within the classroom. Children are exposed to the work of famous artists and their contributions through a number of means. Matching, categorizing, and identifying artwork is done using art cards. Artists are also introduced through individual and group projects, such as the example below of projects inspired by the German artist Gerhard Richter.

Richter was introduced to children through a brief life overview lesson and through examples of his work. The children discovered how Richter’s style has continued to change and evolve throughout his life. The children created two collaborative pieces inspired by his work.

Abstract Smear Painting
One of Richter’s abstract styles uses a process of smearing and manipulating paint to achieve or build flowing layers of color. The children created a piece inspired by this style of Richter’s work. Each child selected three colors and placed a glob of paint directly on the canvas. Using a plastic paint scraper, the children smeared the colors. This process was repeated until the children achieved the color combination they agreed appeared the best.

After viewing examples of Richter’s Colour Chart series, the children created a collage using paint swatches generously donated by Home Depot. The children decided it would be better to overlap the colors rather than arrange them in rows and columns when they discovered that each swatch was not cut exactly the same.
Gluing swatches

Color Swatch Collage

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