Art Gallery Showcases PreK3 Perspectives
March 26, 2015 (TAMPA, Fla.) – The sounds of a harp floated throughout the art gallery as students and parents strolled among paintings and sculptures and nibbled on hors d’oeuvres.
The artists were proud to show their work, explaining to their guests how they painted in the style of Vincent van Gogh or pointing out the large canvas where several of them helped create an homage to Jackson Pollock.
The difference between this art show and other galleries? The artists are 3 and 4 years old.
PreK3 teachers at Corbett Preparatory School of IDS transformed the school’s Grand Room into a museum to showcase the masterworks their students produced during a unit on how unique perspectives shape self expression.
The artists they studied and methods they used sparked creativity among the students as they explored the International Baccalaureate unit “How We Express Ourselves.”
They perched by the Corbett Prep pond to study the bridge and replicate it in the impressionistic style of Monet. They shimmied under a table to paint on their backs like Michelangelo working on the Sistine Chapel, talking about what it must have been like for him to paint in that position for four years.
Fourth- and fifth-grade ballerinas visited the PreK3 classroom to perform, which allowed the students to observe and draw the dancers. They discussed how an interest in movement inspired Degas to paint both dancers
“I love seeing their faces as they explore something new,” teacher Leah Gucciardi said.and horses. They saw how tiny toys and trinkets take on new life when mounted together and painted monochromatically as sculptor Louise Nevelson may have done.
Their journey through the art world took them to the Renaissance and into modern times, introducing them to the many different styles, tools and techniques men and women have used to create art. The PreK3 students then had a chance to replicate each artist’s work in paint, clay, paper and even beans, bringing their unique interpretation to everything they did. Words are also a form of artistic expression, and the teachers compiled the students’ poetry in books for parents.
The experiences throughout the unit showed students that art takes many forms as artists choose different methods to demonstrate their thoughts and feelings. Perspective influences both how art is created and how others respond to it. In creating their own artwork, students experimented with ways to express themselves, while honing their fine motor skills.
Research shows that introducing young children to the arts stimulates imagination and encourages a lifelong appreciation for art. The diversity of displays and the pride the students took in sharing their work showed that creative expression is valuable for artists of all ages.