the big art show!

Parents and guardians. Invaluable in the success of a school year on so many levels : support, communication, volunteer work.
parent/artist showing an abstract art piece & using the view finder
This particular year, we had an amazing opportunity to work with a parent in our 4s/5s class who was a professional artist!

step 1: watercolor!

The parent and teaching staff collaborated about the concept of this project.

We discussed the process, the materials, the timeline, and the storage during the process.
step 2: scraping tempura paint!
We discussed:
"WHY are we doing this?" 
"What do we do with the art?" 
and the specific goals of how children should be the creative forces as they gain unique skill from working with a professional artist. 

step 2: spreading tempura paint!

The first component was to have the children work with large art paper to engage in Abstract Art. The process was going to have three visits to their work to add layers : 1. Watercolors with brushes 2. Tempura type paint with scrapers and rollers and 3. Pen details and symbols with rulers as an option.

step 3: pen work for lines and symbols!

Each week the children would "revisit" their dried work and make decisions as to how much of the next process they would add. There was a reflective component where the children were examine their own work and that of their peers to admire and "discover" color or lines or swirls: Art Appreciation at its best.

Looking closer at our Abstract Art with the Viewfinder!

The second component of the process was for the children to examine close-up sections of their work with their "view finder" like an I SPY game.

They would search amid their own painting to find a section that caught their eye, we would take a photo of that section, and then they would describe it or name it. For example, one boy's overall painting was called "Rollercoaster" and one of his viewfinder sections was called "Upside Down!"

artist discusses with student.
student describes action of his art!

students wrote signs to guide our visitors to our exhibits.

The final component: The Big Art Show! We welcomed our entire school community to our classroom to admire and celebrate our work. This celebration was part of our All-School celebration when all classes are inviting parents and the school community to appreciate their work, as well. As a side note, we also had three other exhibits in our classroom at that time to uplift other work we had been doing all year - incredible work by this class group!

giant display boards with the student photo, their Abstract work and their 3 viewfinder frames!
parents sit on the center bench of the art rotunda to appreciate all the children's work!
a student describes her work to a visiting teacher!
The Art Show. Incredible. Our visitors were so impressed. 
Many were wanting to have the the art show displayed in our local town, in a real art studio! [we couldn't because of some other factors, yet the idea was fabulous!].
Because we were a project based classroom, we were so fortunate to have a parent who was "an art expert" that could share with students in a process oriented way AND offered the students an experience that allowed us to create our own museum. The riches of this journey - to have a parent take on a three month commitment to our class - was priceless. 


  1. I loved this intention... and how it was made public. Bravo, constructivism.
    Bravo, project based curriculum.
    Bravo, Miss Jeanne!

  2. bravo right back! It was a unique year of big stuff and cool projects - off to the left of the art display is a Book Shop with their 10 page dictated, illustrated and bound books. Amazing. I guess I'll need to do a new blog post about those!!


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