At the beginning of the 2008-2009 school year we began a partnership with the Children's Museum of the Arts which brought a talented, dedicated artist, Agatha Gliksman (Agee), into our classrooms. Never before have our students been so energized, motivated and inspired by an art curriculum. Agee was simply amazing. She never stressed about the mess, the energy or the chaos that accompanies the creative process in young children. The kids adored her!
Agee guided our students through an exploration of color, line and perspective. She introduced them to the works of Alexander Calder and Gustav Klimt. We blended in Greek Mythology by creating Cyclops and Medusa masks as well as working in plaster to build our own Trojan horse representations (see Children's Artwork on the sidebar for pictures).
We attended a Calder exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art which inspired the students to create their own pieces in the 'style of' this unique artist (see right).
They learned how to work with wire and tell a story with their designs. This blended seamlessly with our literature investigations of story elements as each students told of character, setting and plot through their creations. For example the piece pictured is a beach scene. Others depicted a forest, an ice rink, a wrestling match, etc.
Sadly, the program ended due to budgetary issues. It was with much complaint that we bid Agee farewell - a group of unhappy children is hard to ignore. However, the good news is that the Children's Museum of the Arts (182 Lafayette Street, NYC) is currently housing a public display of selected works.
A blurb from their press release reads "CMA celebrates its partnerships with New York City public schools in an exhibition of works created throughout the 2008-2009 school year. CMA School Partnerships reach over 1,000 children annually and provide an enriching creative approach to classroom learning. This exhibition includes multi-media works from PS347 American Sign Language School, PS124, PS130, The Renaissance Charter School and Williamsburg Collegiate Charter School."
It runs from June 11 - September 6, 2009.
Top artwork is a Van Gogh study of Starry Night by our Pre-K students.