Friday, July 3, 2009

Children's Museum of the Arts

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.


lettuce said...

you have such a great job gary! :-) I love the beach scene

mum said...

This. Is. Great.

The Van Gogh study of Starry Night? With your permission, I'd like to lift it for my personal bulletin board. Yes, I like it that much.

This post felt very good to me, Gary. Merci beaucoup.

Happy 4th.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

great post.

but so so sad that the program is ending 'due to budgetary issues' - it's a tragedy what is happening around the country to schools and libraries in light of the economic crisis....all causalities in my book to feeding the war machine and other interests which take but don't give....

although this program ends, I have no doubt that you will continue taking your kids to wonderful places on field trips and making the most out of little.

hope you are having a good summer! I hope I make it to nyc before sept 6 to check out the public display


Barbara said...

It's too bad that art and music are often the first things to go when times are tough. Young children need the arts as much as they need anything else in their early education.

I'm so glad the work from your school is being shown!

Sebastien said...

Talented kids!!! So sad to hear they ended the program, sounds like such a great vehicle for their creativity. Alexander Calder is so wonderful, I adore his work, my mom has a beautiful large book of his work, going to dig that up :)

Sebastien said...

And the Starry Night interpretation is awesome!

Sebastien said...

I came across this artist not too long ago, think her work is too fun (although more geared towards adults, think you would enjoy her quirkiness)

Gary said...

Thanks for your comments!

Letty - I love the way children use the materials. Straws become water, a piece of felt becomes a beach umbrella. There is really no debate. Everything is transformed with an attitude that seems to say "of couse, it could be no other way". Total acceptance. No second guessing and no agony.

Mum - wow, that is an honor. I wish this was created by my class!

Kimy - I am hopeful that Agee will be back with us next year. We'll see...

Barbara -It is true that art & music are always so easily cut when money gets tight. I truly don't understand why money is cut from education but new ballparks are being built and there is money for all forms of entertainment. We just don't want to help create artists but seem to reward them because the arts is a big money maker in the end.

Sebastien - I will check out that link. Thanks.

WAT said...

Budgetary issues? Tell me about it. California is in deep trouble. 30 billion in the hole again, and many other states are in a serious economic crunch too. Sad really.

I love art though, and plan to step into the Louvre and El Prado in the near future!

ciara said...

so sad when they have to cut art or music programs :( i love the kids' art :)


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