Conversations in Art
This morning, I taught art. To children. It went something like this...
I sit on the floor. Kids around me, pressing in. I ask, what is art? The answers begin where I expect... pictures, sculptures, drawings. Is that it, I ask. My own kids have seen the books which are still hidden in my bag— Goldsworthy, who planted seedlings in stone (the namesake of this blog) at the Jewish Museum in New York City. So my Littlest says art can be things you find. Sticks, leaves, molded, used.
Art is beauty, says another child. It's pretty, someone adds. No, says another, not always. Sometimes art is sad. Or scary! You can get stuck in art in your dreams. Art makes you feel things, says a boy who thinks he is bad at art. Yes, I say, it does.
What can you use to make art, I ask. Paints, pastels, they say. How about water, I ask. Can you use water? One boy says, water color! And ice sculpture, adds another boy triumphantly. Yes, I say. Snow men. Yes, I say again. Waterfalls. Hmmm... that's God's art, I say. Let me show you a man who uses water to create art, I say, as I pull out the books on Goldsworthy.
Oh! Look! That's... How?! Look! They all talk at once, relating to this art that uses things any child can find. Reeds, rushes, thorns, icicles, dirt, stones, sticks. The boy who thinks he is bad at art says, I can build things that other people can't when I'm outside. A smile spreads slowly across his face. His eyes are intense in this moment. Yes, I say, you can.
Then we begin. And every child finds he is an artist.
Photo by L.L. Barkat: Michaela's "Dandelion Seeds in Silver Bowl."
Additional pieces are at Green Inventions Central.
This week's book club discussion at Ted's place Christmas Coal: shame
GREAT ART QUOTES:
Scroll to the bottom of Sam's Breathtaking Poem for some great art quotes.