"I like it because it has lots of my favorite pages that I like and it looks like it's made from (an) artist but it's not. That's why I like it."
Abby and Sam had their art journal conferences today, attended also by Joslin and Caleb. During Sam's reflection of his journal he said they above statement. He seems to be expressing pride, and perhaps surprise, about the his own work, yet he does not see himself as an artist. This opened up an interesting question about the children's perspective of their art and what it means to be an artist.
Sam: "I like it (art journal) because it has lots of my favorite pages that I like and it looks like it's made from (an) artist but it's not. That's why I like it."
Q: "I heard you say you like it because it look like it's made by an artist, but are you an artist?"
Sam: (After a pause,) "I'm not going to come into an artist."
Q: "What's an artist? How do you know if you're an artist?"
Joslin: "You paint so much stuff, like a hundred pictures. Then you're a artist."
Q: "So you have to paint a hundred pictures before you're an artist?"
Joslin: "Yeah, but that's too much for only a kid to do."
Q: "But what if Sam made art in his book?"
Sam: "A hundred books."
Joslin: "I went to a museum and saw art that artists did...it was tiny."
Joslin explained different art she saw, as if trying to define the type of art that would qualify an individual as an artist. We discussed various types (sizes) of art we have seen but the children hadn't come to a conclusion on how to define an artist and why Sam, or the other children, could or could not be considered artists. This makes us wonder what theories the children have about the meaning of an artist and who is an artist? Also curious, and a theme that has come up in various ways throughout these conferences, is the value and meaning children attach to their work. Here's another example during Abby's conference today where she references the emotions attached to her experience as well as an association with the larger experience (and perhaps relationships) of KW:
Q: How do you feel when you work in your journal?"
Abby: "I love it 'cause it makes me happy."
Q: "Why does it make you happy?"
Abby: "Because I love it and because I love KW."
While time is winding down in KW this year, we hope we can give the other children an opportunity to reflect on what theories and perspectives they hold about the meaning of an artist, their work, and if they consider themselves artists.
A few other glimpses into what happened at KW today...
The half-portrait drawing provocation continued today. This activity presents cognitive challenges for the children where they are required to notice what details are missing and how to represent similar sized details on the opposing side in order to create a complete image. (Click for some insight into their work today.)
Continuing sewing of clay tiles
Enjoying our time outside together
Welcome to the Kids’ Workshop blog homepage!