November 4, 2010 § 4 Comments
I teach several after-school and lunch-time programs throughout the week and have the good fortune of being in the company of young children on a daily basis, even just for an hour or two. One of the many things I love about teaching is the free access pass to a labyrinth of art-clad school halls. There’s nothing as refreshing to the eyes as beholding children’s work.
I realize, despite all of the technology and gadgets and gaming and software at a child’s fingertips, when it comes to kids, art doesn’t change. In fact, it isn’t at all different from the art I used to make years back (okay, more like two to three decades back). Kids are still making art from beans and pasta, as we did when we were kids, and as our kids’ kids will be doing.
I thought it would be fun to make bean art with a theme for fall — appropriately, the harvest. Now when it comes down to children’s art techniques, the subject is often forced to be as irrelevant as possible to the medium. I remember when I was six years old, my bean art was of a galloping horse, its mane spiraling with mung beans.
For this craft, I felt it apropos to abandon our childhood paradigm of obliging imagination and, instead, make things out of what they really are. Corn art out of corn. And wheat art out of wheat (well, more technically speaking: pasta. Semolina is really just a fancy name for wheat flour!).