Art projects in our classroom are always offered as a voluntary choice among our centres. Some children come to explore every single offering, while others need encouragement to try new techniques and projects. I rarely offer a sample of a "finished product" to encourage an open-minded approach to art, and an understanding that there is no "right way" to create.
I invited the children to explore 3D art in our Creative Centre by providing the children with lots of pieces of cardboard cut in different shapes, bits of cardboard tubes, and larger pieces to act as backdrops. Using wood-glue (because it has a stronger hold than white glue), the children got busy creating 3D art.
With no example provided of a final product, the focus was on the process of artistic creation. Some of the children chose not to use any circular shapes, and others followed my example (because I always sit and create alongside them) of gluing some pieces vertically. The children's conversations revolved around what their artwork "looked like": "This is a fence", "This is a mountain", "This is the dish for the cat". We also chatted about how 2D art is different from 3D creations.
Creating art for art's sake is not a new concept for children, but as they get older they become more focused on creating art that looks like something. It was freeing for them to just glue pieces on wherever they wanted without any pressure to have their art represent a concrete scene or image.
When the glue was dry, the children were invited to add colour using craft paint. Once again, the focus was on the children's choices:
whether or not to add colour, and what colours to add.
Some of the children have asked to go back and add more details to their work in the form of textures and patterns painted on top of the original colours. We'll get to that this week!