Hello friends! Today I thought I would share some artwork from the crazy inspiring artists I’ve been working with lately and the new connections I’ve gotten to make along the way. These artists are AMAZING. They are deeply connected to their inner wisdom. They live completely in the present moment. And their artwork is expressive, full of life, and authentic. Who are these amazing artists?
Kiddos, mostly 5-10 year olds.
I’ve been working as a resident artist with the fabulous program Arts in Education of the Gorge. Basically, because art has been cut as a “special” (like P.E. or music), from our local public schools due to funding cuts, Arts in Ed has stepped in and is filling that gap. They “promote arts as a core component of educating the whole child.” And they do this through many different ways including sponsoring local artists to do residencies in the schools. I’ve been doing it for over a year now and I’ve got to say,
Kids are amazing teachers.
I’ve done lessons with all ages of elementary students now and am looking forward to working with middle schoolers next month. It’s a fascinating reminder of the progression into self-awareness, identity, connections, community, and so much more. The students are fabulous artists – deeply insightful and super-inspiring. So I thought I would share some of the artwork they have done so you can enjoy it along with me.
Kindergarten – Second Grade Collage Self Portraits – (a.k.a. CRAZY FACES!)
The purpose of this project was to talk about how our differences make us a stronger community. So we accentuated some differences and made crazy faces from our own photos. Here are the results:
Super-fun, right? And what’s even more fascinating is that even though these are crazy faces and really silly, each one of these portraits really does capture the essence of each student in some way.
Third through Fifth Grade – Mixed Media Portraits – Head Explosions!
This one will blow your mind. The students were invited to brainstorm all the ways they contribute to the community – through their unique gifts, skills, experiences, teams, groups, family, etc. Then they brought in ephemera and/or collected words and images from magazines that represented these community contributions. I took photos of them looking up (or not, in some cases) and they used that image to make a mixed media collage with their head exploding into all their community contributions. Again, the results are awesome:
With the older kids it has been interesting to explore how much self-consciousness plays a role in their creativity. I noticed that the older the students got, the more concerned they became about what their peers were doing or what they would think of their choices. But in the end, they couldn’t help but let their own personalities shine through. I loved seeing how the students really opened up in this project too. 😉
So there you have it. It’s hard not to be inspired by these young artists, right? Keep nudging yourself and the people in your life to return to your own heart’s calling. We are so connected to it when we’re young, there’s no distinguishing it from our ego. But as we grow older something happens and we stop listening. These artists inspire me to listen again. I hope they do the same for you!