Classroom as Studio, Student as Artist
At the start of the year, Art teachers prepared students for what would take place in the Art Room over the course of the school year. We were asking students to reimagine the classroom space, and on top of that, we weren’t providing explicit answers as to what an end goal might look like. We introduced the students to a very crucial aspect of an artist’s decision making process, idea gathering, although in this case we can call it brainstorming.
After gathering students’ ideas, we mixed and mashed all of their glorious and silly thoughts into a very loose “narrative,” another component that is vital to any artistic practice. By giving a title to the ideas generated in class, we were able to structure how we, as a collaborative group, were going to create objects that could complete the narrative. As you can probably imagine, most students could not wait to begin manifesting their wildest thoughts.
Through self-directed investigation, trial and error, and exploration of varying materials, students began to discover that creativity is not always a linear process. So, we have a couple things happening at this point… We have a bunch of ideas, we have a plethora of shiny and nontraditional materials, and… Now what?! Well, we decided to leave that up to the artists themselves. By creating a foundation for their collective and individual ideas, students were given agency to experiment and fail, another very crucial component to creative practice.
Conversely, students were also able to discover new ways of creating art completely of their own accord. Furthermore, by using nontraditional materials, (such as tinfoil, pipe cleaners, cardboard, and a variety of recycled materials), students were encouraged to explore new methods of art-making.
As we continue to dive deeper into exploring our studio-classroom practice, Art teachers invite you to stop by the Art Room and check on our progress throughout the year!