TASK in the Art Room
This year, Willow, Cedar, Birch, and Elm Room students were introduced to TASK, a collaborative art project inspired by contemporary artist, Oliver Herring. TASK is an improvisational event with a simple structure, and very few specific restrictions or rules.
The tasks are essentially creative prompts and a “TASK party” is an opportunity for students to experiment with a variety of art materials while they practice creative problem solving. Tasks can range from straight-forward instructions like “draw yourself using colored pencils or markers,” to more abstract suggestions that are open for interpretation, such as “start a (pretend) dinner party with one friend.” Students can work on tasks independently or collaborate with friends. They can rush through tasks to get to more tasks, or they can take their time working on one task for a while. There is no wrong way to TASK!
The open-ended nature of TASK encourages students to make their own choices and there are always plenty of art materials to make things with. Students can also choose to act out or perform their tasks!
The process of teaching students how to TASK begins with tasks written by teachers. After some playful experimentation, students are asked to write their own tasks, and then they get to see their friends complete the tasks that they created! This also encourages students to be flexible, because they may have different ideas about how their tasks “should” be completed. Students are reminded that there is no wrong (or right!) way to TASK, and that it’s up to each artist to decide.
TASK does not require students to have perfected any representational drawing skills, or precise painting techniques. When there is no wrong way to make or do something, students are opened up to a world of possibility where they are in control. Through TASK, students learn to overcome fears and frustrations, and defy expectations of art and art-making. TASK also teaches students that the art room is a place where anything can happen!
Learn more about Oliver Herring and TASK: