Yesterday we had our last PAINTS session with grades 3-5. It was a bitter sweet day. I think we were all sad it was over. Hopefully we'll be able to have another go round in September.
What a great bunch of amazingly insightful, imaginative and creative kids they are.
It's hard to put into words the feeling I had after they'd all collaborated in a very special exhibit of their artwork created over the past eight weeks. I was so proud of them all and I could see the pride they had in themselves.
All the other classes and teachers in our little rural school were invited in to see what they had done. The kids were paired off in groups at particular stationed areas of the room, where we had their art work displayed on tables. As the other classes entered the room the students would give a brief description of what the artwork was about in relation to the Circle of Courage.
It immediately became so obvious how important this overall conclusion to our PAINTS program was, and that this exhibition was such a vital part of the whole program. It made it real, gave it a depth of meaning to the effort the students had made and brought it all together.
First Workshop - Belonging/Community/History - Sculpture/Hand building techniques with ceramic clay creating symbolic Animal Totems represented in the Circle of Courage.
|Drawing, Painting and Collage using various mediums and techniques were all an important part of our creative process.|
Second Workshop - Independence/Connection between Self/Others/Environment awareness and social harmony - Mandalas
Third Workshop - Generousity/Developing Empathy - Earth Wall Tiles
Fourth Workshop - Mastery/Achieving Goals - Masks
The Circle of Courage project is based on the model of positive youth development founded on the universal principle that to be emotionally healthy all youth need a sense of belonging/attachment, mastery/achievement, independence/autonomy and generosity/altruism.
Each session explored the basic universal growth needs through art activities such as hand built sculpture using ceramic clay, applying techniques for hand built animals that represented and expressed the animal totems in the Circle of Courage. These animals were the Bear, symbolizing Belonging, the Buffalo, symbolizing Mastery, the Eagle, symbolizing Independence and the Deer, symbolizing Generousity.
Our afternoons began and ended with engaging discussion about the topic and workshop. The students all enthusiastically created pictures using various drawing mediums and tempera painting on paper prior to creating each project.
Discussions also took place regularly surrounding colour, the colour wheel, mixing and application of colour, techniques and introduction to learning about graphite drawing pencils.
We always had a time of reflection at the end each session for each student to express what was learned and then there was a brief introduction of what was going to happen in the coming week. This always proved to show how insightful these young budding artists were about creativity and their understanding, insight and connection with themselves, the world, and their environment. I was very much impressed!
I presented online examples and brought in my own artwork of paintings, sculpture, drawings of sacred geometry/mandalas, online resources of historical examples of masks and their uses in all cultures and I showed them a youtube video of Mummenschanz is a Swiss mask theater troupe who perform in a surreal mask and we discussed all of these in relation to art and the Circle of Courage.
We concluded PAINTS with an very enjoyable and wonderful exhibition in the school and we were all very proud and very happy!