I recently wrapped up a session of my Fabric Collage class for kids & had several revelations I wanted to share. But first, I need to share how I got to where I am today. Because you need to understand that before you I can share these thoughts.
I started off teaching project based classes. All the kids would come to class & I’d have a sample of a specific project & they’d all walk out the door at the end of class with basically the same item. And it worked. Sort of.
I did the project based classes again, but as I chatted with Kathryn over time I became interested in how she taught. If you had the opportunity to visit the old building, you probably noticed that it wasn’t your typical Art room. There was an abstract mural in an “active” state, there were signs all around about how to rethink art, there was advice to parents on how to incorporate improv art into their lives. It was different because rather than talking about how great art is, this place seemed to resonate with “Make Art. Play with Your Art. Think About Your Art. Own Your Art. Know Why Your Art is Yours. Know that Art is a Process. Respect the Art of Art.”
This idea of playing as art intrigued me & I asked if I could observe Kathryn teach.
The result was mind blowing. I’d never seen something like that before! 8 kids walking around the room all doing their own thing, but everyone was calm, it was quiet & everyone was working. I mean- they were working. They were serious & focused & you could tell by the atmosphere that these kids had art to make; they were busy owning their art. And Kathryn wasn’t all in their business. She was hanging out in the background, reminding them of some of the rules of clay & letting them be.
At the end, they gathered around a table for “Celebration” & the kids talked about their pieces. They spoke about what inspired them, what they found challenging & what they enjoyed.
After leaving that class I knew I wanted to change my classes. I wanted to create an atmosphere of an active self directed studio.
Thanks for reading the story of my evolution! I hope to have the next part posted soon!