Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Knitting together diverse strands of thought

I stumbled upon this video of Rachel John's Extreme Knitting project, (via Leslie Gates' blog) and realized it was a perfect springboard for a post on preparing for a new school year. August is the month when all those ideas culminate into a plan. The different yet connected threads form a unified and textured fabric--an analogy for our process of preparing for and launching our respective art classrooms and studios for the year ahead.
In these long, hot, dog-days of summer, it is pleasant to have time to participate in and reflect on a variety of experiences outside of the art classroom. I just came back from an intensive and immersive (I could add, incredible) week with Art:21, for the Art:21 Educator Institute launching my participation in the Contemporary Art for Contemporary Classrooms program. This year-long experience with a cohort of brilliant educators will be challenging and process-changing. I see how the depth of learning in the Fine Arts Studio will be further explored, how I and my students will be challenged to think in new ways about our individual approaches to art making and thinking about art. Our method thus far has touched on themes, exploring big ideas, essential questions and the like, but I realize we didn't travel far enough down these roads of "meaning-making" to fully grasp these ideas. We dabbled. We explored the elements and principles of design. We created, we reflected, and then we moved on. We have so much more to explore within each art experience, and with each one, contemporary artists via Art:21 and from the community will provide real-life context. I am looking forward to exploring how these experiences will impact our way of looking at and thinking about art. I will share the journey. In the meantime, check out these amazing resources via Art:21.
What are some ways you weave a richer art curriculum for your students?


  1. Wow! What an amazing video and perfect analogy!
    I am so looking forward to your Art:21 explorations (I've been following along on the Art:21 blog too).

    How do I attempt to have a rich art curriculum? I connect the art curriculum/themes/essential questions to each grade level's yearlong theme.

  2. Thank you, Shannah, for sharing--Hope you have a great school year, and I look forward to hearing about your wonderfully creative projects with your students!