Bringing Children's Art into Nature : A Community Art SIP
Schaub, Jamie L.
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For the summer of 2011 I was an intern at Edison Environmental Science Academy in Kalamazoo, ML I helped facilitate a Garden Camp which took place two days a week at the garden outside the school, and two days a week at Pretty Lake Farm in Mattawan, ML My community art project was developed by observing the garden camp during the first week. When we were at Pretty Lake Farm the children enjoyed drawing, journaling, and eating on the picnic table outside the barn. I noticed that no surfaces or seating existed at the school garden and I hoped to create a gift that the school could continue to use in the future. I decided to build a picnic table, as functional art. This table was a canvas on which the students painted, and became a place for activities and eating. The project began with a buildup of art lessons in order to get the children to think creatively about their surroundings. I taught art lessons relating to nature throughout the six weeks and asked the students to brainstorm ideas for the final art project. It was their idea to make a farm scene, and so they painted animals, plants, fruits, and vegetables allover the picnic table. I was impressed by their creativity, and used their ideas to create the plan for my community art project.