Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Art Every Day: K is for Kids and Creativity

Day 11
Today's image is a botanical drawing of a potato plant- the final assignment in the fun class I am just completing. It is a botanical drawing - so has no shadows. It looks a little flat to me. None the less, it was fun to draw. I used graphite and color pencil.

Now onto the K. I have kids on my mind. I am just back from a teacher meeting with a handful of interesting and challenging new lessons to present. The classes I teach are part of an after school program funded by parents. This means that only kids who can afford the classes, get to participate. Yet, every kid I encounter tells me they love to do art, and that they wish they could do more of it in school.

Today, the arts are a luxury that many of Oregon's financially strapped schools can't seem to afford. Art advocates (I am certainly one) believe that the price for eliminating the arts from our schools will exact a price we don't want to have to pay.

Arts help students think creatively, not only express ideas, but shape them too. They offer opportunities for success in a variety of learning styles, and prepare kids for the world of work beyond school. And, most of all, kids like art. For many, the arts are what keep them coming to school day after day.

To learn more about the value of arts education, check out this video about the importance of creativity and the value of arts in school from Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) Art Beat at School.

By the way, Oregon Art Beat at School is another fantastic resource for art education, ideas and resources. It includes lesson plans sorted by grade, subject and content standards, and are based on individual videos aired on the TV program and available for streaming online (and in your classroom).

In the interest of full disclosure, I am one of the writers for the site, and I highly recommend it.