Discovering Art Through Community Collaboration

By Carroll Scott-McIntyre

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.

– Pablo Picasso

One of my favorite forms of artistic expression is a collage. Through my first few years at Little Owl, it has been my favorite thing to do with the children. This year, being with younger children in the Acorn room, made for a different introduction. Kelsie (Olive room teacher) and I wanted to find a way to integrate the kindergarten class with the Acorn room; we found a way to do it through art.

The kindergartners had been working on heart maps and continued with a collaborative canvas. Kelsie and I brainstormed and found a way that the Acorn room could be a part of the process. At the same time, being involved in the process, allowed the Acorn children to have an introduction to collaging using familiar materials. By using paint and tissue paper, they were able to add layers and dimension to an already painted canvas.

Some children have had a hard time with separation; this activity helped them through that hard time. Art is naturally relaxing and helps with expressing your feelings through a medium instead of holding them in. Some children were reluctant to dive right in, but upon closer inspection, they asked if they could do it; other children were fast to jump right in. Some poured the whole jar of paint on the canvas; others added just a little paint and a lot of tissue paper. I loved seeing them discover what worked and what didn’t through trial and error. When they ran out of cut pieces of tissue paper Kelsie went to get more, she brought back large pieces and suggested ripping pieces off. Acorn children took large pieces and crumbled them and stuck them on paint. They discovered that with the large pieces, it added more depth and dimension than the smaller pieces.

Art is a constant learning curve; when children have the opportunity to express their artistic freedom, we can learn so much more from them. With this introduction to collaging, they are now ready to explore more mediums and art opportunities offered to them.



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