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Friday, May 18, 2018

Preschool Perspectives

I stopped in Sheboygan recently and even though I only had about 10 minutes to spare I darted in to the John Michael Kohler Center for the Arts.  Since donation is encouraged but admission is free I'll catch them with a donation sometime this summer when I come back again.

I was glad I stopped in; those 10 minutes really made my day! The following information is quoted directly from their website about the exhibit "Preschool Perspectives".

This year, the Preschool celebrates fifty years of creative learning through the arts. The students crossed the threshold into the galleries regularly to explore The Road Less Traveled and Unseen Forces exhibition series. These experiences were folded into the activities in the classrooms.

During The Road Less Traveled exhibition series recently featured at the Arts Center, the children became fast friends with artists Loy Bowlin (aka the “Original Rhinestone Cowboy”), Emery Blagdon, Charles Smith, Stella Waitzkin, and Eugene Von Brunchenhein through observing, discussing, sketching, and journaling about the artists’ work. In the studio classrooms, they worked collaboratively to create elements for their own art environment and exhibition.

My favorite part of this tableau - the kettle labeled "Hot"!

Children were invited to be curious, ask questions, and problem solve as they created patterns, hammered, drilled, spread glue, sprinkled glitter, and rolled paint, all while learning to take turns and work together developing their social-emotional skills.

So much to love here, but the stuffed animals under the bed tugged at my heart

Little fingers twisted, pinched, cut, sewed, drew, painted, printed, wrapped, and tied, just to name a few techniques. A variety of found objects, recyclables, natural and man-made materials, and fine art supplies were explored throughout the creative process. 

Welcome to our garden

Our mantra, “No, no, don’t throw that away! I can make that into something!” has been exclaimed many times both at Preschool and at home.

Can you imagine what our society would look like if all children had access to an early childhood education of this quality?  Can you imagine what our society would look like if that education continued to be so rich through to adulthood?  If I had the opportunity I would love to work with children again, shaping little hearts and minds.  Someday I'm sure I will.

On my way out I also paused to look at an exhibition of some of the work of artist Don Baum.  Originally from Escanaba in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, he moved to Chicago when he was 18 where he attended the Art Institute, the Institute of Design, and the University of Chicago.

In addition to being an artist he eventually became a curator and taught emerging artists in Chicago.

The little houses with their collage of images drew me right in, I wish I'd had more time to examine them and think about why they spoke to me though I suspect it's because "home" has always been a complicated concept for me with my footloose lifestyle and Navy childhood.  What images would decorate my home if I made one?  Maybe this is a project I'll pursue...if I do I'll share the result. I show the same two houses here but from two different angles/sides. 

1 comment:

  1. That is one amazing pre-school. It's hard for me to imagine children under the age of 5 creating what you've shown.