An Awesome Summer


Prolific first day at Watercolor Foundations!

What a wonderful summer at Arts and Literature Laboratory!


I feel so fortunate for this opportunity. It's just that - not a job, an opportunity. To be with kids, to teach them and guide them, to learn from them. Together we played games, met new friends, and built not only incredible art projects, we built incredible memories. (I wish I had this when I was a kid!)


There are too many moments to share, but here are some of my favorites -


A literal "AHHH!" when we learned about color theory, using colored cellophane on lanterns in a gallery room where we had turned out the lights. The blue on top of the red, the red on top of the yellow - we learned that colors are MAGIC. (Then, of course, ending the week by mixing colors to frost our own cupcakes.)


A seven year old exclaiming "LOOK AT THE DOTS!" when we looked at the work of Georges Seurat's 'A Sunday on La Grande Jatte.'


Our teen leader taking the reins to teach composition and perspective to the class.


The ideas brought forth in costumes/masks/fashion design class - the kids designed the class and we executed ALL of their ideas: sewing capes, making vests and skirts, making pillows, learning cross-stitch to add detail, tie dye, mask making, and an all out fashion show to boot!


Comic book class, where we had challenges to make as many different eyes, mouths, and noses as possible. We talked about how different feelings make different expressions. What do we look like when we're surprised, happy, sad, or scared? Do we ever feel that way ourselves?


Creative Gamers class, when we learned and played Spoons, Go Fish, Chess, Sorry, Clue, and more. Kids designed their own games with boards, clay pieces for markers, clay dice, and cards, and then we played those!



Making paper in Paper Art and Sculptures

What I don't share with the kids is that, among all the fun, we are learning -a lot-. With each class, we learn and practice new mediums, we understand artists and connect them to our lives, and the kids learn the language of art and design. At the end of each week, we have a group share, where we talk about our work. The kids compliment and honor each other's work. And it will never get old to hear a child about another child share how movement leads to the center of interest.


This is what we do in our classes. This is a gift every time.





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© 2016-2020 by Mallory Shotwell  

Interdisciplinary artist, art teacher, and curator    Grand Rapids, Michigan

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