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Art by Audience© in a 4th Grade Art Class copyright by KC Moore

March 15, 2011

This week is gone but some vivid memories linger.  I haven’t set stepped inside a grade school for years so I didn’t know how to prepare to perform Art by Audience© with a class of 4th grade art students.  I had a small corner of a mobile classroom (the library) and the center of the room was virtually a sea of desks turned in several directions to accommodate the number.  I’m not sure how many excited young ones were there but I was never without 5 or more asking for personal attention at the same time.  I have new respect for teachers!

Well, as I set up they came pouring into the room – right to where I was organizing.  That is where all attempts at being organized exited.  In the past, I’ve had an adult audience which politely watched and asked occasional questions.  This event was designed to be a backdrop for another event – not the main feature.  Again, how does one prepare?

Image of woman

Image of woman

MSC Fantasia Yacht Swarovski Staircase

I had them choose 2 pictures: a design and a person.  Then paints, canvas (green) and special effects: blue glitter and bronze powder.  I started with the basic swirl design wondering myself, where to place the woman.  Sure enough, I soon heard that question from my audience too.

The blue glitter remained contained by not the bronze powder.  Someone found how cool the bronze powder looked on their fingers and all wanted bronze hands. (May their mother’s forgive me!)  They were so curious, excited and sweet I couldn’t do anything except enjoy the experience.  However, if I were to do it again, I’d have a personal aide running interference.

[A side commentary on this experience – too many children for one teacher.]

With constant confusion, touching paints, asking if they could help, asking if they could paint, asking what I thought of their drawing (they were darling) I managed to develop the semblance of a work of art within the confines of one class period.  In order to show them progress I faced the easel toward the class in the only place available.  Since I was entertaining them within a very tight space, often shared with any number of children, I actually was leaning forward and turning around to paint….often fielding questions at the same time and keeping little fingers from art supplies.

Yes, it was almost total chaos but the sweet faces still remain.  They felt like someone important came to visit and I realized how special it made them feel.  As exciting as it was, I can enjoy it more with time, peace and quiet.

Art by Audience©

Painting from choices by 4th grade art students

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From → Art News, KC Moore

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