The beginning of the year we have slowly been introducing different art mediums to be explored in an open ended way in the classroom. This is often referred to as “Process Art.”
The definition of process art is an artistic movement as well as a creative sentiment where the end objective is not the principal focus.
This means that I will often provide a few different materials and allow the children to explore them in anyway they want. They can stay at a project for as long they wish, do multiple projects or revisit the materials for more than one day.
There is a great article written by Debbie Celment on the Pre K and Sharing blog about the importance of free exploration or process art compared to craft projects. I have linked the articlehere if you would like to read more about this philosophy.
One of the first materials they explored were a few paints and pom poms clipped ontop a clothespin. The pom poms served as a mini paint brush. It was interesting to watch the children manipulate the paints in different ways based on their age. Below is a picture of M making dot marks around her paper, where as A is mixing her paint colors right away and brushing them across the paper.
We also had a guided discovery about the materials at our writing center the second week of school. My goal is for the children to have access to many types of art materials every day when they come to school. In our writing center they currently have access to:
black felt pens
Dot Art paints
These pictures show everyone digging into the different supplies in our writing station.
Last week I put out a new art invitation of paints, cubby brushes, and mesh shapes. These shapes can be painted in the center and they create a different design on the paper. We also learned that once they were painted you can stamp them to create more shapes. I enjoyed watching them explore these materials!
Messy Art = Fun Art!
There may be times throughout the year when I will have everyone work on a project for the holidays or mother’s day or valentine’s day that is more in the style of a craft. The end result may be a bit more predetermined. But, for the most part our art is an exploration of materials, and may not resemble anything in particiular when they bring it home. They are still equally as proud of their work, and it is 100% their creation!