By Kim Becker
As the weather turns warm and the buds begin to bloom so does the Valley Pre-School Art Show. For over 10 years, the school’s four-year-old classes have spent the year creating masterpieces for the much-anticipated annual event. On display are pieces in an array of media, driven by a rich curriculum and the children themselves. The stones and other natural objects the children used to explore math concepts such as patterning, counting and sorting, inspired one installation of stone animals.
Connecting the children’s learning to their artwork is a hallmark of the show. To that end, the children work in a variety of media: small and large sculptures, mixed media and even photography. One class created a fairy garden throughout the year. They started by creating fairies from pinecones and other natural objects. During the transportation unit, they built different forms of transportation as they learned about the concept perspective in art. Then, the children wanted to create things for the fairies to do, such as playground equipment and other outdoor items, and make the garden more interesting with mushrooms and the like.
The classes also explored diverse artists such as Van Gogh, Pollock and Monet. They painted in an Impressionistic style using their fine motor skills and then created bold Pollock-like paintings using their emotions. The class’s rendition of Starry Night focused less on the sky and more on the houses they each created, but it was still very identifiable as a Van Gogh-inspired piece.
Of course, the best reason to put so much care and work into the art show is the children. One child was heard to say, “I am so proud of myself and my friends and my teacher—we all worked so hard together on this and I’m so glad we did! I love my school!”