It was my first lesson as an Art History Education Outreach intern at Isla Vista Elementary and I had decided to play a small clip of Bob Ross painting pine trees as an example for my lesson on texture. I was happy to hear one of the kindergarteners exclaim, “Hey, that looks pretty good!”
My lesson plan was focused on teaching how a painter might create texture in their work and how to identify differing textures in artwork. After the video clip, the students went back to their seats to create their own textured trees from tissue paper. Every student had a different approach to their art: some taking time to create patterns from the colored tissue paper, others working hard to get as much tissue on their page as possible. At the end of the lesson, some students stood at the front of the classroom to talk about their art. This gave them the chance to show off what they have made but also to practice speaking in front of others.
The outreach program helps students engage with artwork they might not have seen before, build critical thinking skills through reading these artworks, and, most importantly, allows young learners to have fun creating something they can be proud of. The program gives kids a chance at building their public speaking skills, while also explaining how their art relates to the concepts they learn. Once the weeks have finished, students will have a scrapbook of the works they completed through the academic year.
Growing up, I always enjoyed art but I am not sure I ever realized its historical significance, nor what art can mean to a person. My first fall quarter I stumbled into an art history course and was immediately taken with how art history could reflect a person, a moment, or change both those things. I admired the idea of sharing that process with others so the opportunity to intern with the museum immediately caught my attention. As an education outreach intern, my experience sharing these aspects of art has been quite wonderful. Through these small lessons, students learn about artists, as well as become artists themselves, in a positive environment that appreciates their contributions and perspectives. As the year progresses I look forward to seeing what else they make, as well as how the program can reach out to more audiences.
– Catilin Mitry, Intern for Education Outreach