By Lauren: In a recent staff meeting, the teachers discussed process art versus product oriented art. In process art, the emphasis is placed upon the experience children have making the art rather than the final product. As we discussed process art, we brainstormed what art means to us. Ideas such as healing, self-reflection, intersection of the inner and outer world, multisensory experiences and the validity of all art cropped up during this process. At Elm House, we look to emphasize process art as it supports the child in expressing themselves creatively without worrying about what people may think about a final product. As children are developing their own personal voice and sense of self, I find that process art supports positive self concept and creative self expression. During process art, instead of asking “What is it?” we might ask, “How does that make you feel?” or “What do you want to add to it next?”
As we explore process art more deeply in our community, we look to using creative materials and encouraging children to think outside of the typical use of art materials. One way we have been exploring this is through our rock painting. An idea that was sparked during the meeting was to provide the children with bubble wrap and paint and encourage them to use their feet to explore the materials. On Tuesday, we busted out the bubble wrap and paint and watched to see what unfolded. Our one rule was that children must be barefoot and as soon as that was communicated the shoes flew off and the children dove right in!