What if you could take the imagination of a child and collaborate with an older or more experienced artist to magically bring your ideas to life? This is the concept behind a current 1st and 8th grade art collaborative project.
Middle School Art Teacher, Nick Mayeux, has had a project like this in the back of his mind for a while, and was trying to figure out the best way in which to incorporate it into the classroom environment. “Terry Flores (Lower School Art teacher) and I found a really fun website that has actually taken this idea and incorporated it into a community based challenge in Austin.” said Mayeux. The project is called, The Monster Project, and the idea behind it is encouraging children to recognize the power of their own imaginations by collaborating with artists from around the globe who bring their ideas to life. “Terry and I wanted to shift from scary to imaginative, so we are calling our work 'Impossible Creatures.' There are so many lessons embedded into this fun collaboration, on both 1st grade and 8th grade levels.”
The 1st grade students have worked incredibly hard in the art room creating their own impossible creatures with a partner. “They are settling into their practice in the 4th floor art studio and this project has given them the opportunity to collaborate on several levels. They are also learning to articulate their ideas, as well as negotiate, compromise and refine their designs with their partners to create these amazing creatures.” said Flores. “We’ve talked a lot about detail, emotion, color, atmosphere, time of day, with a little narrative thrown in. The 1st grade artists are so excited to see their creativity reimagined in digital form by older artists.”
1st and 8th grade students met for the first time this week. 8th grade students took time to speak with each of the 1st grade drawing groups to take notes about the important aspects of each drawing. “I think they are going to come up with something really cool!” said 1st grader, Caroline Cherry. We couldn’t agree more after watching how intently the 8th grade students were listening to their “clients” and how detailed the 1st graders were describing their creatures.
“It was really fun to see the 1st graders talk about their experiences and what they liked most about their creatures.” said 8th grader Rocco Mandola. They would discuss things like where their imaginative creature is from, and what their favorite color was. Or how they took inspiration from a TV show or a book to create them. 8th grader Mason Rothbaur was observant with his three groups of students. “I liked to see how the kids interacted with us, just to get to know them, but also how they express their artwork.” Stay tuned to see how these impossible creatures come to life in digital form!