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Arts & Activities - Page 30

art lessons for PRESCHOOLERS P icasso once said, “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.” Even so, the preschoolers at Kent Children’s Center are inspired to make art by the works of artists of the past and present. The students, 3- and 4-year-olds, are developmentally capable of abstract art that focuses on color, line and shape. After seeing photographs of some of the work of contemporary artist, Sarah Morris (b. 1967)—more specifically, Robert Towne (2006), a temporary installation at Lever House in New York City—I presented the students with a challenging art session. First, we discussed the lines in Sarah Morris’ installation. We saw only straight lines and lines that crossed over other lines. We talked about color, and how lines separated individual colors from one another. Lastly, we talked about the shapes that were formed by lines; they could be squares, rectangles or other geometric shapes. The students were given a 7-inch square of black poster board and, then, strips of masking tape in various widths. They were instructed to place the tape onto the board in any way they chose, as long as it went from one end of the board to the other. Having completed that task, they were instructed to color in the shapes between the lines with oil pastels. When this was done to their satisfaction, they were told to remove the masking tape one strip at a time. Finally, they chose the colored construction paper on which to mount their “inspired” art. The children’s creativity and energy that inspired Picasso decades ago was evident in the strokes and color application of the students’ productions. n At the time of this activity, Barbara L. Egenes was an art therapist/consultant at Kent Children’s Center in Kent, Conn. Kara Zachary 30 march 2013 • 80 years x

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