Weinstein JCC Preschool’s Atelierista (art teacher), Dawn Kowal, has been offering opportunities this year for different class groups to work with her in the Preschool’s Atelier (art studio).
By collaborating with the teacher and following the inspiration of the children, she offers unique experiences to each group.
Through the use of “process art” the children are able to explore new art techniques while also developing their fine motor skills and hand strength and working on eye-hand coordination and bilateral coordination.
All of these experiences ultimately will help with things like managing buttons and zippers, as well as building patience, intrigue, collaboration, and a sense of accomplishment while creating original art!
One example of this process occurred in Susan Quick and PJ George’s pre-K class. With the change in seasons and the abundance of fall colors, the children had been exploring the changing leaves and noticing the bare trees while on their daily adventures in nature.
This was the perfect inspiration to collaborate with Dawn on some ‘process art’ to support their curiosity and learning.
STEP ONE: Preparing the Canvas
The children came to the Atelier in small groups to work with Dawn preparing the canvas for their artwork.
By covering their hands with plastic bags, they were able to paint the canvas using their entire hands, all the while feeling the smooth texture of the paint and manipulating it freely on the canvas.
This was a whole new sensory experience for everyone!
STEP TWO: Preparing the Materials
Once the canvas was dry, the children were ready to begin tearing small pieces of colored paper to create a collage.
Tearing paper is an excellent opportunity to use both dominant and non-dominant hands, and it also makes for a beautiful collage.
STEP THREE: Completing the Process
Together with Dawn, the children decided they would use their canvases to create one vertical tree representing DAY and one horizontal tree representing NIGHT. Working in small groups and using the materials they had already prepared, the children created what they titled: “Sky Tree” and “Night Tree”.
This project took place over 3 consecutive Thursdays. Each time Dawn met with the class she reviewed the process so far, helping them to use their memories, have a clear understanding of the process so far, and building excitement and anticipation for the next step.
Creative art exploration really is all about the ‘process’ and not about the ‘product,’ but the bonus here is that by trying new experiences and working together on a topic that interests them, the children were able to create some really magnificent art!
*For more information about the Weinstein JCC Preschool, please contact Early Childhood Director Donna Peters at firstname.lastname@example.org
*Registration information for the upcoming summer 2022 Preschool Camp Ganim and the 2022-2023 Preschool Year will be available online in February!
The Weinstein JCC is supported, in part, by a generous annual contribution and programming and COVID grants from the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond.