Liz at Say Yes to Hoboken had wonderful post about a gallery wall that she created in her son Hank's bedroom. You can see it here. It got me thinking about displaying art - our own art and that of our kids.
This painting that the girl made is called "Dreaming". She made it at school a few months ago and for now it is in the living room on the bookshelf. We have many of her paintings and drawings and crafts all over the cottage. Living in a small space, we DO have to be ruthless curators and rotate the art!
Kids love to create. Naturally. And whatever they make, they love to display it. No fear. No fear of judgement. They just want to put it out for others to see. How different from us at our age! Don't we labour over it until it's just.perfect before we even THINK of putting it up? I know that I can fall into that trap. Especially when I am trying something new.
This is our magnetic bulletin board in the kitchen. We run our lives from this board. But more important, it's a place for the girl to put up her art. Every day she draws and paints and glues and colours. And every day something new is up on the board.
There is something magical that happens when we put our kids art around the house. When we give it a place of prominence, whether in a frame or stuck to a magnetic board.
We send our kids the message that their.art.matters. What they create matters.
We give them the message that this is THEIR home too. Their "home" is not just the playroom in the basement or their bedroom - all of this is their space.
We inspire them AND us to create more art. It's in front of us. We walk by it. We can talk about it.
Ask a few questions. Make a few comments. Get curious about their artmaking. "What were you thinking when you made that shape?" "How did you make that colour?" "What were you feeling when you made that drawing?" "What happened before that scene in your painting?" "What happened after that drawing?"
You've heard me talk before about the joyful freedom there is in the marks and the lines that kids make with their art. There is none of that adult hesitation of "where will I make my first mark?" It's all about grabbing that brush and jamming it into the paint and swishing it around and slapping it onto the paper. Here.it.is. Here are my hearts. Let's see what happens when I mix this colour with that colour. Let's just paint.
This last painting is from a couple of years ago. The girl was lucky enough to attend a play-based preschool with a huge emphasis on creative expression. The school is run by a woman who is now in her eighties (and she still works there five days a week). With the school being over 50 years old, some of the girl's classmates were third generation attendees. I think, no I KNOW that I learned just as much about art-making and creativity during those few years as she did...
So put up some art this week - some of your kids' art and some of your own. What you create and what they create MATTERS. Get some sticky tack or some tape and stick.it.up. See what happens...and let me know!