Children’s Art

Street Car/Best Gumbo

Street Car/Best Gumbo

I’ve been at home sick most of this week.  I’m bored with staring at walls and ceilings.  I’m annoyed that nothing on my “I’m already behind” to-do list is getting done.  (As I usually do when I’m bored–and can’t read) I was flipping through photos on my computer when I ran across a set of photos of children’s art that the world should see.  Not the photos, the art.  Simmone Tassin, a young woman whom I am proud to say was once my student, organized “The Art of a Child: Inspired by the Works of Clementine Hunter” exhibition in response to the dearth of art programs in public schools.  Noting that art programs are often cut or severely diminished, Tassin’s goal was to allow children an opportunity to express their appreciation for art and demonstrate how it influences their lives.

Art is important to children.  You’d think those who make decisions about K-12 curriculum would realize how art in its various forms (music, dance, visual, theatre, poetry, prose, etc.)  balances out the curriculum, allows children to exercise other types of intelligence, raises self-esteem and provides a positive outlet for them.  I am grateful that my child’s teacher, Adrienne Saulsbury, is an artist.  She realizes the importance of  the “Three Rs,” but she also knows that children need creative expression, some time during the day when they can be FREE to express themselves without worrying about being judged or assessed.

Tassin’s children produced work that was inspired by their lives in New Orleans.  Take a look at the photos, and if you know anything about New Orleans, you’ll see that the children know their city well.  Unfortunately, I no longer have the names of the individual artists (and I took these photos with my iPhone, so they’re not exactly the best photos).

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Also, just a note: Clementine Hunter (1887-1988) was a self-taught folk artist.  Take a look at her work and you will find that the children really captured the spirit (and style) of her work.

Embrace art!

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