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Teaching with Possibilities

by Catherine KarpMay 19, 2021 1:10:38 total runtime

In the spring of 2020, Damien Hirst initiated a competition on Instagram, with a prize going to the winning answer of this question: “Why are art and kids always so connected?” My answer—“Children just do things. Adults call it art.”—didn’t win the prize, but for a long time, I have thought about making a video playlist to introduce young children to art that isn’t considered traditional. Most of us grew up with a very narrow definition of art. When we looked at art, it was probably in a museum, we could recognize the materials used, and we might even recognize the name of the artist, who was probably a White male. Fast forward twenty-five or fifty years and much less of that holds true. The vast majority of the public is probably confused, wondering what’s going on with contemporary art.

I start teaching art classes at my school with the children in kindergarten. As much as I focus on materials and their proper use and care, I start by introducing radical ideas of what art can look like and how art can make a difference. I like to think that the sooner I can broaden the idea of the traditional definition of art, the sooner and the longer the students will consider themselves artists.

My playlist consists of artists who use nontraditional materials and techniques that don’t come to mind when one typically thinks of art.

Read about how Catherine teaches with this playlist in her classroom.