BAYarts show features preschool art
Highlighting the work of BAYarts' preschool programs, "A Lifetime of Art Begins Here" art show is on display now through May 8. The children with works in the show are ages 3-6, which is a prime creative time. Visitors are welcome to come see the show, Monday through Saturday, from 9-5 p.m.
The BAYarts preschool classes are offered in areas of ceramics, studio art and music therapy. They are taught by a group of preschool teachers. The curriculum stays mindful of Ohio’s Early Learning and Development Standards, and makes use of hands-on activities that encourage gross and fine motor skills. Other areas of importance are the development of social skills, movement, creativity and fun.
As a longtime preschool teacher at BAYarts, Kelly Kocon still becomes overwhelmed with pride for each of her young students. "The other day when I saw my students' art being hung on the walls I literally had tears in my eyes because it looked so beautiful. Nothing beats children's art. It can brighten any day. I am incredibly proud of my art students, and I think they are pretty proud and excited for their upcoming art show. They have all come so far from the time they started their art classes in the fall."
The art classes include not just basic drawing and painting, but printmaking, ceramics, crafts and more. And this variety is reflected in this current art show, with stamped pottery, watercolor self-portraits, tissue paper water lilies and brightly painted fish.
"Kids come to class and have a chance to use many mediums they may have never used, like acrylic paints, sharpies, canvases, glitter, and watercolors," says Kocon, who jokes that they also have aprons, which they always make use of in class. "By this time in the year most of them have developed scissor skills, and they are able to hold pencils, markers, and paint brushes properly. ... Most importantly, they have developed friendships with their classmates."
Inspiration for Kocon's classes are sometimes drawn from her adult art interests, which are a way to begin introducing great art examples to children. "We also base some of our art off of master artist work. Some that we have discussed this year are Henri Matisse, Vincent Van Gogh, Alexander Calder, Dale Chihuly, and my personal favorite, Frida Kahlo." The previously mentioned water lilies are certainly inspired by none other than the Impressionist Claude Monet.
Another BAYarts preschool teacher is Jaime Alspach, a board-certified music therapist. She sees how positive and valuable the entire slate of classes are for children and their families. "Preschool music classes at BAYarts allow children to grow in all areas of early childhood development in a natural, arts-based environment. The children participate in singing, instrument playing, and moving to music, and often create their own music!"
The playful nature of the classes can be heard every week in class, and are reflected in the vivid swirls of color on the gallery walls for the show.
Aside from these levels of mood and creativity, Alspach reminds of the technical skills that can be observed from the artwork. "Through all of these play-based experiences, they have opportunities to develop their communication and language skills; work on academics such as colors, numbers and letters; use their fine and gross motor skills; and develop their self-confidence."
Jessica Stockdale is the Marketing Manager at BAYarts.