Art Critique: Between Georges Braque and a hard place

Starting out with the same, but winding up so different; that's my new approach to teaching this fall. I give each student a container of nearly identical items, let them create their art project with the items, (within the limits set out for the project), then have a directed group discussion looking at the wide variety of their compositions.

The kids love getting a bag or basket of items. It's like opening birthday presents to them. Since everybody gets the same assortment, the greener grass envy factor is eliminated. Since everyone chooses how to arrange the items, the creations are amazingly different.

We've been using glue sticks so the art doesn't have to dry. We can gather in a circle to look at all the pieces, and discuss what we see.

In this project we were stressing how to use glue sticks. We used papers with a November feeling--neutrals, golds, wood and leaf patterns, textured cardboard in the form of Starbucks coffee "sleeves". The instructions were to glue the shapes on in decreasing size order, and to make a 2-D picture.

Our group critique format was for me to make comments about art elements shown in each work, then students making observations comparing one work to another, and then the artists explaining their own ideas about their picture:



I attended class critiques as a college art major that produced fewer insights than these. The kids are age four to six.

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