Every February, a burst of creativity, sensory awareness, and cultural pride overtakes Spanish Schoolhouse. You may ask, “What is this flash of texture, color, and culture?” It’s our annual Latin American Art Expo, and the students are the little artists (¡los pequeños artistas!)!
From the youngest to the oldest, each class “adopts” a famous Latin artist and one of his or her works. During Circle Time, they will learn about their artist, including his/her home country, style of art, and time period. They’ll also view and discuss photos of the artist and his or her work, and even get a glimpse into the cultural influences that may have inspired the artist. It’s a mini-history and culture lesson, which helps the children feel connected to their artist.
Then, things get messy! Guided by their teachers, students will create their own version of a master work by their artist. Using different materials, tools, and techniques, step-by-step a masterpiece begins to emerge.
This is a great tactile learning opportunity! Students experience and compare the various sensations. “Paint feels different than shaving cream or sand or glue or papier mâche.” “What happens if I press harder or softer?” “What if I use a sponge instead of a paintbrush?”
Visually, students are experiencing proportions, color mixing, shapes, and dimensions. They are developing their fine motor skills as they control the placement of materials, and the use of various tools. And of course, language development is on-going, as the teachers name the various materials and techniques used, encouraging the children to repeat.
Some of the younger students will need more guidance, while the older students will make more independent decisions. The more complex projects involve many steps, which is a lesson in patience and focus for many. Creativity shines through for all ages, as you will see by the variations in the students’ work.
Finally, the artwork is displayed for all the parents, grandparents, and caregivers to see in our Latin Art Expo. We encourage you to take photos of your children next to their artwork (las obras de arte). We guarantee you will cherish them throughout the years!
We invite you to take a few moments to enjoy and celebrate this special accomplishment with your student. We are so proud of our young artists!