Art Eco: The Birch Forest

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Branches on the overhead. Not the best, but the only photo.

Just back from a fun (yes, and exhausting!) day at the Art Gallery’s Children’s Festival: Art Eco. I was working in the Young Learners Studio. There were many exciting and wonderful things going on all over the gallery, so I really tried to make sure the activities I chose were accessable to the VERY young. It’s a good thing I did because we were almost over-run by the two-and-unders!

We used pieces of corrugated cardboard to stamp trunks and branches on lovely pieces of wood veneer. The corrugated part of the cardboard looked a lot like birch bark.

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Small pieces of rolled up card and sponge were perfect for making leaves. Of course, it was an open activity so we had a lot of abstract work, and “a digger” but there were some beautiful pieces. It’s funny – I felt the younger children (3 year olds) did the nicer work. While I was walking home it occurred to me that the younger children approached the art making by thinking “What is a tree? It is a stick with other sticks and some leaves on”. The older children who came in worked more along the lines of “What is a picture of a tree? It’s a trunk with a bumpy green bit at the top.” They may have made very obvious tree representations, but the first approach captured more of  the “tree essence”. Well, I thought so anyway. Here are some beautiful birch forests.

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We also made some simple recycled flowers using egg cartons, pieces of scrap fabric and centres from old magazines. They were fun and easy.

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For the last activity I cut out a bunch of “recycling arrows” and set them out for the youngest participants to colour with pastels and paint. I’m glad I did, since this was perfect for those who just needed to get busy. All in all a pretty good day. I only wish I had more of a chance to look around at the other activities in the gallery!

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Filed under art classes/workshops, art with children

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