Mission statement: Art Studio, Green Trees Early Childhood Village
In and through the arts, we will develop a deep enthusiasm for beauty and a strong sense of wonder. Using “One Hundred Languages,” we will learn how to express ourselves as self-directed agents of our own creative identities. By exploring, collaborating, and communicating with one another through joy and respect, we will work to build an ethical community that claims our inalienable human right to live and learn through the poetics of the aesthetic. As artists, we will reject conformity, embracing an authentic existence that honors the beauty and diversity of the world in which we live.
Power of the Aesthetic:
Central to the Reggio Emilia philosophy of education is the “hundred languages of children.” In the Green Trees art studio, we work to foster this core principal, providing children with opportunities to actively explore a variety of materials together as a class, while simultaneously valuing the creative expression of each individual child. As adults facilitating these experiences in the art studio, we listen and learn from the conversations the children engage in with the materials surrounding them. For example, while one child may engage in a lengthy conversation with a piece of tin foil, holding it up to the light, listening to it crinkle, tearing it into pieces, etc., another child may decide to just say a passing hello, turning it over to watch it shine before moving on to a block of clay. In order for children to engage in such complex, interesting “conversations,” they must have the opportunity to mess about with complex, interesting materials. For this reason, we focus heavily on the integrity of what we present children in the studio, working to curate a collection of materials that are open-ended, aesthetically strong, natural, and authentic to the artistic process.
Power of curiosity:
Such aesthetically strong environments and quality, open-ended materials are particularly important because they work to fuel curiosity – an essential ingredient in the social, emotional, and cognitive development of children. Through the visual arts at Green Trees, we work to foster this curious mind by designing spaces and experiences where our children feel safe (emotionally, socially, physically) and, therefore, free to take act on their curiosities and take profitable risks. Additionally, as fully present, invested partners and guides in the art studio, we meet the children with approval and support, understanding the many threats that fear, dismissive responses, and disengagement can pose to the development of the curious spirit.