I’ll be concentrating on one famous artist per week with my preschoolers in the New Year. My goal is to expand their horizons, make them more aware of artists from history, and get them used to discussing art aesthetic with our group. It is one thing to make art as a child. It is another, entirely, to gain an appreciation for other artists- famous or not.
I was pacing the halls at Children’s Hospital, waiting for my brand new babies first appointment with Infections Disease (shudder) when I first noticed Charley Harper’s artwork speckling the lime green and pink hallway. It is no secret that Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh houses some beautiful art collections, but I was pleasantly surprised to see such a wonderful display of CH amazingness.
My first exposure to this American Modernist artist came via the Natural Science (or was it History?) museum in Philadelphia. Along those walls, too, was hung a fantastic collection of his lithograph prints. Always the sucker for unique and different book titles, we found two CH board books in the gift store that day that I could not go home without.
Using a slideshow app on my iPad, I showed the kids lots of examples of CH’s nature centered art. I asked the kids questions- What did they see? What did they not see? What did they like? What did they not like?
I decided to work on this project as a collage. My littles are still a little too little to cut out so many pieces by themselves. Before class, I cut out a whole bunch of bird shapes in all colors of construction paper.
I’ll definitely be using Charley Harper for future lesson inspiration. There are so many directions I could go from the inspiration of his work. Such a sucker for highly stylized art!
If you loved this project be sure to check out these easy crafts for kids! We all need a few more of these in the idea bank, right?!