Kind Words From Our Clients

Georgetown School of Arts is a wonderful art center for our area. Susan Jackson is a talented, passionate professional who takes the time to teach her craft to the community. I have been taking weaving classes for over a year and her humor, compassion and generosity make the school a place that I am excited to visit every week. Thank you for providing a place to explore my creative side and bring out the best in all I do. 5 stars!!
Sue R.

Thanks so much! He LOVES it. I hang his art all over the house. It really is lovely to see him choose the blank paper over the pictures to color in from coloring books and watch what he creates. You have really inspired him. Thanks so much!
Barbara A.

We are always overjoyed when our clients are happy. Thank you for the kind words!
Georgetown School of the Arts/Paint, Draw & More!

Advertisements
Posted in Children's Art | Leave a comment

Why Weaving?

Weaving is one of the oldest surviving crafts in the world. Humans have been weaving since Neolithic times – at least 12,000 years ago, and even before that people were interlacing branches and twigs to create fences, shelters and baskets. You may ask, “Why would I be interested in learning to weave when I can buy manufactured fabrics and hangings?” It’s all about the process, as well as the beautiful results.

Most people today spend time at school or work sitting at computers, repeating endless abstract functions, with little or no sense of accomplishment. But creating something with your very own hands can be a refreshing and rewarding way to relax and unwind. It can also be very empowering to look at something you created and say, “I made that, I started with nothing and created something beautiful and artful.” It doesn’t matter if it’s objectively exquisite or if your friends and acquaintances like it; it just matters that you decided to do something creative, you persevered and you finished it. And you have something tangible to show for it.

As an added benefit you will find that as you spend more time creating, you will become more capable of creative thinking. Creativity is like a muscle; the more you use it the stronger it becomes. It is also a great way to release emotions and express yourself. Creativity teaches you to think outside the box at work and life in general. Even if you feel like you don’t have the “talent” to paint, draw, or sculpt, chances are very good that you can learn to weave and you will end up with awesome and useful creations. You may just find that you are more “talented” than you believed!

To get a taste of amazing fiber art visit Art in the Barn, 276 Ridgefield Road, Wilton, CT from April 28 to May 6th to view the exhibit “Blue/Green: color/code/context.” http://www.browngrotta.com

Maybe we from GSA will see you there! And don’t forget we offer adult weaving classes on Friday mornings in our studio.

Posted in Children's Art | Leave a comment

Creativity and Art: Beneficial (and Fun) at Any Age!

Multiple studies show that those over age 55 who attended or participated in cultural and artistic events reported better mental and physical health than those who did not.

In 2010, the American Journal of Public Health published The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health, a compilation of numerous studies on the connection of creativity and art to aging and health.

In that article, researchers analyzed more than 100 studies about the impact of art on health and one’s ability to heal oneself. The studies included everything from music and writing to dance and the visual arts.

As an example, here are the findings from five visual arts studies mentioned in that review (visual arts includes things like painting, drawing, photography, pottery, and textiles). Each study examined more than 30 patients who were battling chronic illness and cancer.

Here’s how the researchers described the impact that visual art activities had on the patients…

• Art filled occupational voids, distracted thoughts of illness
• Improved well-being by decreasing negative emotions and increasing positive ones
• Improved medical outcomes, trends toward reduced depression
• Reductions in stress and anxiety; increases in positive emotions
• Reductions in distress and negative emotions
• Improvements in flow and spontaneity, expression of grief, positive identity, and social networks

In that vein (and maybe give you ideas to get started), consider visiting The Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan to see an exhibit they are calling “The Long Run” which focuses on the careers of older artists, including 130 works of art each made by an artist who was at least 45, and frequently much older. Artists include Lee Bontecou, Louise Bourgeois, Melvin Edwards, Gego, Philip Guston, Joan Jonas, Helen Levitt and many others. It will be on display through Nov. 4, 2018. For more information, go to moma.org.

Posted in Children's Art | Leave a comment

Art Makes a Great Gift!

The New York Times recently ran an article offering their art critics’ favorite art books. It is well worth the read, especially if you are looking for a thoughtful gift for a friend or family member this holiday season.

The Best Art Books of 2017

And if you are looking for a gift with more “hands-on” appeal, check out the winter/spring offerings on our page:

Paint Draw & More!

 

Posted in Children's Art | Leave a comment

Local Art Shows and Fundraisers

If you are looking for some things to do over the next few weeks that don’t include battling crowds at the mall, but does include supporting local artists and non profits, check out the neighborhood art scene.

Local talent will be on display at the Mark Twain Library Art Show and Fundraiser. Opening reception is December 1st and the show will close on December 10th. Over eighty local and regional artists will be exhibiting.

439 Redding Rd, West Redding, CT 06896

http://marktwainlibrary.org/fundraising/art/

Trailer Box Project will be hosting two Events in December. The first (running from December 9 thru December 21) will benefit Ann’s Place, a support group for cancer survivors. The show will feature Artist made ornaments and much more. The second show will be a group show featuring 11 local artists (running from December 9 – January 20).

15 Great Pasture Rd., Unit 15, Danbury Ct. 06810

http://www.trailerboxproject.com

For a listing of even more Arts events check out the “things to do” page of the Cultural Alliance of Western CT. You can filter results by venue,category or date, etc.

http://www.artswesternct.org/things-to-do/all-events

Enjoy the shows!

Posted in Children's Art | Leave a comment

Art as a Gateway to Learning

The US Department of Education published a report in 2002 on “The Value Added Benefits of the Arts,” which states, “Studies have shown that arts teaching and learning can increase student’s cognitive and social development. The arts can be a critical link for students in developing the crucial thinking skills and motivations they need to achieve at higher levels” (Deasy, & Stevenson, 2002). The importance of Art in a well-rounded education curriculum can’t be overstated. With recent cutbacks within the formal education system, it may be up to parents to provide their children with opportunities for Art education. These opportunities can be as simple as providing varied materials for exploration at home, or more formal experiences such as after school programs or summer art camps. However the experiences are provided, children gain much from artistic endeavors. These are just a few of the skills children learn from art exposure.

  1. Art encourages and develops creative thinking: children are asked to “think on their feet” and brainstorm various approaches to a design problem, trying new things and experimenting with the range of materials provided.
  2. Art provides a means of communication, self-expression, and emotional release: feelings and ideas that children may not yet have words for can be readily expressed through art.
  3. Art builds confidence: appreciation for their own (and others) creations teaches children to respect the process and the results of their hard work as well as the individuality of others.
  4. Art teaches perseverance: children get “lost” in the creative process, sometimes working for long periods of time to get the reality to match their vision. This commitment will serve them well in any future project.
  5. Art increases self-understanding and self expression: having to think about what they want their work to communicate encourages children to really examine their beliefs and emotions.
  6. Art provides problem-solving and decision-making opportunities: turning their vision for a project into a reality requires children to solve problems repeatedly. Shaping the materials they have into the artwork they see in their head makes them learn how to work within the constructs of the media.
  7. Art offers feelings of accomplishment: when a project is finished to his or her satisfaction the child feels that their efforts have been worthwhile, encouraging future dedication.
  8. Art serves as a balance to academic activities: STEM subjects are important, but children need varied experiences in their day as a respite from the intense focus needed in when confronting science, technology, engineering and math problems.
  9. Art aids physical coordination: fine motor skills andmanual dexterity are improved when children finger paint, or use scissors, paint brushes or other tools.
  10. Art familiarizes children with receiving feedback: constructive criticism is important in any field the child may choose to pursue as they mature. Learning to appreciate the “constructive” component of that feedback is vital and only comes with exposure.
  11. Art develops good work ethics, a sense of responsibility and accountability: especially when an artwork is collaborative, children begin to understand the importance of listening to and respecting other’s opinions, and compromising for the greater good, skills that are invaluable as an adult.
  12. Art aids the adult in understanding and helping the child: emotions revealed through a child’s artwork can be explored and expanded upon through asking open ended questions about the child’s project. Something as simple as “Tell me aboutyour picture/sculpture/song,” can open up lines of communication and offer an invaluable window into the child’s mind.
  13. Art generates joy: Art is FUN! Children love the tactile experience of exploring various media and getting their hands dirty with no repercussions is an added perk!

As parents and caregivers we must view art not as an afterthought if there is time after the “more important” subjects have been tackled. We must remember that art is vital to the well rounded education of our children.

Remember: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” – Pablo Picasso

Josh-Simpson-250x250
For an amazing exploration of traditional craft materials repurposed as fine art, check out a free exhibit running from October 26 thru December 6, 2017 at the Flinn Gallery located in the Greenwich Public Library
Of Art and Craft

 

Posted in Children's Art | Leave a comment

Kindergarten & Beyond Art Education 

Childhood education experts agree on the importance of exposing kids to art early in life. As parents and caregivers, the importance of encouraging kids to experience and explore artistic expression cannot be overstated. Early school age experiences in art creation and appreciation foster exploration, self expression, logical thinking, self-esteem, imagination, and, of course, originality. Part of that process is to have readily available and varied art supplies, including, but not limited to crayons, washable paints and paintbrushes, markers, modeling clay, construction paper, glue, colored tissue paper, shoe boxes, paper towel tubes, sponges, empty water bottles, chalk, paper plates, scrap paper, fabric, buttons, sequins, glitter, pom-poms, felt, colored tape, cotton balls, ribbon, yarn, string, feathers, leaves, twigs, etc. Even oddball items that we might not readily associate with art can be useful tools to a child. Think of empty and washed out roll on deodorant bottles filled with washable paint, or an old toothbrush, or cotton swabs. Any and all of these can lead to non-traditional painting experiences. Don’t be afraid to let kids make a mess! Lay out a drop cloth or newspapers over a table or a section of floor and let kids create with abandon. Even children younger than school age can be presented with shaving cream with a few drops of food coloring added on a cookie sheet. The tactile and visual stimulation of “playing” with the foam lets youngsters experience the process of making art and cleanup is nothing more than a quick rinse. 

Another important factor in childhood art experiences is art appreciation. Even five-year-olds can enjoy discovering the treasures in adult art museums, and though the Metropolitan Museum of Art might be a mite intimidating to a young child, smaller, more local museums and galleries can be only a short drive and a short investment in time away. Follow the child’s lead—literally! They may not move in a logical fashion viewing the artwork sequentially as an adult would, but dart around from one piece that catches their eye to another. They may not want to view everything and may not have the patience for a lengthy visit. Be sensitive to when they need a snack or potty break—the exhibit will still be there after a short rest. Be sure to ask open ended questions about the art to encourage free thinking. “What do you think is happening in the picture?” “What do you like about this picture?” “What don’t you like about this picture?” “Can you pose like the figure in the artwork?” “What do you think the artist was thinking about when he/she created this?” “What colors do you see?” “Why do you think the artist used these colors?” “What do you think will happen next?” You just might find your child sees things you’ve never noticed or sees art in an innovative way, without the pressures and preconceptions of adulthood. Below are listed a few local (and not so local) museums and galleries to get you started.

Stepping Stones Museum for Children
Mathews Park
303 West Avenue
Norwalk, CT 06850
203-899-0606

While not specifically an art museum, they do have a new permanent exhibit focusing on creating art and music.
From their web site: http://www.steppingstonesmuseum.org/Exhibits/ExpressYourself/tabid/450/Default.aspx
“Our Newest Permanent Exhibit on Social-Emotional Learning 

“To help children and families acquire the social-emotional learning skills to be successful in an increasingly complex world, Stepping Stones developed Express Yourself. Through art, music, cooperative games and more, children, families and groups will practice expressing themselves and exploring their own emotions. They can act out their feelings on camera and explore how creating artwork, listening to music or dancing can affect their mood. Children can learn how to overcome frustration as they cooperate with other visitors to successfully move a ball through a maze. Express Yourself is filled with fun and effective tools and techniques for children to use in their everyday lives.”

The Aldrich
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT 06877
203-438-4519
http://aldrichart.org/

Ridgefield Guild of Artists
34 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT 06877
203-438-8863
http://rgoa.org/index2.php/

Katonah Museum
134 Jay Street – Route 22
Katonah, NY 10536
914-232-9555
http://www.katonahmuseum.org/

Connecticut Children’s Museum
Children’s Building
22 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
203-562-5437
http://childrensbuilding.org/

Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT 06830-7157
Phone: 203-869-0376
https://brucemuseum.org/

Posted in Children's Art | Leave a comment

Morris Museum

This was a wonderful fiber and basketry exhibit at the Morris museum (Morris, NJ) featuring artists from around the world. If you have a chance to go please do. Not only was this exhibit excellent but the museum has an outstanding (if not the best)  music box collection.

IMG_3956 IMG_3957 IMG_3958 IMG_3959 IMG_3960 IMG_3961 IMG_3966 IMG_3967 IMG_3969 IMG_3970 IMG_3971 IMG_3972 IMG_3973 IMG_3974

Posted in Children's Art | Leave a comment

Talented Russian Artist Uses Creates Stunning Art Using Paper

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 10.47.01 AM

http://www.ba-bamail.com/content.aspx?emailid=19532

Posted in Children's Art | Leave a comment

This is why art is important!

553098_508303782525729_716802173_n

Posted in Children's Art | Leave a comment