There is a new idea in art education, the combination of artistic genius and education. That’s right; in New York State, the creative minds of children are being used to solve problems in a new way – creatively. In classrooms across the country and the world, students are learning to draw, paint, and dance; to create artwork that sparkles with imagination and beauty. It is a fantastic feat of human evolution. But, as some New York school administrators put it, “art is not art.”
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What is the difference between this artistic medium and other forms of media such as film, theatre, and television?
Not long ago, someone asked me, “What is the difference between this artistic medium and other forms of media such as film, theatre, and television?” I told him, “art is creative thought expressed through the senses.” Now that he understands, he is beginning to see the obvious. While film and theatre may have their place and is certainly very entertaining, it lacks the rawness of the spoken word – in its sometimes superficiality. And that’s what the creative arts offer.”
But, you ask, “How do the visual arts fit into all of this?” I told him, “The visual arts mirror the material world we live in more or less, in that they are modeled on how people process information in the physical world. For instance, a painting has many layers of meaning, depending on what it is decorated with. In the case of film, the use of colors, contrast, and movement can enhance the picture or still image, much like the painter enhances an image with charcoal, layers of paint, and shading.
The New York State Department of Education has created a new program called “ART: Art for All Learning” that seeks to teach creative expression by involving all of the senses in the educational process. According to DEEP, “arts instruction focuses on the natural-based physical, mental, and emotional inquiry of children.” It is designed around the principle that “all learners need the full spectrum of sensory experience to develop healthy and meaningful ways of perceiving and participating in the world around them.” It includes, but is not limited to, the visual, auditory, tactile, gustatory, and gustatory experiences of a child.
According to Artistic Therapists at Villanova University, “the visual and performing arts support self-reflection and self-awareness in children.” “Sensation, or touch, is at the heart of art education… Through the senses, children are able to become aware of their place in the world and their relationship to the things that create it. Artful imagination helps children discover the importance of caring about other people and their difficulties, and this helps them solve real problems that affect their lives.”
The goal of Artistic Therapists
It is to create an environment that encourages self-discipline, self-inspection, self-production, flexibility, personal responsibility, critical thinking, and a sense of humor. According to John Steiner, “art therapy should be considered a form of preventive medicine.” Using activities that engage both imagination and physical activity promotes a holistic approach to learning and enhances social interaction skills. According to The Art Institutes of America, “art therapy is based on the positive benefits of physical movement, body awareness, self-reflection, and emotional expression.” Art Therapy is often referred to as “spinning time for the mind”.
In the classroom, the creative process is supported with a structured curriculum of art activities and games. These activities are designed to build and stimulate creative problem-solving skills, self-awareness, imagination, and interpersonal communication. In Artistic Therapists’ classes, the art activities focus on the integration of theoretical concepts with creative activities focusing on children’s creativity and physical skills. At the center of the Arts curriculum in New York City in the studio of John Steiner, where students work one-on-one with experienced therapists, play structured, character-driven music, and create art. Other studios offer intensive summer workshops intending to cultivate improvisation and creativity.
There are many professional art education teachers in the New York area who are well-trained in various styles of music, art movements, dance, graphic design, fine arts, and visual communications. They can teach the skills that are essential for shaping tomorrow’s youth. In the studio, they can provide specialized instruction in Autism, AS, HDL, and CFS and specialize in music instruction, painting, photography, video art, printmaking, sculpture, printmaking, and graphic design. The professionals at these professional studios are committed to providing innovative, stimulating, and accessible art programs that inspire creativity, build self-esteem, and motivate tomorrow’s youth.