It’s no secret that public schools have been hit hard by tough economic times and budget cuts, especially in areas such as the arts.
Fortunately, the University of Toledo, the Toledo Museum of Art, and a few passionate arts educators are fighting back by holding Listen to the Children: Conversations in Visual Form Art Exhibit in conjunction with the Fourth Annual International Art in Early Childhood Conference at UT. The conference finished last week, but the exhibit continues through this month.
The purpose of the event is to bring together early art educators from around the world to explore new ideas, research, and theories about children who engage in various art experiences. UT hosted the conference in which internationally acclaimed keynote speakers, researchers, and early childhood art educators shared philosophies, theories and strategies. The theme of the conference was Art ... Play ... Children ...Wonderment .
While the conference was the main draw, another attraction can be found all month in UT’s Center for the Visual Arts Listen to the Children: Conversations in Visual Form Art Exhibit. The exhibit features about 42 pieces of art, such as paintings, drawings, and prints created by 30 children who participated in UT’s Toledo Children’s Art Workshop.
The workshop is held twice a year. During the last six weeks of the semester, students enrolled in the sections of Art for the Pre and Primary Child course are paired with a child between the ages of 2-8. The theories that students learn during the first part of the semester are put into practice during the workshop.
Students engage the children in various art experiences and take them to the museum galleries. It is a great way to provide art education to the children and to develop and promote future art teachers. The exhibit demonstrates just how talented these kids are and that with guidance from art educators they can create some truly wonderful works of art.
We need art in schools as much as we need science and math. I feel grateful that the passionate individuals in the program keep our world filled with beautiful works of art.