SchoolArts Magazine

MAY 2019

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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2 800-533-2847 | DavisArt.com Wouldn' our students love to see their artwork on the cover of our Art Advocac onthl lanner? We would! Eac ear, Davis Publications creates a planning calendar full of artist birthda s, holida s, quotes, and articles on advocac . In 2020–2021, our cover will showcase student artwork that reflects on celebration. Submi our students' work toda ! For more information, visit DavisArt.com/PlannerArt our program, an our students! PROMOTE A U G U S T 2 0 1 9 – A U G U S T 2 0 2 0 Planner MONTHLY A R T E D U C AT I O N A DVO C AC Y G U I D E spontaneously capture a signifi- c ant event in time. • Have students use their camera phones to record m oments in time t hat capture a par- ticular sentiment o r mood. • Encourage students t o include people o r objects to indi- cate a particular d ynamic moment. • Ensure that students think about composi- tion, scale, proportion, and emphasis. • Have students include visual rhythm as an important principal of design. Sharing Creative Experiences Children should be reminded that candid photo- graphs can capture spontaneous images of objects a nd people. An exhibition of children's photog- raphy gives a community the chance to share o riginal artwork, and encourages discussion of the creative experience at the opening reception. The result is an opportunity to expand society's preconceptions of children with ASD. Gillian J. Furniss, Ed.D. is a visual artist and art educator. To learn more about her work with children with ASD, please visit her website at www.gillian- furniss.com W E B L I N K S touch.facebook.com/LensOfAutism/?_ _tn_ _ = C-R M E E T I N G I N D I V I D U A L N E E D S I n 2017, the Cullis Wade Depot Art Gallery at Mississippi State Uni- versity showcased photography by local children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in a group art exhibi- tion, Through Their Eyes. Compact digital cameras were distributed to nine families who agreed to partici- pate so children could capture infor- mal scenes from everyday life over a period of several months. The children and other family members were given a wide range of opportunities to take candid photographs when and where they chose. The hope was that this achievement would allow viewers to understand how children with ASD view the world in unusual ways. An Evening of Art The 300 photographs on display were surprising in terms of subject matter, as well as vantage point and composition. Each young artist was recognized and given the opportunity to write a brief description of their artwork. At the art reception, families gathered to celebrate a community accomplishment. There was a "safe space" corner where chil- dren could enter a comfort zone away from bright lights and loud noises. The two curators of the show, who are both scientists and mothers of children with autism, created a Face- book page (@LensofAutism) to docu- ment the process and promote the event. Starkville Area Arts Council provided a grant to support the occa- sion. The art exhibition statement reads, "Our children are autistic. What does that mean? To many it is a word that defines and confines them, to us it is a gift, a chance to see the world from a new perspective." Second Viewing In 2018, I viewed the exhibition's sec- ond showing at Art in Public Places, Starkville Area Arts Council. I asked curators Jennifer Seltzer and Diana Outlaw about the photography on display. Rowan, age nine, and his sister Jac- queline, age seven, have photographs in the show. Rowan's artist statement reads, "Rowan's extreme attention to detail is astounding and reflected in his photos." Some children with autism can focus on objects from unusual vantage points. Rowan's mother explained that Rowan took the photograph of a paper bag with popcorn while watching his sister in a Brazilian jiujitsu competition. This inspired his photo, Bag of Popcorn. Another child, Arya, has several photographs. When I asked which was her favorite, she pointed to one of her sitting in the backseat of a car with a view of her legs only. "Why?" I asked. "Because of my knees," she said. Her artist statement explained, "Arya has always marched to her own beat, and she is one of the toughest and bravest people we have ever known." When I asked Arya which was the most important photograph, she pointed to a photograph of her face. "I took that one," her mother said. These state- ments by Arya demonstrate how mak- ing art with other creative people can be an opportunity for a person with autism to establish emotional bonds. Suggestions for Photography Lessons One book about how to introduce pho- tography to youth is called Go Photo! An Activity Book for Kids by Alice Proujansky (Aperture, 2016). Its play- ful format includes tips on how to take photographs. Recommendations such as "mix-up lessons," "don't get caught up in the technical stuff," "move around," "decide what goes in the picture," "take lots of pictures," "be still," and "zoom with your feet" are helpful suggestions that are open-ended so not restrictive about developing your own style as an artist. There is minimal text with play- ful illustrations and key concepts to grasp and practice. It makes learning of youth by themselves or with parents or a group of children easy with playful step-by-step benchmarks. Recommendations for Art Teachers • Expose students to the concept of street photography as a way to Through Their E es Gillian J. Furniss Curating a group art exhibition of children's photograph can encourage presenting visual art to the communit nd sharing creative experiences. CONTINUED ON PAGE 46. 12 MAY 2019 SchoolArts CONTINUED FROM PAGE 12. Questions? Tweet us @DavisPub, send a Facebook message to @ DavisPublications, or send us an email to cmckinstr @davisart.com. Take part in our monthl rt prompts an our work could be featured in SchoolArts magazine, the Davis Advocac lanner, or on the Davis website and social media channels. Joining the fun is eas : Pick a prompt b visiting DavisArt.com/ArtActs or follow us on Facebook and Twitter to learn the new prompt each month. Choose the media ou'd like to use—an rt for ou like. Create something awesome tied to the monthl heme. Submit your art using the form on DavisArt.com/ArtActs. We'll feature submissions throughout the month on social media and throughout th ear in the magazine and planner. YOU'RE INVITED TO CREATE! ART A TS 46 MAY 2019 SchoolArts

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