Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Suquamish Museum Features Children's Art

In recent years, school curricula in the United States have shifted heavily toward common core subjects of reading and math, but where does that leave the arts? 

The Suquamish Museum in Suquamish, Washington has found a way to make a lasting impression in its community and to a group of children learning the importance of artistic expression. 

Joanna Sharphead, a visitor services representative, worked with children and staff at the Marion Forsman-Boushie Early Learning Center to showcase artwork for the featured artist series at Suquamish Museum. 
Suquamish family celebrates their child's art
at the Suquamish Museum.
"While I was trying to decide which direction to go with our next artist for the Suquamish Museum's Featured Artist Series, Larry McGrady who is a child care teacher at the ELC pitched the idea of showcasing the ELC kids," said Sharphead. "He spoke passionately of their talent and what having their artwork displayed at the museum could do for their self-esteem. I was sold! We contacted Jeffrey Veregge who was the very first artist featured in this series and he offered to do an art workshop with the kids, which went great. Our main goal in having their artwork showcased is to let every child know how much their community, families, and guests of the museum appreciate their talent and creativity."
Children were invited to work with Veregge to create art for a special display. This exhibit will run through the end of June. For more information, check out the Suquamish Museum online or contact them here: (360) 394-8499.

All of our state's little learners can benefit from art in the classroom! The subject lends itself to cultural awareness and more. According to PBS, here is how:

Developmental Benefits of Art
  • Motor Skills: Many of the motions involved in making art, such as holding a paintbrush or scribbling with a crayon, are essential to the growth of fine motor skills in young children. 
  • Language Development: For very young children, making art—or just talking about it—provides opportunities to learn words for colors, shapes and actions. 
  • Decision Making: According to a report by Americans for the Arts, art education strengthens problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. 
    Children's art featured at the Suquamish Museum.
  • Visual Learning: Drawing, sculpting with clay and threading beads on a string all develop visual-spatial skills, which are more important than ever. 
  • Inventiveness: When kids are encouraged to express themselves and take risks in creating art, they develop a sense of innovation that will be important in their adult lives. 
  • Cultural Awareness: As we live in an increasingly diverse society, the images of different groups in the media may also present mixed messages. Teaching children to recognize the choices an artist or designer makes in portraying a subject helps kids understand the concept that what they see may be someone’s interpretation of reality.
  • Improved Academic Performance: Studies show that there is a correlation between art and other achievement. A report by Americans for the Arts states that young people who participate regularly in the arts (three hours a day on three days each week through one full year) are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, to participate in a math and science fair or to win an award for writing an essay or poem than children who do not participate. 

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