Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Where did art start?

Well, we do know for sure that humankind has been creating art for at least 17,000 years!  About 70 years ago four teenage boys and their dog were out in a forest near Lascaux, France.  The dog fell in a hole.   The boys went after it.  After dusting themselves off, and shining a little light on the subject they witnessed the amazing cave paintings of Lascaux.  They kept this information secret for awhile.  What teenage boy wouldn't?  But eventually they shared the information with a trusted teacher and the world began to learn more and more about the human compulsion to make art!   And by the way, the dog was just fine.

Starting this week,  when elementary school students stepped into their school art studio, this is what they witnessed:

The walls of their studio had been transformed into a cave using packaging materials to represent Lascaux.  The students stepped into a "hole" as they entered the room and discovered three cave walls, fresh slates to create their own cave paintings.  Using short reeds for tools, each class began adding color to the surface.

Step into the hole and see what's about to  happen!

Each class will use a different color in the same palette of the early cave dwellers. No brushes allowed, either.   Applying paint with a short reed is not as easy as it looks!

Teams of two share the palette of colors and they line up with great purpose and enthusiasm.

There are also  opportunities to draw on the paper-lined tables with markers.

The underside of a small table is lined with paper so students can experience the sensation of lying on their back while creating their images.  How did those paleolithic  people paint those images on the ceiling, anyway?

We know one thing:  it took a community effort and some good problem solving skills.

Watch our cave develop over the next several days as the students of East End Art recreate the Cave Paintings of Lascaux!

The men and women who created the cave paintings in Lascaux  were telling their story, an important story about their lives and their survival.  Art is meant to be a continuing and open dialog!  Keep the conversation going.  And please stop in and take a look at the great work our students are making.  And if you know an art mom, take a moment to say "Thank you!"