Do you remember elementary art—finger painting sunsets, making pinch pots, and drawing unicorns? Children are limitless when given the right tools to nurture their creativity. My students are highly imaginative, witty, and resourceful. My room is plastered with children’s artwork that they bring in: cartoons on notebook paper, paper towel origami, and tinfoil monsters. I’m an art teacher at two Title I schools. These students are resilient and do not let economic issues bog their ambitions of becoming 21st century innovators.
My students enjoy making art and are dedicated to their craft.
They come in voluntarily during recess and stay after school to work on projects. My students compete in local and national competitions (my 1st grader placed in the NC Aviation Art Contest), showcase work around the community, and participate in community service projects (making placemats for Meals on Wheels).
“The role of a creative leader is… to create a culture where everyone can have ideas and feel they’re valued” (Ken Robinson). With your help, I can create this nurturing environment that caters to each student’s unique talents and expand their artistic endeavors. Ultimately, we are all finger painters at heart, trying to leave our mark upon the world.
This newer form of monoprinting is exhilarating! Gel plates foster an experimental attitude towards art, which I learned first hand in my recent graduate printmaking course. I want to share this exciting knowledge with my students and provide them with the same materials to learn and play. Gel plate printmaking is non-toxic, durable, and is ideal for students who are printing without a press. My classroom is not equipped with a printing press, which makes printing difficult. Gel plates and stencils would allow me to overcome this hurdle and furnish students with the needed tools to explore printmaking. These materials are conducive for all grade levels and will make a great addition to the classroom. Unlike relief printing, gel plates and stencils are reusable and will continue to benefit future students.
With your help, I can further my students’ understanding of the arts by exposing them to new materials.
Gel plates and stencils would allow my students to learn about monoprinting and its possibilities. These materials used together can have a wide range of applications—from printing on fabric to mixed-media painting. Ultimately, the versatility of these products lend themselves to more exciting lessons such as fiber arts, papermaking, and collage. Pushing the limits of a medium will give students a broader perspective of the capabilities of art.
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