Gaia Projects is a workshop I developed for children in a space given to me by The Boys and Girls Club. They learn about different mediums of art, its process and materials, beyond what is required in schools. The projects are designed to touch on key principles within art such as; color, composition, line, and balance. I briefly explain each project before we begin, but they will get a better understanding once we begin the actual project and work with the material. I provide the materials unless children prefer to bring their own. I always try to have the oldest children be in charge of filming some of the activities we do. I do these workshops during the summer and will eventually expand to different cities and ages.
This taught the children the basics about color. I created a 6x8 chart and used three primary and secondary colors on the first two rows. The rest of the board was gridded off and it was the children's job to find the colors that would in between or to make a color and then find out where to place it. They would have to explain why before they placed a color. This not only helped them understand what they were doing but helped keep the colors from crossing too much.
This was the most successful learning project because they started creating colors they've never seen and even came up with names. Some of them ended up learning about sgraffito by just exploring the materials. We all were honestly having fun. I didn't run it like a classroom, I was mixing colors and creating different ways to add color to the board with them. They were so excited to show me a new color so we could add it to the board.
I had two different groups, 6-8 and 9-11, so I broke this project up into two different approaches. For 6-8 I explained what a landscape was because not everybody knew, then gave them their own 6x8 canvas and let them intupurt one using any of the materials available. The 9-11 group was given the option to create a landscape on their own or collaborate and paint one on a 48x60 canvas. Not too many children wanted to work together which worked out because there was more room for the ones who did!
This project was a lot more fun to some than others, but everybody had fun creating something. Towards the end of our time they ended up making slime (I recommend anybody who wants to work with children know how to make, it gets fun and they love it).
Tissue Paper Tree
Before meeting with the children I primed then painted with chalk board paint a large piece of cardboard. I had each child pick 4 sheets of tissue paper and twist together two at a time or all four, I lined all the twisted tissue paper up to form the trunk of the tree then let them place tissue paper flowers anywhere hey wanted. I taught them two different ways to make flowers, one using the tissue paper an one using stationary paper. Some of the kids knew other ways to make flowers using the tissue paper and taught those who didn't. I used a 36 ct. box of Crayola chalk for the kids to have multiple colors to choose from., I also brought some soft pastels, but the kids preferred the chalk.
Mainly the younger kids had fun with this one. I had all children be a part of creating the trunk but after that those who did not want to participate I let them go to the gym. The few that did really enjoyed making flowers and using the chalk. They signed their names everywhere trying t There were two children who stayed after everybody left and just had fun with the chalk.