As a new art educator at Art Works, I am thrilled to be working with the amazing children, parents, teaching artists, and community partners who have gathered around this small (but mighty!) art center that is growing exponentially each month.
For example, last summer when my colleagues here learned of an opportunity to apply for a public art commission related to the environment, the first thing we thought about was, “How can we get our kids involved in this proposal?” We have worked in a variety of settings with many students regarding local and international environmental issues, and at this point, they have some strong opinions and inspired ideas on the subject!
So we turned to our local homeschool group composed primarily of Prince George’s County kids to be our partners along with a talented team of professional artists to brainstorm, produce drawings, and imagine a final model.
Without telling them why, we spent a good deal of class time with our students playing games that invited their creativity and imagination to unfold. Then we announced that we wanted their help to be the creative force behind a public sculpture they would help design and build for our community, at which point the room became electric with excitement! Students then produced sketches that answered the question, “What would a sculpture that helps encourage people to save the environment look like?” We took these sketches directly to our collaborating artists to develop a model. During these two meetings, I have to say that I honestly had chills. How many places are so focused on making children’s voices and imaginations heard that they collaborate in this deeply meaningful way? And how lucky are we to be part of this?
This is only a snippet of what goes on at Art Works.
If you aren’t quite young enough to come to one of our camps or classes (sorry grown ups) this Saturday, October 18th this your chance to come out and play, make art, and join with us as we create the world we imagine! You can purchase your ticket for our Fall Fundraiser online. If you’d like to purchase tickets on a sliding scale, just give Juliana or Tochi a call at 301-454-0808.
Maggie Robinson is the Program Director and a Teaching Artist at Art Works Now. Maggie has a Master of Arts in Art Education from the University of New Mexico. Maggie's passion for art education developed during her tenure as Conservation Educator at the Philadelphia Zoo. Camps, workshops, overnights, and outreach programs are some of her specialties. Community art centers and after-school programs are important venues for Maggie’s efforts to ensure that everyone, everywhere is making art.