visual arts

Becoming a Teacher of the Arts

During the fall of 2019, I had the privilege of filming several elementary education majors enrolled at the McKay School as they completed projects in the BYU Arts Bridge program.  We visited the classrooms where they collaborated with elementary school teachers to integrate dance, music, drama, and visual arts with other content areas. After capturing classroom footage of their experience and the students, we interviewed them at the McKay School. The students, many of them now practicing teachers with their own classrooms, were articulate and passionate as they spoke about their experiences. As I listened, several common themes arose including…

Art Gallery in McKay Building Showcases Children Artists

Home to Brigham Young University’s McKay School of Education is what most people think of when they hear talk of the David O. McKay Building on campus. But there is more to it than that, ever since 2019 when the David O. McKay School of Education Children’s Art Gallery opened on the second floor. According to Doug Allen, who heads up the gallery, the first exhibit was shown with about 20 pieces of work from all different grade levels. The artworks were chosen by Allen and a Beverley Taylor Sorenson arts specialist in Provo School District. “We found the pieces,…

Playgrounds: Exploring Global Play Spaces through Art

As a kid, few things were more exciting than recess. The second the bell rang I would run out to the playground to claim foursquare courts and aggressively compete in tetherball, wallball, and dodgeball. Some days I’d simply wander off the blacktop with friends searching for clover. I’ll never forget the day we dug up an old piece of a gardening hose and were convinced it was dinosaur skin! Words like dodgeball, wallball, and tetherball may be foreign to today’s children and not just because of our distance in age, but for many because of our geographical distance and cultural…

Teachers as Artists: Get to Know Cindy Clark

“The arts make the world worth living in and help define purpose.”   Cindy Clark, BYU ARTS Partnership leadership team member, visual artist, singer (in the shower), piano player and teacher, works hard to ensure that teachers and future teachers feel comfortable and successful with the visual arts.   Cindy is currently helping participants in the Arts Integration Endorsement classes to get more comfortable with an art form. For example, everyone in the class recently played with watercolors in their personal sketchbooks. “We talked about sketchbooks/journals, and used watercolors as background or borders for our journals,” Cindy said. “Plus, we threw in…

Forest Bathing: Being Outside, Mindfully

The Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku is gaining traction across Western cultures. Shinrin means “forest,” and yoku means “bath.” Forest bathing, or soaking in the atmosphere of nature through our senses, is a restorative habit. As the arts connect the dots of a shared human experience, the practice of joining with nature through our senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch also acts as a bridge between people and the natural world. As COVID-19 continues to spread globally and the weather gets colder, finding time or space for just being in nature can prove a challenge. But there’s no such…

Critique in the Classroom: How to Use A Gallery Wall

The art room is a busy place with projects, supplies, and students everywhere. As artists, we are all so invested in the art-making process that many times we don’t leave enough time to stop, appreciate, and reflect on all that we have accomplished and learned along the way.  My students’ absolute favorite day is our “Gallery Wall” day. During gallery wall time, every student gets to display their artwork to the class. We discuss and critique each piece in a safe and respectful environment. This time is spent focusing on the positive and calling attention to the detail, uniqueness, and…

Veterans Day Art: Celebrating the Individual and the Community

Melissa Deletant teaches art in the Uintah schools, one of Utah’s most diverse districts. At Lapoint Elementary, which borders the Ute reservation, the population is mostly a mix of Native Americans and the white descendants of Mormon ranchers. Instead of seeing these differences as a challenge, Melissa sees opportunity.  Raised in a homogenous rural Pennsylvania community, Melissa’s first teaching job was in Virginia where 96% of her students were minority populations. Notions of being “color blind” evaporated when she realized that embracing each student’s unique background, perspective, and gifts would help her see the whole student and create a culturally…

Bridging the Gap: Mindful Arts Inspiration from Across the Globe

“The earth is what we all have in common.” -Wendell BerryUsing the arts in our daily walk bridges the gap across the things that separate us: time, distance, and privilege. Cultures across the world offer unique ways to daily and mindfully engage in making connections with one another and with our environment through the arts. Here, we discover how a small handful of global artists use found materials in mindful ways that reflect their environment, culture, and life experience. Create a few minutes of space in your day to consider how viewing these artworks affects you. Find effective questioning strategies…

Truth Telling

Image: Navajo Woman Weaving, Navajo Reservation, Arizona 1985. Sue Bennett, Photographer I walked into my living room a while back and saw my nephew’s sons (whom I call grandsons and they call me grandma) using my late mother’s Navajo spindle and batten as swords, chasing and chasing each other around the room. I stopped them both and said, “These were your Grandma Daisy’s weaving tools, and now they are mine to take care of. They are not swords but are tools for weaving rugs.” I brought out several rugs that their great-grandmother had woven and showed them how the tools…

Including the Arts in Classroom Rituals

Rituals are an important part of building a physically and emotionally safe classroom environment. Arts activities can be used as rituals to help students and teachers feel connected as a classroom community. Rituals are used to greet students, say goodbye, honor student work, establish procedures, organize materials, and transition between activities and the arts can help. For example, meditation with music serves to invite focus and calm, a tableaux engages interest, and a braindance can release physical energy.  Rituals create emotional continuity. A rhythmic call-and-response game between the teacher and class members can help students regulate their internal chronometer and…

css.php