Monday, February 16, 2015

Art Folders (well sort of)

The Montessori language album that I use has a section titled "Art Folders". The purpose is to expose the child to various forms of art and to stimulate conversation about art. I love this idea and it's something I'd really like to do.

However, the album says the materials include "three color-coded sets of folders, each containing 12-15 pictures of artwork." The first set is for artists, one folder per artist. So assuming I had a folder for 10 famous artists, that would be 120-150 pictures to be printed. That's a lot of ink! And that's just one set. Doing all three sets would be 300+ photos. Whew. I know that these albums were written mainly for teachers in a school so if I had 25+ students year after year using this material, it would be worthwhile to create. But I have an only child so I knew I'd need an alternative.

Enter my Christmas present, a NIX Hi-Res Digital Photo Frame. It has a 12" screen which is 9.75"x7.25", a motion detector to turn itself on & off and a remote control. It's beautiful.

I've started to collect images from the Internet (mostly Wikipedia) and I now have 9-10 famous artworks from Picasso, Michelangelo and Rembrandt. I organized them into separate folders and this photo frame allows me to either play them all randomly or select specific folders. I also created word documents that list each artwork and a paragraph describing it.

I set the photo frame up on the shelf today without a comment and DJ ran to it like a moth to a flame. He watched it for a few minutes and then returned to whatever he'd been doing. Throughout the day I caught him being drawn to it several times. For now I am going to leave it at that. In time I'll start conversations about the various images and at some point will tell him about the descriptions so he can ask if he wants to know more about it.

Which artists am I including? Well, it's entirely my choice so I naturally started googling "top 10 artists" and became immediately frustrated by the Eurocentric results that came up. There's not a single Asian artist in the top 10? Really? I seriously doubt that. So, after these first three, I'm going to do Norman Rockwell (American) and perhaps Georgia O'Keefe and then I'll select artists from Asia, Africa, South America and Australia. Just because I was raised believing the universe revolved around Europe doesn't mean I have to raise my son that way!

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