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BISNS Art Show 2024

More Than Art

“A painting to me is primarily a verb, not a noun, an event first and only secondarily an image.” This quote by Elaine de Kooning, an Abstract and Figurative Expressionist painter, exemplifies our BISNS annual art show.  This art is the culmination of months of study. It starts with teachers observing the interests of the children as they play. Once identified, teachers introduce materials to elevate the children’s thinking and skills. Teachers record their student’s thoughts, capturing their ideas. Sometimes an artist is introduced as part of the study. From our littlest twos to our more mature four and five-year olds, their capabilities were surely on display!

Tikvah Twos: Exploration of Color, Shape, and of Course, Sparkles! 

Young children are fascinated by colors, shapes and sparkles and that is just what inspired our journey of investigating Dale Chihuly’s work.  The children were intrigued by the art of Chihuly.  Callie’s favorite photo was one with beautiful orange sculptures that look like flowers. She exclaimed, “That’s mine!” In the spirit of Chihuly’s sculptures, the children embarked on creating their own sculptures, tinkering with various mediums. Initially, they experimented with play dough, incorporating colored stirrers, twisted straws, glass-like flowers, cubes, hearts, and other gems. Ultimately, they used modeling clay for their final creations, allowing each child to select their base color and choose from an array of loose parts to construct their sculpture.  Even at this very young age, the children were able to embrace our artist study engaging in the many joyful learning opportunities from color, shape and size identification to fine motor skill development and of course open-ended creativity!  We think Chihuly would be impressed with their work!

Gan Etziym:  Impressions: An Exploration of What’s Left Behind

Since the beginning of time humans have used clay to create, express themselves, and leave their mark (literally) on the world around them. The children of Gan Etziym were similarly drawn to playdough and showed a sense of wonder as they discovered the endless possibilities that this open-ended material provides. From the start of the year, they shared love for tactile stimulation, storytelling, and working with loose parts. As they worked, they shared their thoughts. “I’m making a sand castle.” “I see a shell.”  “I made an imprint. It’s bumpy.” Their daily exploration of playdough as well as access to natural materials and other loose parts, ultimately led to discovering that they too could leave marks behind, in the form of impressions in clay.

Gan Kohavim:  It’s All a Balancing Act: The Beauty of Experimentation 

From day one, the children showed an interest in construction, deconstruction, and the cycle of creation. Everything about building provoked thought and encouraged critical thinking regarding the balance of various materials. Early on, Rory shared his personal secret to building something that stands tall which he learned from his Grandpa. “We need a good foundation,” he told his friends.  Their Art Show project was the culmination of all the vital skills Gan Kohavim has learned through building. After watching the teachers glue down some of the structures, the children even wanted the gluing to be done in real time. It gave their creations a feeling of permanence and allowed them to feel confident. However, they then learned that just because something is glued down, doesn’t mean it will stand! This lesson allowed for even further discussion! Why did that piece cause the whole tower to topple over?  The sculptures that were ultimately produced for the Art Show were the results of continuous experimentation made permanent. Their final art was anything but simple “towers”. 

Gan HaYam: A Study of Movement and Trajectory in Art

Children are always fascinated by things that move; intrigued by airplanes flying across the sky, bubbles floating in the air, throwing and rolling balls and pushing vehicles around. Now imagine taking the concept of movement and applying it to paint. The children had many opportunities to see the movement of Tempera paint and water colors using string, balls and droppers.  While to the children this was a super fun activity that produced a pretty picture to show family and friends, this study involved much learning and skill development.  The children used cognitive processes as they developed theories about trajectory.  They had many opportunities to manipulate materials and see how they moved.  They watched as two colors made a new color.  They made independent choices, deciding which colors they want on their canvas, whether to use balls or yarn, where they want to put the paint and when their art was complete.

Gan Keshet: Rainbows

The children have loved rainbows from the beginning of the year and, with the class name Keshet, the Hebrew word for “Rainbows,” it was decided that that was a perfect long term study topic for us!  Looking at the work of two artists, John Constable and Travis Rice, inspired the children to create rainbows in many ways.  First using a variety of art utensils, paints and watercolors, and markers and crayons, and then piecing together the shredded colorful papers. A fun part of this work was experimenting with mixing colors to make new colors.  The excitement about their work was clear to see in their three art pieces, the Rainbow Shaped Puzzle, the Rainbow Sculpture and the Rainbow Landscape.

Gan Agam: Mezuzot

The children expressed excitement about the beautiful mezuzot around the synagogue. Over several months the children explored a variety of mezuzot.  Working with Rabbi Berkowitz the children looked at the klaf, (parchment) inside and the tefillah or prayer, that is written on it.  Viewing pictures of Gary Rosenthal’s art and colorful mezuzot, a study within a study emerged! The children were inspired to explore with watercolors, and eye droppers, blending and mixing to create new colors.  They also explored clay and metal materials that are used in Gary Rosenthal’s artwork, as well as glass gems.  Then it was time to create their own mezuzot, pressing Model Magic around a clear beaker, and adorning them with metal wire, colorful beads and gems.  And last but not least, the children each made their own prayers which were placed inside!

Gan Geshem: The Many Ways to Build a Castle:  A Study of Paul Klee, Construction and Artistic Design

There are two things the children enjoy more than anything else: building and art. It seemed natural to introduce Paul Klee’s Castle and Sun as a catalyst for our long-term study. Examining the painting, the children identified all the colors and shapes with enthusiasm.  The idea emerged that the children could build castles with wooden blocks but these were not colorful.  The children created a plan to trace, cut and tape colored paper to their blocks, using them to build their own colorful castles. Ryan announced, “We are working very hard on this.”  Ella told everyone, “We are making a humongous castle!”  Magnetic tiles were another way the children made personal versions of Paul Klee’s castle, designing on the light table and in the sunshine where the light created colorful castles on the floor.  Julia exclaimed, “Using the magnet tiles in the sun is cool because they are translucent.”  Artistic pictures of castles were another media the children used to explore the shapes and colors of castles.  Using cardboard tracers, the artists used crayon to “build” their castle by tracing a selection of shapes.  After coloring them in, they used a watercolor wash over the top to create a wax resist.  A collaborative castle picture was another component of this study.  The children used tracers to draw and cut shapes out of colored acetate. As they manipulated the colored film, they observed how overlapping pieces created new shades and effects.  It was a multisensory experience which encouraged creativity, exploration, and appreciation of art.

Gan Shemesh: Becoming Authors and Illustrators: The Magic Art of Storytelling

The children of Gan Shemesh first became authors of their own A-B-C book, making each letter out of loose parts and writing a word for that letter.  Sharing their “published” book with other children in the school was a joyful experience.  The children also showed interest and excitement in listening to the Magic Treehouse series so it was a natural jump to write their own Magic Treehouse book and create a treehouse of their own!  Remy exclaimed, “We get to write so many books. It’s so much fun!” Recalling each day what happened in previous chapters, the children gained important skills in remembering details and using that information to make predictions about what else might happen.  The book writing started with a brainstorm session talking about the main characters, setting and important recurring themes, then sharing ideas about where their own adventure might go.  With several ideas to choose from, the children voted on how their story would unfold.  Small groups met with teachers to write each chapter.  Some other chapters were written collaboratively by the entire class. The children wrote a nine-chapter book!  Then, it was time to become illustrators and that they were!  Remy exclaimed, “We get to write so many books.  It’s so much fun!”  Taylor said, “I love illustrating.  You can draw with beautiful colors!”  The next phase was making a model of the Magic Treehouse.  The children’s excitement, investment and growth during this journey was nothing short of magical!

Gan Shemayim: Maggie in Bloom:  The Magnificent Magnolia

The children developed an affinity for the magnolia tree, a majestic tree that seems to hold a special place in their hearts, acting as a link between B’nai Israel Schilit Nursery School, nature, and art. Perhaps it is the tree's graceful beauty or its ability to change with each passing season that captivates them. As the children worked to create a variety of representations of the tree, they followed their creative intuitions and used many different skills.  Amelia told her friends, “We can use a ruler to make the trunk.”  Emma commented, “The trunk is very thick and the leaves are bigger than other trees.”  Roxie explained, “If you are an artist, you can use any color you want, and if you mix different colors, you might get a new color that no one knew existed and then you can paint your tree.”  The children learned that with dedication and imagination, even the simplest materials can be transformed into something extraordinary. Their clay flowers, inspired by Georgia O’Keefe, stand as a testament to their artistic vision and unwavering commitment to exploring new horizons in art.

Afternoon Art Enrichment:  Alma Thomas Inspired Creations

After learning about the life and art of Alma Thomas, an African American artist, the children emulated her use of color and patterns in her painting creating their own works of art.  They chose their colored paper and painted with a variety of brushes and sponges to create the background, then created a foreground of ripped paper shapes in a design of their choosing.

Tue, May 21 2024 13 Iyyar 5784