Please enjoy this piece written by Sandra Nickerson, Head of School and Elementary Art teacher at Bridgeview Montessori School. As you will see, Sandy is an inspired educator and mentor who leads Bridgeview with equal aplomb. Enjoy.
As our annual young artists’ exhibit hangs on the walls of our school, I’d like to share how we conceptualize it. Just to clarify, the ‘young artists’ are our students, aged 2.9-12. Hanna, our Children’s House and Elementary I Art teacher, and I think of our students as young artists who are on their creative journeys - exploring, discovering, practicing and making. Children from each developmental stage have unique and exciting ways of expressing their perceptions of the world around them.
Our job is not to guide them away from their perceptions but to help them to confidently express who they are in the present. Of course there are some generalizations that can be made. Our youngest artists (3 and 4 year-olds) are very interested in exploring each medium. Subject matter takes second place to process, and actually final product holds very little interest. This is why children might paint a color over and over until there is a hole is their paper. As a child approaches Kindergarten, expressive subject matter can become a focus...a house, a dog, or a pumpkin. They are usually very satisfied with their creations. Frustration and self-doubt play second fiddle to their expressive symbolism. As children move through Elementary I (6 to 9 year-olds), they feel strongly that the viewer understand their intent. Rather than representing people and objects realistically, symbolism becomes the goal. The broccoli-shaped trees seen in their work is an example of this. During EII years (9 to 12 year-olds), young artists begin to shift toward representationalism. They want to draw it how they see it, and they want lessons that help them accomplish this goal. Frustration and self-doubt can begin to surface as artists learn that technique takes lots practice.
As Art educators, Hanna and I create projects that highlight each child’s sensitive period of artistic development. We also create projects where students explore a variety of mediums, styles and techniques. We offer two dimensional and three dimensional work choices. Children begin their work in September, and Hanna I begin to think about May’s Celebration of Art. As the year progresses, we put work aside that highlights each student's’ strengths. We want the work in the show to represent the variety that is done throughout the year. In April we begin to mat the pieces and think about display. Our goal is for each artist to have four pieces in the show. This year we matted, hung and placed more that 300 pieces of art throughout the school.
We do not hang work by age or by project or by classroom. In each space, we display work from different aged artists from all program levels. We want the children from each classroom who live with the work for about a month to appreciate not just their artwork, but the work done by artists of all ages. There is no such notion that the older you are, the better your artwork is. At our school each piece is true art. During the Celebration of Art, we have chosen not to let family and friends know where their young artist’s work is shown. These adult visitors also model for their children that all the art is important and should be respected and enjoyed. Viewers purposefully exploring every art piece with eyes wide open is our goal.
The week after the Celebration of Art, we at Bridgeview Montessori have a special Art History lesson for our Elementary students. We ask them to find an artwork in the exhibit that they really like, sit down, sketch it, and then return to the art studio. When all return, we take turns sharing the sketches and talking about why each of us was drawn to a particular work. It is during this lesson that Hanna and I become quite proud as we listen to how carefully and authentically these young artists talk about another’s work of art. During this lesson students learn that we can be attracted to and appreciate all kinds of art. As teachers, we feel the satisfaction of a job well done and, of course, our ideas start percolating about next year’s curriculum and Celebration of Art.
Please enjoy the gallery below.
Cape Cod Moms & Bridgeview Montessori School invites you
to a Van Gogh inspired…
Thursday, July 19 at 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Join Bridgeview Montessori’s Head of School, Sandy
Nickerson, for creating art, nibbling on snacks, and sipping
wine. With Sandy’s guidance, you will create your own
mixed media sunflower still-life. Sandy has been teaching art
to students of all ages for over 35 years!
Bridgeview Montessori School
885 Sandwich Road
Sagamore, MA 02561
RSVP by Monday, July 16:
(this FREE event is limited to 10 adults)
With the Cape Cod Parent Resource Fair rapidly approaching we will be sharing blog posts on our participating sponsors, vendors and nonprofits. You will find out more about these amazing businesses and what they offer to our community. They will be sharing their services, advice, what challenges face our community as well as upcoming events they will be having. Make sure to check out our virtual program and resource guide ahead of the event so you can plan for what you want to see! We hope to see you at the Resource Fair!
1.) Tell us about your business/non profit and how it benefits local families?
My business was started in November of 2017. My mom was insistent that I do something constructive over the summer and since I didn’t want to go to camp or any summer programs, we agreed that I would work on my art. I would like to be an inspiration to families and other kids my age and let them know that when families members support and encourage each other, great things can come from it. You can have a closer relationship with each other and you can accomplish goals.
2. Where is it located?
My work space is at my house on Cape Cod. I have attended three vendor events (The Parenting Expo will be my 4th). My website is worldwide since it is on the internet.
3. What is your favorite part about our community?
I like the beaches and the hiking trails and I like it that my grandparents are nearby. I don’t like cities that much.
4. How else do you get involved with the community?
I attend the craft fairs and I am part of the youth group at the Cape Cod Bible Alliance Church. I also play the piano, so I have done a few recitals and played at church.
5. What are the biggest challenges facing parents in our community?
I’m not sure. You would have to ask my mom about that, but I think it might be a challenge for my parents to take care of my brother and I, all the responsibilities of taking care of the house and all the tasks that come with it.
6. What is your favorite memory or story over the years involving you and your business?
My favorite part of my business in this short time is seeing what pieces of my art work people like the most and what their favorite products are.
7. What advice would you give parents and care givers in our community?
I think it is really important to spend time together as a whole family and to be positive.
8. Do you have any specials, events, or anything else taking place this upcoming year that our parents should know?
I’m really looking forward to improving my art skills and working on mermaids and other scenes from the sea! I hope that you will follow me on facebook at @jessicasoriginalart and sign up for my blog at www.jessicalamperti.com!
I am looking forward to meeting new friends at the Parenting Expo this weekend!
The quality of my pillows is AMAZING and I kind of like the artwork! We had to buy them in batches of 6 and because of that, we have a lot of pillows and my mom said they take up a lot of space to store, so they will be a VERY good price at the Parenting Expo!
What Dance Can Do for Your Child & Summer Dance Classes
I'm sure, at some point, you've all read or conversed about the benefits of dance lessons and the many life lessons gained by having your child participate in dance. For example you learn how to push yourself beyond your limits and reach your personal best, how to handle disappointment, learn time management skills, instill discipline, team work, humility, tenacity, and passion. I am living proof of how truly amazing life can be when you are passionate about something.
But where is the proof in our children? Having had 5 senior dancers graduate this year from high school and Turning Pointe Dance Studio, I have the proof and it was displayed by these 5 remarkable teenagers! These young women had been dancing with me since they were small. One of these young ladies used to cry every time her Mom dropped her off at the studio. It was clear that she loved to dance so her family kept at it, persevered and conquered and now she is performing in front of thousands of people with poise and confidence. These 5 young women all graduated with high honors (3 of which were in the top 20 students at Falmouth High School) and have managed to maintain rigorous dance schedules. They are loyal, team players even at times of stress and frustration. They are role models and I am confident that they will do amazing things in our community and world. They were accepted to top Universities and are majoring and minoring in subjects like forensic science, dance, art, architecture, neuroscience, physical therapy, and biochemistry.
Here is more of why...
Dance teaches the values and skills of creativity, problem solving, and risk taking.
Dance lessons are a great place for kids to make new friends. A dance studio provides a safe dance family and community during a time when life can be unpredictable and confusing, especially during adolescence.
Dance education helps students develop physical fitness, appreciation of their body, mindfulness of health and effective stress management skills. In today’s technology-driven world, it is becoming increasingly more important for children to adopt a physically active lifestyle early on.
Dance gives non-verbal children and outlet to express their emotions. Dance gives children with sensory related issues an opportunity to move freely through space, to work on gross and fine motor skills, balance, and spatial awareness. Many parents find that dance lessons help improve behavioral issues, such as hyperactivity.
Studies have shown that children who participate in dance lessons tend to perform better in the classroom. Dance requires discipline and focus, which translates to an improved academic performance. Dance lessons help reinforce educational basics, like counting. Children also learn to differentiate right from left and fast from slow.
So for all the parents out there with little ones that are shy or you can't get them unattached to your leg (I am one of those parents)... keep at it. It's all worth it and above is the proof!
Laura Sciortino is mother of 6 year old Henry and 4 year old Cordelia, a retired professional ballerina, and owner and dance teacher at Turning Pointe Dance Studio in Falmouth.
Summer classes begin June 26 and there are still spots in most classes!
Who's Next? and Step-by-Step Drawing Activity Pack Review
Cape Cod Moms