How to spark your students’ interest in art

By | 2017-08-17T20:12:17+00:00 April 28th, 2017|For teachers|0 Comments

Naturally, different students tend to gravitate toward the different subject areas that interest them. Teachers may have a diverse class of introverts and extroverts, or A-brains and B-brains. For many students, art is something hung in museums and galleries, and perhaps made for people unlike themselves. We examined some ways to spark your students’ interest in art.

1. Make it relatable

Students may feel like art is for connoisseurs, historians, scholars, or simply those that are more creative than them. They may become more interested in art if they feel connected to it in some way. Students from different backgrounds or ages may feel more drawn to different movements or subjects that they can identify with. For example, a student, whose family emigrated from a certain country, might connect with art from that region. Likewise, students of a certain age range might connect with art from their peer group, such as pop art or murals. While the abovementioned examples are not set in stone, teachers can introduce a range of art forms to see what is most relatable to their own classes.

Untitled by Adrianal (10Y USA)

Untitled by Adrianal (10Y USA)

2. Make is accessible

Students may dismiss or have an aversion to art simply because they are not familiar enough with it. Your class may have only been introduced to Renaissance or Baroque paintings and simply can’t connect to these movements. If your school allows field trips, take your students to the local museum. Museums often offer free entry for school trips and big discounts on exhibitions. Schedule a tour for your students so that they can see the vast amount of art available. If you’re not able to physically go on a school trip, the internet can be your virtual guide. Many of the larger museums offer digital exhibitions and even a few specialized for children.

Remember that amazing art does not only come from the masters. Classes can also explore sites to see what students their own ages are creating. For example, Artsonia features millions of artwork from kids. Creatubbles also showcases work from students around the world, where your own class can ask questions and give positive feedback.

3. Empower your students

Some students are apprehensive from participating in art projects because they weren’t given the opportunity to try it before. Provide art supplies and materials for your students. If your school’s budget does not factor in art supplies, there are some ways to inexpensively gather materials. Give your students a bit of guidance on technique, and let them familiarize themselves with the different materials and form.

Picasso's twin by TaylorH (11Y USA)

Picasso’s twin by TaylorH (11Y USA)

4. Give them control

Students are motivated when they can see their own progress. Give your students the option to be in control of their own artistic timeline. Of course, teachers can act as facilitator and assign specific projects, but it is important to let students journey to wherever their imaginations take them. Students should keep their artwork, or create a digital portfolio of their pieces, so that they can not only measure the evolution of their technique, but also to see how their creativity has grown.

5. Show support and reinforcement

Support and reinforcement are essential for students, especially those who are new to art. Positive reinforcement will help nurture a student’s self-esteem and allow them to take more risks. Teachers can compliment students on their use of shading, depth, color etc. The compliment then becomes a teachable moment.

Students can also receive positive reinforcement from their peers when they showcase their work. If exhibiting student artwork in your school is not a safe space, teachers can turn to digital platforms that are safely monitored, and allow positive feedback and encouragement.

Are you looking for a space, global space to exhibit your own students’ creations? Create a free account for your students at Creatubbles.

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Tish Seabrook. Copywriter at Creatubbles. Writer and former university lecturer. Interests: edtech, STEAM, arts integration. https://ctbl.es/tishseabrook