For the past few days I’ve been volunteering at the Northwest Center Child Development Program. It’s a pre-school that specializes in care for children with disabilities. My two boys go to school there and we love it.
So, I’ve been organizing the Art Supply closet and redoing all of the bulletin boards trying to create a cohesive theme throughout the school. It’s been great because no matter what I do, it’s noticed. Several teachers approached me to tell me how much they appreciated my help. I find it hard to believe that nobody volunteers for them. I didn’t come forward sooner because I was too busy taking care of kids, but now that I have some time on my hands I figure I should get back to doing some volunteer work.
There’s just something about wonderful about the smell of lunch cooking and the sight of small shoes lined up in the hallways that takes me back to elementary school. The days when teachers and learning were so important.
Today, I worked on a bulletin board and got my hands dirty painting, glueing, stapling and just having fun being creative at such a basic level. Sure I can take a digital camera and capture an image, manipulate it in Photoshop, send it to be printed at the lab, frame it and put it on the wall, but nothing beats getting a simple message up on a wall with paint and construction paper.
I just love roaming the halls to see if I can spot the next artistic prodigy. There are some really talented watercolorists who are between the ages of two and four years old. One of my favorite pieces is by a little boy named Colin who created a “dirt print.” He painted some glue onto a paper in a big stroke and then dumped dirt on it. It’s really amazing, it looks like a Zen Sumi-e painting and I could stare at it all day long. If I were to see it in a gallery, I’d buy it. That’s how much I love it. I found three other watercolor paintings that I featured on the wall in a new “Art Gallery” installation. I hope the parents enjoy it as much as I do. Next week I’ll be photographing the pieces and preparing them to sell as postcards for a school fundraiser.
It has occurred to me that if we could remember the creativity from our childhood when we were without inhibitions we could create art that is bold and without boundaries.
There’s a lot to be learned by learning to see through the eyes of pre-schoolers.