Introducing Children to Art | John Herreid | IPNovels.com
My daughter and oldest son have very different takes on this portrait by Raphael.
A while back I was asked for some thoughts on art, beauty, and God. A few of those comments made their way into this nice article on beauty by Anamaria Scaperlanda Biddick in Our Sunday Visitor. I’ve written here before about art and developing an enthusiasm for it, and in a general way, about introducing children to it. As I was reading the OSV article, some more concrete examples came to mind about introducing children to art.
A general principle that my wife and I have tried to follow with our children: introduce art with them, not at them. By this I mean: don’t turn on some music, a movie, or toss a book of paintings at them and leave the room. Sit down with them, watch things, listen, and look. Discuss. If they are uninterested, don’t push it. If they show an interest in some good art, cultivate that interest and find ways they can engage with it.
I don’t kid myself about my children’s native artistic taste: they are just as likely to want to watch or read something that has little to no artistic merit as they are to want to watch something good. But if introduced to great art with enthusiasm, they pick up on it pretty quickly.
When we first watched Tomm Moore’s The Secret of Kells together, my kids were enthralled. We went online after the movie ended and looked at the images of the real Book of Kells. We printed up some coloring pages based on the book and displayed them in the house after we colored them in.
This year Song of the Sea—the second film by Tomm Moore—arrived in theaters. We went to go see it as a family. Afterwards I discovered that the Cartoon Art Museum here in San Francisco was having an exhibit of original work from both movies. We got a museum pass through our local library and went on a visit. Being able to see the drawings and concept sketches that went into the animation of these two movies was very interesting to our two oldest; our four-year-old just used the opportunity to run as fast as he could around the gallery. You can’t reach everyone!
Another favorite movie around our house is The Kid by Charlie Chaplin.