Kindergarten Studies, Creates Art

Baldwin’s Kindergarten girls have been very busy over the past five weeks - both creating and learning about art. They have been looking at art as it exists throughout history - beginning with some of the very first art found in caves and ending with art that is being created around us today!
They started their adventure by going on a virtual tour of the Caves of Lascaux to see cave art! Historians believe this art was created over 30,000 years ago! Then they made their own cave drawings of bison, mammoths, saber-toothed tigers and wild horses!
Next, they traveled along the time line to the Renaissance period - about 500 years ago - where they learned about two famous artists - Leonardo daVinci and Michelangelo. The girls learned that Leonardo daVinci painted a very famous painting called the Mona Lisa. But they also learned that he was more than an artist! He was a curious man who was always asking questions about the world around him. He kept these questions in notebooks that he carried with him everywhere. So the girls started their own daVinci notebooks and filled them with questions of their own. 
They also learned that daVinci had many talents and interests. He was a scientist, an architect, a mathematician, a musician - and perhaps most importantly - an inventor. He took many of the things he was wondering about and turned them into invention ideas. Of course he kept sketches of these ideas in his notebooks, so the girls recorded their own invention ideas! 
Leonardo daVinci lived during the same time as Michelangelo, who was an amazing sculptor! The girls learned about two of his sculptures - The David and The Pieta. Then they made their own sculptures using play dough, hot glue and other materials! To see Michelangelo’s artwork more closely, the girls took a virtual tour of The Vatican to observe his paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. They learned that it took him four years to finish these paintings … and that his back and neck got very sore from painting upside down. The girls experienced making art upside down by laying on their backs and coloring their own “Sistine Chapel” ceiling art.
Next up was Impressionist artists. They painted with bright colors and explored different ways to make strokes with their paint brushes. Some of these early artists created a new style of art called Pointillism. They used tiny dots of color to give the impression of an object or image. They learned about Impressionist artist Vincent Van Gogh, who loved to paint pictures of sunflowers that he picked from the fields around his home in France. Van Gogh actually painted 12 sunflower pictures during his lifetime, and they all looked different. They also learned that one of his sunflower paintings is hanging in our own Philadelphia Museum of Art. 
Later in Van Gogh’s life, the girls learned that he got sick and had to stay in a hospital. In his famous Starry Night picture, Van Gogh showed us what he saw outside of his hospital window. The students “looked out their own window” to learn about some famous buildings in Philadelphia and sketched them together in class, including Independence Hall,  One Liberty Place, the Comcast Center and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. After sketching these buildings together in class, the girls used watercolor paints to finish their pieces. 
Next, the girls learned that another Impressionist artist, Henri Matisse, liked to make art by cutting out large paper shapes with scissors. The girls created a paper collage piece with Mr. Teixeira in art class. Then they made a second collage piece using the Wixie app. 
Moving along the timeline to the Modern art period, the girls were introduced to Piet Mondrian. In Music class, Mrs. Bensinger taught them a wonderful song about this artist. The song lyrics taught the girls that his “lines go up and down, left and right”...  And that “the primary colors look like streets at night.”  Using the Wixie app a second time, the girls made some Mondrian pieces of their own! 
One of our Kindergartners’ favorite artists was Frida Kahlo! They learned that Frida was born in Mexico and that she married another famous Mexican artist named Diego Rivera. She loved to wear fancy clothes and wore crowns of fresh flowers in her hair! 
They learned that Frida was often confined to her bed and that her mother gave her paints to keep her busy. Frida’s mother also hung a mirror above her bed so that Frida could see herself. Because of this, Frida had lots of time to paint self-portraits! 
One of the last artists they learned about lived to be 98 years old. Her name was Georgia O’Keeffe and she loved to paint pictures of the things she saw in nature. Perhaps her favorite thing to paint was flowers. She used bright colors and showed what flowers look like ...very close up! 
Lastly, Kindergarten was busy learning about two final artists - author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats - and the contemporary Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Click here to see some of these fabulous art pieces that the Class of 2032 created!