Children's Art Exhibition a Showcase of Unbridled Creativity
The Gallery is hosting Sheridan’s Child Care Centre Art Exhibition, on display until June 15. Featuring the artwork of children aged 18 months to four years old, the exhibit offers insight into the practice and purpose of incorporating artistic activities into the early childhood education setting.
The exhibition is a culmination of the children’s work over the course of the past academic year. “We’ve been working on this exhibition since September because we wanted each piece to be organic—we didn’t want it to be a cookie cutter art show,” says Kathleen Currie, Supervisor, Child Care Centre at Sheridan’s Trafalgar Road Campus. “We wanted each piece to mean something to the child, and ensure that it came from them and not the educator.”
The children worked with materials donated by the Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design (FAAD). “This is a real collaboration between us and FAAD. It was wonderful that our children were able to look at all the pieces that FAAD donated, and find a treasure to work with,” Currie continues. “It made it a lot more genuine to let the kids discover those parts, explore and then utilize them in creating their art.”
Jamie Owen, Gallery Installation Designer, spent a lot of time and effort curating the children’s work, and presenting it in a professional way. “This wouldn’t have happened without him – he was able to take the children’s creativity and place it so people could see that creativity,” says Currie. “The amount of time and energy he spent was incredible, you can see the love, we were so thankful to him.”
“The reason I enjoy the children's artwork, is, unlike adults, they seem to have no preconceived ideas of what anything should look like. They just are content playing with art materials and leaving a record of that moment in time. It is finished when they stop. It is what they say it is,” says Owen. “Years ago I met a young man taking his first painting class at Art Gallery of Hamilton. He had no arms, so he held the brush with his toes. He would laugh and smile each time he was able to get paint from the mixing tray to a sheet of paper, to leave "his" mark. Adults need to learn from children. There are no perfect marks, there are just the best marks we can make in that moment!"
Dr. Cathy Coulthard, Associate Dean, School of Education, Faculty of Applied Health and Community Studies (FAHCS), agrees. “It would be easy to walk into this Gallery and say “isn’t this cute!” However, I would challenge the notion that these artists’ work is “cute”. An artist is someone who engages in a complex creative process. Art is a representation and expression of our emotions, thoughts, and desires. Children are inherently creative, and given the opportunity to develop and practice, this trait becomes natural and strong,” says Coulthard. “As you walk around this Gallery you will see work that has engaged the children’s imagination, and their natural, uninhibited exploration; the impetus for creative and innovative thinkers. The work in this Gallery is a complex myriad of passion, thought and process.”
About the Gallery
Sheridan’s Gallery is an exhibition space that showcases emerging student artists and helps bring to life Sheridan’s innovative and energetic arts community. As well as encouraging cross-disciplinary creativity, the Gallery highlights curriculum-based student work and supports a variety of exhibition related learning experiences to reinforce the relationship between learning institute, industry and community.
All exhibitions are installed and designed by Jamie Owen, Gallery Installation Designer and Thea Haines, Gallery Coordinator.
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