The Studio or Atelier in Italian is a room available for all children and teachers. It is dedicated to the exploration of ideas in connection with materials (referred to as languages), such as clay, wire, paint, drawing materials, paper, technology, etc. The Studio in our Reggio inspired school functions as a model for a collaborative way of working, to refine abilities to listen and observe children and express learning with a variety of material choices.
The children go to the Studio each week in small groups. The Studio coordinator (or Atelierista) is a teacher who works closely with other teachers and the children through the Studio. The adults plan experiences for children to explore classroom concepts through materials. Other schools would consider this art class, but our school sees it not as a separate part of the curriculum. The studio’s use of materials is an integral part of symbolic expression and the learning process.
Our Studio Coordinator is Kay Waterson. She is a graduate of Kendall College of Art and Design. Ms. Kay shared, “I received my Bachelors of Fine Arts with a focus in painting, along with my K-12 teaching certification. Other than my interest in illustration, graphic design, and other visual arts I am involved with local music projects of the acoustic folk variety. I am inspired by the philosophy behind the Reggio Emilia approach, and consider myself very lucky to be a part of an educational community that values visual arts, visual learning, and higher level thinking.” Ms. Kay returns to the GRCDC for her second year. Her passion for arts education, music and children is evident. Ms. Kay is quite active in our community, working on an Art Prize submission, Perspectives on Transformations in Community on behalf of last year’s fifth graders and the Pay it Forward project with MLIVE Media Group. Check it out on Facebook!
Ms. Kay is a huge advocate for sharing art techniques that are often excluded at the elementary level. Over the summer parents Amy Brower and Phil Brown suggested a t-shirt to build community, raise money and share our name with the public. Ms. Kay proposed that a screen printing experience could be included! This small team arranged for all children to print a selected design on fabric swatches and on adult and child sized t-shirts for those interested in purchasing. Using Ms. Kay’s artwork and Nigel Doyle’s (Discovery D) text allowed for studio time to focus on curriculum based projects and teacher collaborations. The artwork was inspired by a parent’s photograph of our school cat Stripes. Another option will be created with a student drawing. Those interested in voting on the final t-shirt design, please plan to attend the Family Team Meeting on October 7 at 8:15 a.m. Order forms for child and adult sizes will follow.
Thank you to Phil Brown and Amy Brower for provoking and planning this project! Thank you Ms. Kay for advocating for a memorable experience and your connections to Generations of Colour, a local company offering to donate materials and sell us t-shirts at cost. I look forward to wearing my shirt and watching the Family Team use the raised funds for school projects!
Sarah Cooper, Pedagogista