The term “Related Arts” is familiar to most people. It usually encompasses subject matter like visual art, music, gym, perhaps theater, and occasionally a foreign language. These classes are typically lumped together in a school schedule as the special classes that are attended once or twice a week or, when you’re in high school, for a semester or two typically. We know these classes have value yet they tend to receive the least amount of time in a school schedule.
There are countless articles and podcasts discussing the importance of the arts, exercise, and foreign language in schools. While we may not have the influence to change how schools design their programs, we bare this in mind with our schedule and are determined to provide an interdisciplinary approach whenever we can. While Little Art House is an art studio first and foremost, we would be mistaken to think visual art is best created independently.
Much, if not all, of the most notorious artwork was created in conjunction with other arts, inspired by other places or utilize other areas of knowledge and education. What kind of art would Kandinksy have created without listening to Schoenberg? What colors would Van Gogh’s The Night Cafe have had he not been inspired by the lyrical French language in the background while he painted in Arle, France? How would Da Vinci’s portraits been different if he didn’t use a grid as a technique for drawing? The arts and core education subjects are intrinsically related and that should be celebrated and fostered.
Throughout this summer and fall, we’ve made a conscious effort to incorporate more interdisciplinary opportunities in our schedule. We met a wonderful woman, Jessica, who is a writer and loves to spark the joy of writing in children. We planned our Creative Writing and Art Camp (July 30-August 3, 4th-8th Graders) for children who want to explore writing and artmaking together through imagining, exploring, and creating rather than strictly learning. We want our children to play and see how an idea can grow into a story and a story into imagery.
For our younger learners, we are bringing in Kacey to introduce music as well as music related to art. Her classes will begin with our fall quarter (late August) and will span ages 1 to 6 years old. Our kiddos can dance, drum, and sing. On Fridays, in the Artistic Musicians class, students can see how art and music go together.
Just last week, we worked with Savvy from Vanderbilt University to teach kids how ratios and fractions are utilized in artmaking. From using a grid for drawing to considering the Rule of Thirds when deciding on composition, there are so many ways math is utilized in art making.
The approach to connecting various subjects allows students who may struggle with some of the general education subjects to have a new way to understand the subject. We love to see how we can relate art to all areas of imagining, exploring and creating. It is amazing how you can think outside of the box when making these type of connections!