Thursday, May 12, 2011

A Passion for Art

I’m really enjoying the blog series from Amanda Morgan who writes Not Just Cute. She’s been writing about Kids and Creativity for Willow Creek Pediatrics and I wholeheartedly agree with her perspective on the topic. One point in particular she made in Part Two of the Series struck a chord.

Amanda writes:

"Support Passions. If your child is curious about animals, feed that passion with experiences, resources, and discussions. Don't wait for the animal science unit to come around in the school curriculum. Show that you value learning that is intrinsically motivated, not just motivated by a due date."

I immediately thought of one of my students, Lee Heinemann, who was lucky to have parents who supported his passion for the arts from a very young age. He started taking classes with me in first grade making ooglys and he continued to play and create in my studio until he was a freshman in high school.

Last week, he was named a Presidential Scholar of the Arts. As one of only twenty high school seniors in the US to receive this award, he will get to visit Washington, D.C. in June and have his work displayed in the Smithsonian. Way to go Lee!

I’m so proud of his accomplishments and impressed by his achievements. Kudos also go to his parents for supporting his passion early on – and they still do. They made sure he had lots of opportunities to explore visual and performance art and Lee has made the most of those opportunities as noted by this article from Fox 4 News in Kansas City.

That said, my point it’s not really about the prize or having your work in a museum – although many artists dream about such things…It’s about letting kids find their way and explore their curiosity. A passion for art could manifest itself as a great architect, a noteworthy poet or a supporter of community arts programs. The important part is that kids get a chance to use their imaginations.

Creativity is capable of solving so many problems we face and helping us discover new and better ways to do things. I’d love to hear about a passion you’ve pursued and what developed from your exploration. A big thanks to all those parents supporting their kids and their passions.

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