Outside of Consciousness. Creativity curriculum creates places for free investigation. By Bridget Reinhard in Outsider: Alternative Media group, Spiral Workshop 2009.
Playing, Creativity, Possibility
Why is it sometimes so difficult for teachers to create conditions that support the emergence of creative behavior and surprising images? Although virtually all contemporary art teachers list “enhancing creativity” as a key desired outcome of their programs, analysis of lesson plans used in schools suggests that in practice very little curriculum is specifically geared to developing creative abilities.
We must question the assumption that any art project will cultivate creative behaviors and then develop projects whose methods support core objectives for quality creativity curriculum such as stimulating free ideation, encouraging experimental approaches to making, and supporting students in identifying and manifesting deeply felt idiosyncratic experiences....
Playing, Creativity, Possibility
Download a pdf of the article in the format in which it appeared in
Art Education: Journal of the National Art Education Association.
Fumage. High school students looked for images on papers that had been smoked with a candle, a Surrealist technique known as fumage. Quality creativity enhancing projects allow for many different kinds of content and styles to emerge. Bad & Beautiful Painting group, Spiral Workshop 2004.
Footprint Traces. Before class, teachers sprinkled ground up colored chalk in the doorway and covered the classroom floor with black construction paper. Students were asked to look under their feet, pick up a paper, and make an artwork on the footprints—recorded evidence of their entry into a “creative space.” Time Bomb group, Spiral Workshop 2004.
Inkblot Portraits by Chicago youth artists. String wet with ink was placed on paper and the paper was then folded in half producing Rorschach-like blots. It is probably biologically coded that humans are inclined to see living creatures in bi-laterally symmetrical forms. The teens were amazed at the wide variety of portraits generated by a similar beginning. Seeing their own startling multiplicity of imagination cultivates students’ awe and respect for each other’s creative capacity. Portrait of a Young Artist group, Spiral Workshop 2001.
Exquisite Characters. Fourth-grade students of Medgar Evers Elementary School played the classic Exquisite Corpse collaborative drawing game. Because so many public school students had been killed in Chicago that year, we decided to change the name of the project to Exquisite Characters. 2002.
Surrealist Character Collages in which chance plays a role in image choice lead to more finished works in which oil pastel is layered onto and then scraped off the shiny surface of a magazine collage. By Tia Briticevich in the Imprinted group, Spiral Workshop 2001.
Ghost of My Friend, a Surrealist Game in which each youth artist wrote his or her name with wet ink. The blot resulting from folding the paper became the basis for creating a spontaneously generated alter-ego character. By Sylwia Stronowicz in the Subversive Identity, Breaking Culture Codes group, Spiral Workshop 2005
See the Projects chapter on this Olivia Gude e-Portfolio for project plans and project images for many Seeing Into/Paranoiac Critical projects.
Look at the Spiral Workshop e-Portfolio. It contains many examples of theme-based curriculum. Every Spiral course begins with a Surrealist Play Day. Each Spiral group page contains images, professional artist suggestions, and project plans for all the projects of the theme group, including the unique Surrealist play activities developed to connect to this theme.