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What is an Art Museum?

March 14, 2022 | Clara Buckley

At Mustard Seed School students love to create. We draw, sculpt, paint, print, weave, cut, glue, hammer and nail. We display the children’s creations in many ways; on classroom walls, social media, on Seesaw, blogs, and hallway displays. Mostly this sharing is done by teachers but recently students were invited to participate in this process.

The National Art Education Association’s Visual Art Standards include a presentation component. Preschool students are asked to identify where art is displayed both inside and outside of school.

Where is art displayed?

Alex: In a museum.

Zeke: In my bedroom on my wall. Pictures of dogs, my mommy, and my friends.

Wini: In an art museum.

Where can we display our art?

Charlie S: By the clock and the door in our classroom.

Alex: In the hallway.

We took a walk down the hallway to view the art on display there. Our conversations prompted the children to look more closely and consider how to display their own art.

Axel: My brother made this. (points to self-portrait)

Teacher: How do you know? Is his name there?

Axel: Make people know.

Charlie S: Put names!

What kind of art is displayed on shelves?

Claire: Paper that is not flat. You can bend it.

Wini: Sculptures made out of clay. We can’t touch but we can look with our eyes.

In preparing the display of our Romare Bearden prints, students were asked to select a preferred artwork for display and, if possible, explain why it was chosen. (standards VA:Re9.1.Ka. VA:Pr4.1.Ka) Many children chose based on the bright colors inspired by the artist Romare Bearden.

Rebekah: Red is my favorite color.

Joseph: I like blue in my house.

Rodrigo: It has orange and blue, my favorite color. I like white too.

Some children thought back to when they made the art or what it reminded them of.

Emilia: It’s my best print because I was thinking my friends will like it.

Amelia: My house is red. It looks like a real, red house.

This time of reflection is a small step towards the big understanding that artists consider various techniques, methods, venues, and criteria when analyzing, selecting, and curating artworks for preservation and presentation.

When you bring your child to the classroom this week and next, keep looking for these new displays made in collaboration with the children.

Clara Buckley

Preschool Art Specialist; Middle School Art

Clara Buckley’s teaching spans the ages of Mustard Seed School, from the youngest students in the preschool to students in the graduating class. She’s found many similarities between teaching three-year-olds and thirteen-year-olds!

As an art teacher who never enjoyed drawing, Ms Buckley’s hope is that each child she teaches discovers a way to create art that they enjoy, whether it be sculpture, printing, textiles, architectural drawing, or collage.

Ms. Buckley loves living in Jersey City, a place whose diversity and welcome for immigrants reflects her own family experience. When planning future travel destinations, art, food, and time with family are featured items on her list.

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