The "Aha" Series: Fingers that Grow in Elementary Art Class

This week, we asked Pam Golden, our Lower and Upper Elementary art specialist, to share some  favorite stories that illustrate those moments of joyful discovery when an idea really clicks for a student and the “aha!” epiphany brings new life to learning.

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Pam’s Clay Story

As a professional sculptor, Pam’s rich artistic life is full of discovery and expression and sometimes sounds like a perpetual aha moment. Here is how she describes her work: “My art tells stories. Many of the sculptures that I create are narrative images that reveal themselves to me as I work on them, as they live in my studio, as they recall myths and stories that have nurtured and inspired me over the years…Clay is an elemental material and how it transforms with water, air and fire to become something new is vital to my creative process.”

As an art teacher, Pam is delighted to witness the creative process as it unfolds in each of her students. Her two favorite aha moments this year came from two students in different Lower Elementary classes. Unsurprisingly, both involved clay. The first she witnessed from a child in the midst of a sculpture project who remarked, “When I am working with the clay my fingers seem to grow!” The second came at the end of a project, when a child explained her methodology: “I was just pounding and squishing the clay…and suddenly it looked like my cat!”

[This post originally appeared in Rhythm & News, the Inly School newsletter, on May 1, 2009.]

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