Friday, May 15, 2009

The Art of Eric Carle

A recent weeklong drop-in program in our studio, The Art of Eric Carle, gave our visitors the opportunity to explore the pictures in Eric Carle's books and posters. Children recognize his familiar stories and acclaimed works, such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Eric Carle's illustrations are distinctive and easily recognizable by his collage technique using cut-up painted papers.

Children created their pictures by using bits of recycled artworks left at the Museum as collage materials. These paper scraps of cut-up paintings took on a look of their own when children began to create their own illustrations. The bit of paper becomes grass for the new picture or fur for the animal in the child's drawing.

Marcia MacRae, the Museum's Interdisciplinary Arts Specialist, says this type of art process serves multiple educational benefits. "Children develop higher order thinking skills. They can imagine something else from the recycled bits of artworks. When you take a material out of its original context, it becomes abstract. Children then use higher order thinking skills to create something concrete from an abstract concept. Children learn that artists can create something from items other than crayons or paint," noted MacRae. "This technique also reinforces that materials can be recycled for other uses."

Drop-in programs in our Art Studio are always free with admission to the Museum. The Studio is open every day from 10 am till 12pm and 1 - 3 pm (Thursday - Sunday). Please check the Museum's calendar for the monthly drop-in schedule in the Studio.

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