November 6 – When Kindergartners visited the Katonah Museum of Art to see the exhibit Sparkling Amazons: Abstract Expressionist Women of the 9th St. Show, they weren’t strangers to the Abstract Expressionistic art movement.
Art teacher Sara Malekzadeh had already been teaching students about abstract art – drawings, paintings, collages, photographs, and sculptures that don’t attempt to represent a recognizable reality but instead use shapes, color, forms, and textures to achieve their effect.
One abstract artist the students had learned about was Wassily Kandinsky.
“We talked about who Kandinsky was and how they, the students, are all abstract artists, too,” Ms. Malekzadeh said. “They have been abstract artists since JPK, and even before. We even look at some JPK work and Kindergartners all call out, ‘It’s abstract!’ The nature of early childhood art is, in fact, abstract, based on how children develop artistically.”
Ms. Malekzadeh enjoys sharing abstract art with young students for many reasons:
Abstract art takes the pressure off the need to make a picture of something specific. Abstract art is more about the shapes and colors and the feelings it expresses, not about the accurate portrayal of a subject.
Abstract art also encourages discussion about colors, shapes, and lines, which are concepts and art elements that they are revisiting.
Abstract art is interpreted differently by everyone who sees it. “The language, conversations, and ideas expressed are rich and interesting. This is one of my favorite parts! It’s so neat to hear what each child sees. I rotate the artwork and have them look at it upside down and discuss what they see from different vantage points. This is where their imaginations run wild!” Ms. Malekzadeh said.
After studying Kandinsky and creating their own abstract art, what did RCS Kindergartners think about the trip to the Katonah Museum of Art?
Rippowam Cisqua School is a PreK-Grade 9 independent day school in Westchester County, New York. RCS offers challenging academics built on innovation, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, wellness, leadership, service learning, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.