When life hands you lemons, make lemonade, right? This spring has delivered a bumper crop of lemons, but for the preschool students at the Garden School, they’re learning how to make the best of the situation. It’s an annual tradition to close the year with a Lemonade Social, and the teachers weren’t about to let the summer start without a proper sendoff, especially for the many children who are heading to kindergarten next year. Rather than a celebration on the school patio, this year was a jolly drive-through, with cheers and a quick handoff of artwork and other classroom essentials. And, of course, a bottle of lemonade!
A newer tradition is the Gallery Exhibition, which the children have been preparing for throughout the year. Although social distancing requirements meant that families weren’t able to tour the show as planned, the teachers curated the works just the same, and produced an exhibition catalog that we present here for your enjoyment as well.
A Year of Growth: Art Interrupted
The Garden School 2019–2020
This show was inspired by a summer field trip to the beautiful Filoli Gardens in Woodside. As part of the exhibition, Nests: Creating Home, W. Gary Smith crafted beautiful nests using materials found at the estate with the mission of creating meaningful encounters between people and the natural world. The unique nests reminded us of the environment we seek to create in our community as our students grow and learn in the safety of their Garden School nest. Encouraged by the success of our first-ever Art Exhibition last May, we decided to make this year’s theme “Growth”.
Growth at The Garden School occurs for our young students over the course of a year in a myriad of ways: physical, fine motor, intellectual, social & emotional. While being nurtured, supported and guided, we have watched and learned along with your children as they grew in character, skill, confidence, endurance & size. Each student artist’s transformation is illustrated in their masterpieces.
This is an unfinished show. Our art, our school…our lives were interrupted in mid-March. We stayed home in the safety of our nests. Our homes were redefined; they expanded into classrooms, gyms and home offices. All of us have had to grow, learn, think and create in new and unexpected ways. We all became teachers, we became students, we cooked, we cleaned, we slowed our pace, and we cherished family time together. We are all unfinished works, but growth occurs when we challenge ourselves to learn. Our message is simple: Keep growing, keep learning and keep creating.
Inspired by the illustrations of Eric Carle and his use of color and brush stroke, the artists created Fall trees using a similar style. They incorporated their knowledge of mixing colors to create the colors of fall foliage.
The artists continue to explore the use of color to create a “cold” landscape. They explored different media and practiced their scissor skills to create and cut colorful winter trees. They also began to understand how to create depth perception by using the trees’ size and placement on the page.
The artists continued to show their understanding of shape, form and composition to draw their own unique penguin. With their increased growth in fine motor strength, they used scissors to carefully cut their curved forms.
The artists continued to be influenced by the style of Eric Carle. With several different tools and paint, they created their own textured, colored paper. With their knowledge of shapes, they began to see shapes in many animals. Thus, they were able to draw their own birds.
As an extension to our science unit on hibernation and adaptation, the artists created beautiful winter cardinals in pine trees.
With the help of Mark Jaeger, a ceramics teacher at Marin Catholic High School, the artists learned how to mold and manipulate clay into the shape of a nest and investigated different ways to create texture to the form.
The artists learned to manipulate and control their paint brush to intricately paint a small area. This detailed work showed their careful control and patience.