CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio

CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio
CBMS Choice-Based Art Studio

Friday, April 13, 2012

The rule is: "Think BIG - Work small"
This is to try to honor the bus rule that anything transported on the school bus must "fit into a bag." Now - they didn't say what SIZE the bag is, but even with that, we struggle to follow this rule.
Cameron Stadium is finished at last! By "M," Grade 5
The above amazing, beautifully constructed, lovingly detailed "Cameron Stadium" was built over several weeks by an ambitious, detail oriented 5th grader. It does not fit in a bag. It barely fits out the door.
"What would happen" I plead, wringing my hands, "if everyone decided to build something that big?"
Fortunately, not everyone builds something that big. Not everyone could. Not everyone would want to.
It is the same with the clay. Last quarter a clay artist emerged who shattered all previous records for production:
Partial collection of clayworks by "G," Grade 5

And that's the beauty of a Choice-Based art studio. Instead of having enough clay for every student to make a  project or two, I stock enough clay for everyone who wants to use clay to have some. And it's the same amount of clay, because while most students do try clay and make something during their time here, not everyone is enamored with it, and certainly not everyone specializes in it. That leaves more for "G."

It's the same with cloth in the Fabrics and Fibers Center, or with the wire in the Sculpture Center. I don't need to have 20 brayers in the Printmaking Center, because twenty students would not all choose printmaking at one time. Two sewing machines are (usually) enough because not everyone has the interest or patience to learn to use these, or invent an appropriate project requiring a sewn seam. But some do.

We try to follow the "Think Big- Work Small" rule - it makes sense to us. It is reasonable. But so too is the rule posted on the  Fred Bab poster outside the art studio door: "ART Break the Rules."