Children make connections from artwork to their own lives and begin to form an appreciation for art. Children truly enjoy talking about what they see, figuring out the mysteries of the artwork, and ultimately giving their opinion of the work. Works of art filled with simple shapes, bright colors, and patterns — and art that contains appealing subject matter such as animals, families, other children, and pets — are favorites as well. Art can be posed as a mystery for children to investigate, or posed as a puzzle for them to interpret and explore. Our monthly Fine Arts Pathways provide teachers and children with a developmentally-appropriate way to explore many types of fine arts that may not otherwise be accessible outside of a museum or world-travels.
This month we are studying the piece, Dancer by Elie Nadelman. Elie Nadelman was born in Poland. He spent some time in Paris in his twenties before settling in the United States in 1914. Nadelman produced fairly simple abstract wood and metal sculptures that are typically rounded and smooth. He completed some of his sculptures using stone as a medium. Some people consider his works to be sophisticated folk art, of which he was an avid collector.
During his lifetime, Nadelman had several exhibitions, however his artistic career ended in the 1930’s when much of his work was accidentally destroyed. His work was relatively unknown until a revival interest resurfaced his remaining works in the mid-20th century.
To incorporate the exploration of art at home, Play a freeze game with children by inviting them to move to music as they are inspired and then having them freeze in position when the
music stops. Capture their frozen movements with a camera and post the pictures near your display of the Dancer, so children can compare and contrast their movements to the movement captured by the sculpture.