When adults give young children opportunities to think, experiment, and create, the results are always surprising—and empowering.
Each year, Edward Street produces a children’s art show featuring the work of children enrolled in Worcester childcare centers. This year’s show, Where in the World is Piet Mondrian?, is inspired by the work of early 20th century Dutch abstract artist Piet Mondrian and contemporary Moroccan-American abstract artist Bryce Hudson. Their use of primary colors and geometric shapes has influenced generations of artists, musicians, architects, and fashion designers, and holds great appeal to children.
Where in the World is Piet Mondrian?, Edward Street’s third annual children’s art show, opens April 3rd and runs through April 29th at the Printer’s Building, 50 Portland Street, Worcester. The show is made possible by the generous support of Enthusiast Level sponsors, Ballard Truck Center and Citizens Bank.
Give them primary colors and let them play
To produce Where in the World is Piet Mondrian?, Edward Street Master Teacher Jo Ann Borinski introduced children to the work of Mondrian and Hudson; their use of geometric shapes and primary colors; and the concept of abstract art.
Children were then unleashed to create their own artwork in the style of Mondrian and Hudson, using colorful cardstock, pieces of foam, fabric, LEGOS, and even pom poms. Liquid glue–a novel experience for young children accustomed to glue sticks–also sparked their creativity.
“We told them they are the artists, and their ideas have value,” says Borinski. “We showed them Mondrian’s work, gave them pieces of foam to create with, and told them to do as they want. They’re learning how to think like an artist, how to capture their own inspiration.”
Art projects are also a great opportunity to enhance fine and gross motor skills, and this was no different. Children colored, pasted, and arranged and rearranged their work.
Abstract art; concrete learning and growth for young children
Where in the World is Piet Mondrian? shows how creative expression opens to the door to social-emotional growth.
“Being an artist leads to higher self-esteem because it makes us feel special,” says Borinski. “The children had ideas in their heads that they were able to bring to fruition, and they would look at me and say, ‘I did it.’”
The young artists even bonded with one another.
“They were helping each other. You could just see the camaraderie and sense of community that making art brings to classrooms,” says Borinski.
A show of creativity and differences in age and development
Each year, Edward Street staff are wowed by the work of young children.
“It shows how capable children are and how often we under-expect what their capacity is,” says Edward Street VP of Initiatives & Aligned Programs Kim Davenport. “These art shows continue to inspire us, even as professionals in the field for 30 years or more.”
The chance to express themselves as they play with forms, colors, and spaces is empowering for children. “Every one of them, no matter what their creation looks like, they put themselves into what they’re doing,” says Borinski.
Unlike years past, this year’s art show includes works created by elementary school students.
“Showing different age levels helps us adults understand child development and the unique ways young children are able to interpret their emotions and environment,” says Borinksi.
See Where in the World is Piet Mondrian? in-person and online
Edward Street’s third annual children’s art show debuts April 3 and runs through April 29 at the Printer’s Building, 50 Portland Street, Worcester.
The gallery is open Monday through Friday, 9AM-4PM.
A virtual tour of Where in the World is Piet Mondrian? will go live soon. Stay tuned for details.