Can you imagine throwing out your child’s art? I can. I am not a particularly nostalgic person. If you couple that with a virulent anti-hoarding gene and then add the fact that I am a professional artist, well–you know–I chuck stuff. Toss it. Recycle it. All the time. But not everything. Just some of the flotsam that churns out of our every day.
The good stuff…I keep. I tape their artworks all over our walls. I put some in their rooms, some in our bedroom, and some in the living room so they can feel art around them everywhere, and so they get the idea that art is both personal and public. Some art is meant to be shared in the main rooms, and other works are special or personal and we may want to look at those in our own bedroom.
Periodically, I toss a bunch of stuff–with the exception of the best examples of that genre: pirates, cars, weaponry, portraiture, abstraction, color fields from my little girl, etc. But still, there is so much art all the time that it takes over the house. And that is exactly the way we want it.
Children really feel supported by seeing their work displayed proudly all around the house. At the same time, as soon as the creative act is over for kids, they are much less interested in the finished object than we grown-ups are. They just move forward and keep making stuff. They definitely don’t suffer from masterpiece syndrome like we do. They are lucky that way. We grown-up artists have much to learn from young children: keep trying ’til you get it right, make art all the time, be totally in the moment while creating something, don’t be too attached to the finished product, good enough is good enough, ask for help when you need it, etc.
For a while, I was hanging my children’s art on our bedroom wall in layers with pins and tape. But today I made an impromptu art gallery using nothing but a soft pencil (6B) and the leftover wall paint (to even out any mistakes). I used chalk and a level to make sure that everything was roughly straight and then I just drew lots of frames on the wall. I used their drawing paper sizes as reference for the scale of the frames.
|Start in the middle and work out…|
|Keep adding frames until the wall is full…|
|Curate your own gallery show or let them choose their favorites.|
|My all time favorite: “Everything is 1 thing.” OMG. Music to this buddhist-leaning mama’s ears. 🙂|
|Counteract that buddhist thing I said above with about ten thousand drawings of weapons and shooting things. 🙂|
I can already tell that I need to keep adding frames. But when the kids want to switch out their works for new ones, they can just take down something old and add their new work. I love the transitory nature of this art wall, and the pencil marks give it an air of impermanence, therefor it is rather kid-friendly and playful. It isn’t precious or fussy. I like it. Go make one for your house!