SchoolArts Room

SchoolArts March 2011: Fantasy

By Nancy Walkup, posted on Feb 7, 2011

What’s your fantasy as an art teacher? Go ahead, dream big!

I could go for smaller class sizes, an aide with every kindergarten class, a great digital camera, a smart board, grants for educational travel, chair massage, and an unlimited budget to make all this possible!

Seriously, how do we help our students think about and express the idea of fantasy through their artwork? Judging from the articles SchoolArts receives, many art teachers seem to be approaching the theme of fantasy primarily through portraiture and self-portraiture. We offer a number of such articles in this issue.

As art teachers, we know the place where students are most likely encouraged to use their imaginations is the art room. Sadly, that isn’t always the case in the non-art classroom. So how can we best encourage students to embrace the fantastic and use their imaginations, especially when so many are drawn to the latest computer game or gadget?

We can strive to develop challenging and meaningful visual art problems, no matter what level we teach. We can support and show respect for our students’ creative ideas and endeavors. We can provide a safe place for students to express their ideas without fear of judgment.

Brainstorming, working collaboratively, and including aspects of humor and play also help make learning through art more engaging. The rich theme of fantasy invites numerous meaningful and differing responses that are limited only by the imagination.
Go for it!

Check out the new SchoolArts, online now. The photo above is a sculpture by Niki de Saint-Phalle at Balboa Park in San Diego, California.