June 14, 2017 by HCDE-Texas
“Kids learn better from each other than they learn from us,” said artist and consultant Joe Culotta, while leading the 12th Annual You Gotta Have Art workshop at Harris County Department of Education.
Thirteen art teachers from eight school districts and two private schools attended the two-day event, at which Culotta issued wisdom and shared ideas for how to make art class much more than craft hour. He encouraged his group of attendees to stand for the seriousness of art pedagogy while hammering the importance of play and exploration.
“It’s our job to develop students’ sense of space and time and looking at things,” Culotta said, adding that “exploration is a part of growing up.”
Among this year’s art projects to try and emulate were books made from foil and decorated with embossing tools, watercolor paintings made by blowing soap bubbles through straws, art bugs created out of Styrofoam and molding clay, as well as countless other drawings, doodles, jewels and designs.
The possibilities for uniqueness and reinvention are endless, according to Culotta, but he has one strict rule that art teachers must always follow.
“Don’t do it for them!” he shouted. “If my hand touches your artwork, it’s no longer yours, it’s mine.”