Creative Art Workshops for Young People

Posted Jun 8, 2005
Last Updated Jun 21, 2012
Creative Art Workshops for Young People

Conducted by Willemina Foeken B.A. (Fine Arts), B. Ed.,
Grad. Dip. Fine Arts (Professional Art Studies).

These classes are for young people aged 8 – 17.

Aims of these classes
Pupils will:
1. explore various visual forms of self expression
2. learn to direct this expression so it becomes a form of communication
3. experience handling different materials and learn to appreciate their qualities and potential
4. develop visual discrimination and colour awareness
5. learn about principles and elements in art
6. be introduced to the world of adult art through appreciation activities, viewing slide sets and videos/dvd’s and visiting art galleries
7. develop a vocabulary so that they can talk about, and read about art with understanding
8. develop their imagination through special teaching techniques employing metaphors, analogies and self-identification
9. develop art techniques suited to their level and forms of expression
10. learn to take care of tools and equipment and to clean up after themselves.

With young children, the emphasis is on expression, colour mixing and handling materials. Very gradually, as they mature, they are introduced to the world of adult art. Most children at the age of eleven or twelve suffer from a severe crisis in self confidence and consequently, creativity. Parents who watched their uninhibited six year old child produce aesthetically pleasing work, may be baffled to see that same child at eleven do nothing but draw endless planes, rockets and cartoons. What happened to the imagination and aesthetic sense? All children are creative at birth and have the capacity to develop further but throughout life they will be faced with obstacles to creative learning. Most children are bombarded with mind-numbing colouring-in activities from an early age, even at school. You, as parents, might even remember being told that your proportions were wrong or that your work showed no perspective or imagination. If so, how did that make you feel? Did your work improve as a result? Eventually, most children lose much of their spontaneity and creativity by the time they are eleven. They start to develop rigid thinking patterns like most adults. This will affect everything they do - not just their art work.

Children don’t have to lose their creativity. It can be preserved and nourished.

Activities offered
Every effort is made to give pupils as broad an experience in art as is practically possible. They will engage in drawing, painting, printmaking, jewellery design, screen printing, batik, puppetry, plaster sculpture, art appreciation and art history. However, not all of the above can be covered in one year. The history/appreciation will be incidental and related to the project at hand.

A year’s programme will include activities from the following areas:
1. Drawing, painting, collage. This forms about half the course.
2. Three dimensional arts – papier mâché work, plaster carving or modelling, jewellery using Fimo.
3. Printmaking – vegetable prints, collagraphs, lino prints.
4. Textile crafts – tie-dye, batik, screen printing.

If there are enough students, they will be divided into Juniors and Seniors. Seniors are mainly High School students but can include the occasional grade six or seven gifted student.

Communicating with parents
Traditionally, at schools, this is done through report cards but for a variety of reasons I don’t consider these appropriate for these classes. Most parents still appreciate some feedback however, so I have decided to use Student Briefs that list all the aims of a unit of work. A tick next to an aim indicates that the work has been completed to a satisfactory level and a comment is made at the bottom.

The Student Brief will show that each project or unit of work requires some sort of research (visual inquiry/drawing), studio work (painting, printmaking, sculpture, etc) and appreciation.

Newsletters will be sent out to keep parents up to date with all teaching plans.

Parents are welcome at all times to sit in on a lesson and help themselves to tea or coffee while waiting.
What will be expected from my child?
Children and teens will be expected to work at their own level but will be extended as much as possible. There is much to learn.

For pupils to make real progress, the teacher needs to understand both the nature of art and the needs of the student and must be able to impart his or her knowledge with enthusiasm. The pupil needs to pay attention and put into practice what is taught. This is obvious but in art it is not enough. The student also needs to be able to use the new teaching and still express his or her own ideas and be creative. At all times, there needs to be an atmosphere of acceptance and creativity in the class so that pupils can experiment without fear, failure or ridicule.

This also means that each student must respect the efforts of others.

There will occasionally be set homework but even when this is not the case, students should do art at home. The art class must never become a substitute for art done at home.

Children are expected to visit art galleries with their families. A bonus of art classes is that mums and dads are learning as well at no extra charge! Exposure to art is essential. It would be rare indeed for children who study music to have no access to the world’s great music, yet most homes have no art hanging on the walls. Many children who take up art have never even been to the Art Gallery of WA or any other galleries. This is a huge disadvantage. Art galleries do not charge entry fees.

For further information on classes contact Willemina on or go to the website


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