We frequently visit our school art gallery. We go armed with sketch books and pencils — ready to sketch anything we can see from within the gallery. Sometimes this is art, sometimes each other, and sometimes things we notice through the windows.
Most days our conversation goes like this:
Them: “Miss James, can we take off our shoes?”
Me: “You may — as long as you understand if we have a fire drill you are going outside without your shoes.”
They always agree, and I always cross my fingers that we don’t have a fire drill! Typically, once their shoes are off, they stow them under a shelf in the gallery and happily get to work sketching.
On this particular visit, the removal of their socks and shoes fueled their imagination and provided a unique medium for their creativity.
As I walked about the gallery. I came upon this …
Returning a few moments later, I found this …
And, finally, a bit later, this …
I love their creativity, collaboration and inclusion. Did you notice the number of shoes and socks increased in each photo? Each time someone asked to join, the original artists expanded their work to include their friends.
In the last photo, they are working together to collect the signatures of all the artists who contributed to their “double-flower art.”
I love that the freedom I gave them — to take off their shoes and wander the gallery in bare feet — resulted in such beautiful, examples of their powerful and joy-filled agency and creativity! I never cease to be amazed how such simple things — though profound when you think about it — as time, space, freedom, trust, resources (bare feet, socks and shoes, pencils and sketch books) and agency, allow these young creatives to do their thing.
They are fantabulous.