Playing with Art and Architecture was a new six-week contemporary visual art course for children within Project 20/20. This was a new partnership with the Centre of Talented Youth in Dublin City University. The course focused on offering a practical hands-on approach to exploring contemporary art but it also aimed to build-on the childrenâ€™s visual literacy skills and to increase their confidence in talking about and discussing contemporary art. The 16 children, all in 5th class were nominated from 8 DEIS schools in the Dublin1 area.
Prior to facilitating this course I had just completed Visual Thinking Strategies training with DCC Arts Office and The LAB Gallery. I was eager to integrate this with the making aspect of the sessions. Visual Think Strategies (VTS) is a methodology that invites the viewer, children and adults to explore artworks through a line of questioning that is based on their own experience and understanding; they become much more invested this way than by being given facts, figures, context and history by someone else. It shows children that they have the means and the where-with-all to interpret art themselves thus demystifying the gallery experience. This approach works in sync with my approach to working in collaboration with children an intrinsic part of my own practice.