A few weeks ago, my class studied the amazing artist, Louise Nevelson, and each student created their own, Nevelson-inspired, assemblage sculpture.
Nevelson offers a great lesson in art history and moving forward in life with confidence and work habits. She built large sculptures using wooden objects in boxes and painting them one color, black, white, or gold. It was fun to watch students search through piles of materials and find something that was meaningful to them. I offered my students pieces of cardboard and wood, used water bottles, wire, and small, used toys.
Art classrooms often becomes the garbage cans of the school, as people show up with paper towel tubes , bubble wrap, and a "Can you use this?" But that's a good thing when teaching students environmental concepts such as reducing and reusing, as well as art concepts such as "found objects" and assemblage. Conversations can go back to Duchamps "ready-mades" and the big question, "What is art?" Bliss for me as a teacher, is the spot right between the profound and the whimsical.