One of the beautiful things about art is the fact that it can be created
by all, regardless of age, etc. Art is a way of expressing one's ideas:
for some, it's the only way.
It's fascinating to watch kids play or do art. They take the simplest
things and are able to construct a new world with them. Last week my K4
students were given modeling clay. I was amazed at how many different
things that tiny ball of clay became! That's what I love about
elementary art. The younger ones aren't concerned with what others think
of art. They don't know what it's "supposed" to look like - or they
don't care! Thus their artwork is spontaneous, individualistic and
highly expressive. They are transferring their imaginative ideas onto
It's truly sad when students' creativity is thwarted. I've heard
well-meaning adults tell children that hair isn't purple, the leg's too
long, etc. They begin questioning their ideas and sadly begin censoring
or altering their own artwork. I believe all people have imaginations
and can be creative. How easily this can be accessed depends on how far
away it's been pushed.
I believe that individuals with cognitive or emotional disabilities can
also be highly creative. In fact, it may be easier for them than for
highly intelligent people, who often struggle or fight with what their
rigid logical side is telling them. A cognitively delayed child is simply
expressing themselves in an uncensored way. As adults, we may not always
understand what they are trying to convey- they might not either! Our job
is to provide opportunities for them to use that creative spirit.