In common conception, the work of art is often identified with the building, book, painting, or statue in its existence apart from human experience. Since the actual work of art is what the product does with and in experience, the result is not favorable to understanding. – John Dewey, Art as Experience (1934).
I have written about Family Night each year at Assets because the event is so extraordinary that I always feel compelled to talk about it and share it with others. I have seen few events, at any school, that rival Family Night’s ability to celebrate student creativity and brilliance. My favorite part of the evening is that all students have at least one piece of artwork displayed. If you were on campus, you saw how the walls transform into a breathtaking art gallery. It’s beautiful. Core to its beauty is knowing that it’s a constellation of every single student’s imagination, effort and expression displayed at one time.
Truth be told, it’s difficult to capture in words how and why this evening is so special. You have to see the excitement that the children have when they’re dragging their parents and siblings down the hall to find their artwork. And the smiles and pride on their face when they take a picture next to their artwork. For middle schoolers, it’s often the parents who are beaming with pride, as they see their child presenting in front of other students and adults. This is a wonderful moment because it’s often a side of the child that parents don’t see as much in the familiar confines of their home. Continue reading