Art on the Go with H. L. Crawford
-Process-based workshops and interactive projects for the students and faculty as an opportunity to develop practices for expressing or sharing their breakthroughs toward deeper human understanding. The purpose shifts from the end result being an example of implemented skill to more of a chance to have technical ability help make a full spectrum of thinking visible, in many mediums. Inspired by pedagogy like Reggio Emilia and Montessori, where learning a personal fluency of effective language is more broadly important than simply producing the perfect product, my goal is to continue to cultivate channels of communication between the individual and their infinite capacity to create and comprehend.
-"Forming Our Fears"-
We worked together to explore the fear that can be found in the unclear or unknown parts of the imagination. We exercised how to make these aspects a little less scary by bringing definition and form to these thoughts through the act of creating art and discussion.
In many cases, we discuss concepts like limiting beliefs and theories like “social reproduction”, where 9 out of 10 times a child will achieve success within a scale of examples from their environment. Doing this while immersed in the creative process allows a better clarity of the contentions while connecting it with the practice at hand, forming a relationship. As the task progresses, so too can the participant with the subject that they’re working through, making it less ethereal and more defined and manageable. As the renderings near completion, we talk about how our imaginations have not only helped us form clear ideas of these limits and fears, but also given us a ritual that we can use to strengthen our control over such things governing our decisions.
Finally, we work on rendering a dream or fantasy. Each participant worked on their own but as a group. We talked about places, creatures, life goals, careers, family, and superpowers openly and excitedly. We worked to challenge the reach of each other's dreams and make every page its own universe. We helped each person get from where they were to where they wanted by just manifesting the next steps with critical thinking and the implementation of imagination. As a group, we discussed how this isn’t a unique or special gift, but a method of thinking that could be refined, a strength that exercise and practice can achieve, as we had done with this activity.
Children that started by saying they’ll never dream, saying they only have fears like death and shortcomings, ended up spending the most time and energy creating places bigger than they’ve ever known. That’s what I want to nurture and nourish, that ability to imagine entire worlds of solutions from nothing. The minds that, with just a spark, can ignite volcanoes. This workshop, although started for early education, has been quickly becoming an exciting and memorable way to learn more about how one’s depth of darkness can be a mirror of their capacity for light. For many, it’s also helped with believing that spectacular and wonderful things from this light can be achieved with practice.