…the joint origin of love and art is not only theoretical but also has practical or tangible implications for the way we live today. (Art & Intimacy, Ellen Dissayanake, 2000, xiii)
I had the honor of interacting with an amazing group of educators and artists in Liora Bresler‘s The Arts in Elementary and Early Childhood Education course at the University of Illinois. Throughout the evening our group explored the five aesthetic operations [repetition, formalization, dynamic variation, exaggeration, and surprise!] identified by EllenDissanayake_HandbookEducResArtsRev. We uncovered their individual and collective power by manipulating loose parts, searched for evidence in beautifully designed spaces, and wondered about the potential to design and assess engaging learning environment for all learners from my latest publication with Emily Verba Designing and Assessing Aesthetic Learning Environments .
Enjoy a slide show of our loose part design and feel free to comment on their creativity, individuality, and felt sense. These loose parts designs, reminiscent of Reggio inspired nature designs, document the creativity, individuality and felt sense of mutuality.
“Taking the arts seriously means arts for everybody, not simply as enrichment or appreciation but — in schools and communities — as encouragement and opportunity to participate from the first years of life and throughout life, as was the human birthright.” (Dissayanake, 2000, 185) The arts infused into our everyday work, in the simple manipulation of objects in a space or arrangement of space to create a sense of place, imbues the viewer and visitor with a sense of mutuality, belonging, competence, meaning and artifying.