Warehouse Kids’ Art Club is a two hour, open creative play session for children ages 5 to 12. Lead by Warehouse 4726 owners, Ignacio Font, MFA and Jean Blackwell Font, this two hour event welcomes up to 10 children from the community, free of charge, to an afternoon of independent, creative play. A variety of art materials are available for the children to explore and experiment.
We believe that everyone is creative, with the potential to be emotionally expressive and innovative. As we mature, some of us experience critical feedback that destroys our confidence and cuts the connection to our own creative voice. Kindergarteners are all artists; by the time they reach fourth grade, there are significantly fewer artists in that group. By middle school, most children will disregard their own creative identity, opting to fit in, instead of stand out as an individual (Hamlin, The Atlantic Journal). Warehouse Kids’ Art Club hopes to cement the connection to creativity early on, before children lose their self-confidence. In his book, Creative Confidence, author David Kelly explains, “Creativity is as much about the ability to come up with ideas as it is about the courage to act on those ideas.” (Creative Confidence, 2013)
As an art teacher for more than 20 years, Ignacio Font sits at the table with the children and talks freely about the creative process, how to use the materials, and how to develop an idea into a work of art, without making judgments about any quality of work. Through the span of two hours, children make new friends, become more verbally expressive, and explore their imaginations in a space that allows their personalities to shine.
Warehouse Kids’ Art Club strives to ignite the creative nature within each child. We strongly believe that this should not be a classroom structure with assignments, but free time with gentle guidance. In his article in Psychology Today, Dr. Peter Gray puts it plainly: “Creativity is nurtured by freedom and stifled by the continuous monitoring, evaluation, adult-direction, and pressure to conform that restrict children’s lives today.” We concur.
Warehouse Kids’ Art Club hopes to help children find their creative identities, and feel confident in using their voices. We believe that when that critical moment comes, the connection within these children will be strong enough to disregard any negative influences. Creativity is vital to critical thinking and problem solving; and developing one’s voice and self-confidence early on is the best way to ensure the next generation’s access to their own creativity and success.
Gray, P. (2012, September 17). As Children's Freedom Has Declined, So Has Their Creativity. Retrieved August 25, 2017, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/201209/children-s-freedom-has-declined-so-has-their-creativity
Hamblin, J. (2014, June 28). Everyone Was an Artist in Kindergarten. Retrieved August 25, 2017, from https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/06/in-kindergarten-everyone-identified-as-an-artist/373659/