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Cultivate’s Director of Education Shares Stories from Art Classes



One aspect of Cultivate’s mission is to encourage and inspire the next generation of artists. There’s an emphasis on creating a space for everyone, where all are encouraged to explore art-making. Claudia Pimentel, Cultivate’s Educational Director, has been committed to creating this space for artists of all ages, and has been teaching classes for some time as well! Here are her thoughts and recollections on teaching some of Cultivate’s classes:




Our courses are scaled by design to include a variety of ages, in keeping with our Montessori inspired curriculum!


In our recent Intro to Sculpture course, we had a full class of 13 students - lots of fun with messy, slippery clay, cardboard construction, and pipe cleaner architecture projects. As the course continued, our older students recognized the opportunity to teach and mentor their younger classmates as modeled by the teacher - teaching by example, experimenting, and problem solving. By the end of the course, there were self-appointed 'helpers' in the course who delighted in not only guiding their classmates, but assisting the teacher with handouts and materials. Seeing the growth and self-confidence build and shine in these older students as they embraced mentoring and guiding was a beautiful and empowering thing to behold!


Our Young Artist Series is a play-based class for our smallest learners, ages 4-6.


As with all our courses, the language of art and design is taught and used to enable our students to become more fluent art appreciators, creators, and communicators. Some of the most delightful moments in these classes are when the students start to use and express this language independently! One of the most memorable was during a painting exercise when a student observed their classmate's work and remarked that "I love the warm colors you're using!" By using the language of art and design intentionally and gently, our students quickly absorb and retain it, learning to see the world with an artist's eye.



To learn more about Cultivate’s classes and where to enroll, visit our website and search under the Art Education tab. Or go to — https://www.cultivategrandrapids.org/art-education

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