An Open Letter To Our Studio Parents


Hi Parents,

Since August last year, I have become really intermittent and inconsistent with my Facebook updates. I have always hope to involve and help parents understand what I do with the children in class, so that you can support your children properly. So I sincerely apologise for the absence from the social media realm which has been my most effective communication tool in explaining the classes so far.

I hope to give an update to some of the adjustments I am bringing into my classroom and also the rationale.

STUDIO PHILOSOPHY

A while back, I was busy finding out how to explain Utter Studio. It came down to

  1. No cookie cutter methods

  2. 100% child invested (I never EVER edit children’s work)

  3. Children’s own developmental pace

  4. For children to acquire the Art of observation and see the world with curious eyes

With my focus on empowering children through tangible drawing results that they can achieve on their own, the studio has always geared towards exercises that allowed them to continuously hone their perceptive skills. This methodology has yielded great results thus far. However, I would like to introduce Utter Studio 2.0, with a bringing the focus back to the word “utter” meaning student voice and sound.

 

2017- ANIMAL FRENZY EXHIBITION

In 2017, while preparing for the art exhibition, I had 2 major findings

  1. My studio children have difficulty articulating (language) their own artworks. They generally found it really tough to talk and write about their own artworks.

  2. My studio children were more interested in their own artwork and not as curious about other student’s artwork during the exhibition. Most had very limited recollections of what other artworks were present.

I realised that the ability to appreciate articulate and appreciate is a skill that needs to be taught, consciously. The ability to engage in meaningful conversation with other artwork, is similar to the ability to connect with people. Language, articulation and appreciation are all tightly woven components of a holistic education for children. It is not enough to help them see and draw better. They need to be able to speak confidently with words as well.

 

2018- A FRESH START

The truth is, during my 2017 holiday classes, I have children who tell me “My mom threw away my artwork. I had to beg her to at least keep it in the cupboard.” It was a heartbreaking moment to hear children believe that their artwork belongs in the closet. So I started 2018 with a CNY artwork that was turned into a printed cushion cover. I believe in the power of bringing tangible outcomes to children, showing them just how real and valuable their artwork is. With this, I will be incorporating this product element (turning artworks into meaningful items) permanently as part of the Utter Studio culture.

*Joy and pride in hugging their own products

 

This year I am also shifting the studio focus to include

  1. Artist appreciation work for all age group.

  2. First principles of Art appreciation. Being deliberate and intention in building up student language/vocabulary basics

  3. Looking at other qualities of Art outside of realism (most children only has one way to gauge if their artwork is good)