Tiny World Inside an Altoid Box


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Months ago a friend gifted me with 30 tiny tin Altoid boxes.  They have sat dutifully in my art closet awaiting their purpose.

When I brought them into class, the students were instantly excited and spared neither time nor imagination creating a box for their claims.

Using multi-media objects, spray paint, wire cutters, glue guns and miniature figurines each student made their own box.  We talked about how artists can work in two ways.  One is with a very specific plan which they execute from beginning to end according to that plan.  The artist starts out with an intended message and knows precisely how they want to say it. Another way is to jump in and intuitively create an art piece without knowing which direction it will go.  Then the artist steps back and asks, “What is this?  What does it mean?”

Both are valuable ways of working.  The students appreciated permission to work both ways.  We discussed how an artist will work in whichever way offers them the most creativity and fluency of expression.  No particular way is better than the other.

Students were then asked to articulate in writing, what their art piece signified.  Some questions we answered were:

If your box could tell a story, what would it say?

How do the materials, colors, textures or objects express your message?

What did you learn about yourself making your piece?

Why is this piece important to you?


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