Sunday, April 29, 2012

Creating Timelines with Children

Twin sisters with their timelines
I was asked to hold a small workshop with children last Friday evening. The children had their own art show at the 78th street studio space. My little workshop was an art-related activity to take place during their own opening reception. 

It was held in the Cleveland West Art League gallery space where I created my installation for the 6 in Studio Show. Children from 8 local grade schools had their own art show in a larger space outside the walls of the small gallery I was in.

Most of my work, if not all, is associated with the idea of mapping my place in the world. I was asked to develop a workshop for school children where they would create a small artwork relating to my own artwork.

Thus, was born, Who Are You? I provided strips of colored paper and asked the children to write/draw a few significant life-events about themselves. In turn, I sewed the strips together. The workshop had to be something these kids could do within 10 minutes...the room was crowded!

Children and Parents reading the sign I made to have them make a timeline of their lives.
My hands sewing the strips of paper timeline pieces together for the kids
We set my sewing machine up on a table in the studio space and I spoke to each child as I sewed their timelines together. It was grand!

What I learned was that making timelines with kids gave me the chance to look into the eyes of each child, engage them with conversation about  themselves, and thanked each one for sharing bits of their life with me.

I feel, think, believe, that Adults are entrusted with empowering children. Not having any of my own, I take care to be the voice of encouragement to children when the opportunity strikes. 

This was one of those times.

Proud boy in front of me as I began to sew his pieces of timeline together
Here a few pieces of artwork in the Children's Art Show. I enjoyed viewing all the work and speaking to many children.
Artwork I purchased from the Children's art show. This student is is 5th grade.

Isn't' this paper mache sculpture terrific? A red boxer

Clay work

Fish bowl painting

I want this lovely piece of wire-work. I wish it had been for sale.
Simple and charming.

I would do this again. Wouldn't you?
Next time, I'd like to have an hour with one class. Discuss timelines, mapping, and expand their view about who they, themselves are. 
Then make timelines in different forms...


  1. What a great idea! It sounds great for you and the children.

    As to their art, well they are masters.

    1. Yes Terry, these kids are master artists.
      I knew you'd appreciate the timeline project.

  2. God bless you, Christine! Sometimes I am overwhelmed with the way some kids are treated. Thanks for doing such a wonderful thing to make them feel important. BTW I WANT THAT FISHBOWL PAINTING. Wonderful stuff!

  3. christine, you managed to make something very meaningful in so short a time. that's good thinking. i love how you got to see each child's eyes up close, and they, of course, yours.

  4. Such a simple idea with great outcomes. A way of creating a meaningful contact, and I love the way the thread holds it all together.

  5. I love the idea of your time line project for the children!! Simple and meaningful. I'd love to make one for myself!

  6. Fantastic works!
    Give my congratulations to all children.
    A hug.

  7. Hi Christine --

    I'm wondering if you would send me information about India's workshops in Cleveland in October? Thank you! Kelly

  8. this is magnificent ! i want to live with everyone of those works of art ----& i wish i could be one of those kids & have a teacher like you .


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