Eyeball It!TM is a unique series of studio art projects for elementary school-age children to do at home with a parent or other interested adult– painting, drawing, sculpture, collage.
Eyeball It!TM project directions are written to give children structure, technical help, and new ideas. Each project requires several work sessions, providing roughly a month of activity.
Eyeball It!TM offers parents/adults the opportunity to generate art experiences themselves without having to be artists.
Directions suggest clearly where parental help is needed and what has to be done. The program’s schedule is highly flexible and fosters conversation between parents/adults and children about each project’s content.
HOW MUCH TIME DOES IT TAKE?
For the adults, roughly an hour to start each major project with the child. After that, gentle guidance when useful to help the child focus on moving through the stages of the project and completing it.
For the children, several work sessions over the course of a month. Sessions may be 75 minutes or 5 minutes, depending on the child’s own creative process and open time.
WHAT WILL IT COST?
The Eyeball It!TM program itself is free and available online.
An optional Materials Kit is offered by a cooperating art supplier: $86 for 1 child, $100 for 2 children together sharing supplies. Plus recommended scissors at $5 per child, to be purchased separately online. (Please see Note to Parents/Adults re: Art Materials for details.) Materials can also be purchased independently.
Eyeball It!TM is based on looking – analyzing what we see in the real world or the pictures inside our imaginations – and the natural desire to translate visual experience into visual art.
Eyeball It!TM projects are downloadable free to users from this website. Short videos demonstrating techniques (cutting, erasing, painting, etc.) are viewable free to users on the website only. Also website-only are read-along recordings – an audio recording paired with each project text that can be played as a simple movie.
Eyeball It!TM comes with a recommended list of art materials and a suggested supplier. These high quality, reasonably priced materials are a key element – parents need to know what supplies will help their kids to succeed, pushing their confidence and curiosity further. Supplies are abundant, well-tested, and safe. (All can be used in elementary schools.)
Eyeball It!TM was created in the 1990’s when I was teaching in both art centers and a private elementary school. At that time I was responding to an obvious gap – clearly articulated by parents I knew – in what was readily available for their children’s art education, whether from school, after-school and museum programs or from off-the-shelf art kits, books and supplies.
Today that gap still exists, aggravated by yet another 15-20 years of visual arts education being cut in schools, both public and private. Gratefully, a reawakening has been underway about the critical role of the arts and arts-based education. Many foundations and government agencies now offer funding to schools and other organizations. But there is still nothing substantive for parents/adults and children to work with on their own.
Eyeball It!TM gives any parent/adult the tools to guide real studio art experience for children at home. The program can be adapted for use by groups – after-school programs, scout troops, school classes, church groups, public libraries – who don’t have a teaching artist on staff.
Longer range, my goal is to develop two new projects yearly until 10-12 total projects exist. In the later ones, I have long planned to incorporate art history/appreciation into the children's studio process, building on themes and art forms that have occurred in multiple cultures and historical moments.
When you click on a folder to download a project, you will be asked to enter some basic and general information that will tell us about Eyeball It!’s users – information potential funders will want to know. (You will not be asked for personal information.) You will also be required to check that you understand and accept two statements – one about Eyeball It!’s being copyrighted material and the second about your responsibility for your children’s and your safety doing the artwork.
To view my own artwork and background, please visit EllenPriest.com. My resume is under ‘History’.
PLEASE NOTE: This website is not fully supported by Internet Explorer 9 and earlier. It works properly, including its colorful background, on Safari, Firefox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer 10 and later.
Painted Collage on Homepage: Detail from Jazz: Thinking Out Loud, Reaching for Song #29 © 2011 Ellen Priest