Electronic Thesis/Dissertation


Making Our Marks: Art from First to Fine Open Access

This paper is not a standalone document; rather, it is the supporting research to a larger design proposal comprised of exhibit plans, elevations, graphics, and other visuals. Please contact the author for more information on the full design package. The proposed exhibit demonstrates that changes to children's artwork, in both approach and imagery, are reflections of cognitive development. With little exception, this progressive artistic development occurs sequentially in all children. The exhibit "Making Our Marks: Art from First to Fine" seeks to promulgate a respect for children's art by connecting this progressive, universal artistic development to the presence of an inner artist in all people. The exhibit is mostly children's drawings, ranging from early scribbles to late teenage works. Despite varied cultural and historic context, there is striking similarity in the displayed artwork, demonstrating the shared human experience of early creative expression. The children's work is grouped by developmental stages, common imagery, or presented in individual case studies. Other avenues of expression, including 3-dimensional fine arts and performance art, are also explored. Some major artists' work is displayed alongside the unknown child artists to highlight a cyclical relationship between artists and childhood: as all artists were once children, anyone may become the next great artist (with a little encouragement).

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