Student Feature: Showcasing First Semester Creative Arts Students: Reflections on Encounters with Paint

The Seneca ECE students in the Fall 2020 semester showed us their passion, their fire, their willingness to question.  Each and every student has a story to tell, ideas to share, and questions to bring to the table; and every single one is worth listening to. 

The students in the first semester Creative Arts course assembled collaborative pieces of pedagogical documentation reflecting on their insights and wonderings from the Lab School’s Many Layers of Paint Webinar mini-series, alongside their professor Nish Damji.

In their pieces, we see the possibilities that arise as we shift our view of the potential within authentic Art experiences and hold space for other types of stories to emerge. Professor Nish Damji offers her reflections on the beauty that emerges when stories are shared. 

An outstanding, authentic experience!

During Fall, 2020, our first semester students in ECE110 Visual Arts, had the opportunity to collaborate virtually with delightful educators from our Seneca ECE Lab School, Newnham Campus.

Students attended two interactive Webinars, The Many Layers of Paint (1 and 2) in a safe and comfortable virtual space created by the educators. This is valuable in today’s world as students have no opportunities to attend field placement in person.

Stories and images of active learning processes inspired students to shift gears from viewing Art as a traditional, outdated make-and-take craft activity to a fun and lively engagement with open-ended, spontaneous, messy explorations of colour and texture. Focusing on the image of the child as being independent, creative and curious, students were in awe to see children explore with paint freely and with all their senses. Children had the freedom to use paint as they wished – on the wall paper, floor, peers, adults and themselves. The set-up of the environment was simple and inviting. Students were also amazed to see true and dynamic partnership with families.

During their final assignment, students engaged with documentation provided by the Lab School. In groups, they untangled their thinking and reflected on children’s joy and wonder when immersed in Paint.

This experience has had a profound impact on the students and we are grateful to the educators for giving us the opportunity to enter the authentic world of children’s encounters with paint virtually!

-Nish Damji, RECE, BA, MEd
Professor, School of Early Childhood Education

We are honoured to share with you some of the work from the students in Nish’s class. The threads they worked to untangle together and their reflections on encounters with Paint. We wonder what these stories tell you, how these pieces of writing about these moments make you feel? We invite you to leave a comment and share your reflections with us.

What’s possible when we truly hold space for stories other than an art “product” to emerge? Where stories and worlds live in the relationship between the artist and the medium?

Once again, we invite you to leave a comment and share your reflections with us as we too continue to think with these ideas.

(If you are interested in our Many Layers of Paint 2-part series for your organization, please see our Professional Development section of our website.)

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