This annual exhibition presents a selection of the artworks created during the 2000-01 school year by 100 students ages 6 to 11 who took part in the Learning Through Art program. Held for the third consecutive year at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, the exhibition is a step further toward achieving the educational program's basic objective, which is to use artistic creativity to motivate schoolchildren and boost their self-esteem and personal growth.
Founded in 1970 by Natalie K. Lieberman at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, in response to the elimination of the arts in the city's state schools, the program invites artists to come to schools and work in close collaboration with the teachers there. The program uses artistic activity to reinforce the subjects in the primary school curriculum and also helps the children gain a greater respect for their own work and for the work others do. In 1998, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao adapted Learning Through Art to the interests and needs of primary schools in the Basque Country. Each program is custom designed to respond to the academic requirements, skills, and interests of the children involved.
As schoolchildren are more receptive to learning through artistic activities, these workshops are highly effective in consolidating what students have studied. By taking part in the creative process, they acquire a wider vocabulary and new skills. They learn how to plan and carry out a project to its conclusion, to work in teams and to think critically. This is also a good way of reaching schoolchildren who have difficulty learning with traditional teaching methods.
During the 2000-01 school year, Learning Through Art ran at six centers in the Basque Country for 20 weeks. Art workshops involving photography, painting, sculpture, video, or music were held once a week at each school.
Each session lasted an hour and a half. Together with the teaching staff, the artists working with the program-Julio Hernández, Roberto Landeta, Iratxe Larrea, Manu Muniategiandikoetxea, Mercedes Périz, and Nerea Zapirain-play a fundamental role in directing and stimulating the work of the children, as well as applying the kind of conceptual modes of thinking inherent to artistic creation to the specific subjects on the school curriculum. Among other things, work during the year centered on mathematics, dealing with subjects like geometry and systems of measurement, and knowledge of the medium, involving the study of the five senses.
State schools taking part in the program in the 2000-01 school year:
- P.S. Lamuza de Llodio, Álava
- Herriko Eskola de Zestoa, Gipuzkoa
- P.S. Calderón-Lope de Vega de Basauri, Bizkaia
- P.S. San Martín de Aramaio, Álava
- P.S. Virgen del Carmen de Pasaia San Pedro, Gipuzkoa
- P.S. Zubialde de Zeberio, Bizkaia