Completed: Smart Art: Creative Problem Solving

4 Week Course
Thursdays, February 1, 8, 15, 22
1.5 hours
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
ASG Juniors Ages: 11-14
Cost: $125 EC (supplies not included) Instructor: LaVanda Mireles

Title: Smart Art: Creative Problem Solving

Description: Artists are visual problem solvers. In this course, students learn how to understand problems through the eyes of an artist, come up with creative solutions and explore new and non-traditional materials for making art. By working individually and in small groups, students will enhance their skills in visual problem solving. Supplies required, see list.

Goal: Students come away with the ability to break down problems, and have confidence and skills in creative problem solving.

Supply List:

Glue (white Elmers or wood glue)
Acrylic paint (at least 2 colors of your choice)
Old art, cards, wrapping paper, newspaper, magazines, etc. to be collaged
Various found objects (no larger than 6” diameter) such as sea glass, plastic, old toys, pieces and parts from broken items, etc.
Styrofoam tray (vegetable or meat tray approximately 5 x 7”)
Empty cardboard box (no larger than cereal box)

Supplies Provided by Art School Greenz:

Craft paper
Charcoal ____________________________________________________________________________ __

Tenative Outline:

Week 1: Identify and break down information (the issue at hand). Open and closed ended question game(s). Make a ‘mind map’ as a class (begin to evaluate process). Charcoal

drawing: line, shape, texture, value. Homework/Task: bring in supplies and paper items for collage next week.

Week 2: Abstract thinking games. Make collage and mixed media and practice intuitive art. Informal art talks with classmates. Homework/Task: bring in foam trays and paint for printmaking next week.
Week 3: When process fails–what to do when something goes wrong. Relief printing with styrofoam trays. Make prints and some to trade. Homework/Task: bring in an empty box (cracker box, cereal or other) and found objects to use in assemblage next week.

Week 4: Assemblage box–traditionally non-art material as artwork (use objects in new ways). Choose at least one take away, idea or concept that you learned during this course and create a ‘memory box’ (like artist Joseph Cornell) that expresses your ideas or inspirations. Students will share their creations with the class in a final artist talk.


  • ●  Understand the problem by breaking it down and asking questions
  • ●  Plan and play! Come up with many new ideas
  • ●  Carry out the plan and adjust as new problems arise
  • ●  Reflect, what worked? What didn’t?Strategies Used
  • ●  Brainstorm
  • ●  Critical thinking and lateral thinking
  • ●  Research
  • ●  Trial and Error