Skilly-do ♥ Teaching Artists - Nicole Welch

27 September 2018

 
teaching artist nicole welch

Meet Nicole Welch, an early art educator with 20 years experience in museums and non-profit arts organizations. Here’s why Nicole believes teaching very young children to be creative is so important, “Making art, making anything really, is such a natural way for young children to better understand their world and themselves. I love helping to foster a love of learning through art.” Let’s find out more about Nicole, her classes, art and passion for teaching …

Over the last few years, Nicole has taught with the North Carolina Museum of Art preschool outreach programs and summer camps. In 2019, she will begin offering a series of art-based playgroups for infants, toddlers and preschoolers in the Raleigh-Durham area. You can follow her on Instagram @yumamaraleigh for project ideas and updates on her latest classes and playgroups. Right on, Nicole!

What advice would you give on how to encourage their creativity in art activities?

Cover a table with a vinyl tablecloth. Set out some materials that you are comfortable with letting your child use without your help. And then let them make what they want. Let them make a mess! If you are worried about a mess, take the art making outside. Sometimes the hardest thing is just letting go and letting the child lead the process and make their own decisions. And then ask them about what they made-- and let them tell you. And try to remember to write down their explanation.

What’s your favorite type of media or art form that you like to make with children? And why?

I love mixing different media, using non-traditional art materials and letting children explore different art processes. Any project that features a big “reveal “ or surprise of some sort is always a success.

Why did you want to teach young children about art?

Young children are natural problem solvers. They are constantly observing, tinkering and building their knowledge of the world around them. Making art, making anything really, is such a natural way for young children to better understand their world and themselves. I love helping to foster a love of learning through art.

What kind of art do you make for yourself?

My most recent artworks are layered digital skyscraper images printed on polycarbonate.

What is the most rewarding part of your work with children?

Their joy. Their giggles. Their pride. Seeing them overcome frustration and seeing the beauty in imperfection. Art making has a way of reaching every child in one way or another.

Feeling inspired?

Get in spring-y mood by constructing something fabulous with our Bloomin’ Carton Gardens activity. Or, explore more colors and non-traditional materials with our Color Outside the Lines activity collection.  Need more ideas for preschool art making? You can find easy, affordable ideas right here in our Preschool Materials Guide!

Know an amazing teaching artist that works with children ages 2 to 4 years old?

Please do send us your recommendations: mail@skilly-do.io! And we're always glad to know what you think-- you can give us your feedback right here.