This past month the children in Grades 1-3 have worked so hard on their versions of Gustav Klimt’s Tree of Life. Since Kilmt was a symbolist painter, we discussed what the tree of life represented. We talked about how works of art can have meaning and even tell a story. For example, that the growth of a tree can symbolize life, that we start off a small, unseen seed and grow into branches that represent the connections we have with the people in our lives. The children came to understand this concept that life begins by first meeting and knowing our parents or caregivers and then siblings, friends and teachers. We even discussed that they are continually making more connections each year as they move from grade to grade, making new friends and meeting new teachers like me!

The children learned about the style of art that Klimt made popular called Art Nouveau (or “New art”) as it was radically different in style from the paintings prior to his time. This style is highly decorative and uses elements of crafts. The children learned how they can paint things from their imagination rather than copying nature in a realistic way. Just like decorating their Christmas trees at home, they loved using gold leaf and origami papers to decorate their trees.

The paintings look even more stunning in person. You can see all the hints of gold leaf, metallic paint, and shimmering papers with patterns. I am so proud of my students for their amazing work. Check out the art board downstairs by the gym to see the work up close!

Carrie Laureola
Art Teacher
Children’s Garden School