Maywood Childcare Center Turns Into Museum As Young Artists Showcase Work

Sunday, August 19, 2018 || By Michael Romain & Shanel Romain || @maywoodnews 

Featured image: Serenity Woodson shows off her artwork at Cradle to the Classroom Childcare in Maywood. | Shanel Romain 

Serenity Woodson, a young girl who attends Cradle to the Classroom Childcare’s summer camp, recently walked the halls of the childcare center, located at 35 S. 19th Ave. in Maywood, as if she were the star of her very own artistic exhibition. 

In a way, she was. On Friday, during an open house held at Cradle to the Classroom, Woodson explained a painting she created that hung on the walls of the facility, which had been transformed into an art gallery.

Maywood daycare art_Girl in red showing art to parents

Woodson showing artwork to parents during an open house event at Cradle to the Classroom daycare in Maywood. | Shanel Romain 

“First, I painted it and then I put it outside and I had a paint brush and cup and put it in the paint and I splattered it all over and then put on some glue and glitter,” Woodson said. 

Maywood daycare art_Girl in red with drawing

Woodson next to a character drawing of her created by a professional artist. | Shanel Romain 

If that method may sound familiar to art aficionados, that’s because it’s a nod to the towering abstract expressionist painter Jackson Pollack (1912 – 1953).

His most influential work, known as “drip paintings,” “consisted of flinging and dripping thinned enamel paint onto an unstretched canvas laid on the floor of his studio,” according to a description of the artist on the website of The Museum of Modern Art.

Maywood daycare art_Drawings

A professional character artist came in and created character drawings of students during Cradle to the Classroom’s summer camp. | Shanel Romain 

During the Aug. 17 open house, Glenda Thomas, the daycare’s director and owner, said that the children, who range from six weeks to 12 years old, have been learning about great inventors and artists over the summer.

Maywood daycare art_1

Glenda Thomas in front of her students’ drip paintings, inspired by Jackson Pollack. | Shanel Romain 

“They drew some characters and we had a professional character artist come out and do character pictures of the kids,” Thomas said. “The children also created self-portraits in various types of art mediums.”

Thomas said that the children even took a field trip to an area art museum to see the work of the masters for themselves.

Student artwork on display Cradle to the Classroom in Maywood. | Shanel Romain 

That kind of hands-on, direct learning by doing — a staple of Montessori and Progressive education — is critical to the daycare’s mission, Thomas indicated.

“Each one of our classrooms has names,” she said. “The seedlings are our youngest infants and then, as they get older, they advance to our sprouts and our branches.

Some of the Cradle to the Classroom’s youngest artists. Right, Noah, one half of the daycare’s three sets of twins, shows off his work. | Shanel Romain 

“It’s really about branching out, learning new things and learning to be independent. The goal in every classroom is to prepare them for the next level.” VFP 

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