Introducing the School Arts Plan to Staff

Visual Art Activity: Pass Around Drawing

This visual art activity helps people find their flow with visual arts.  It comes from the book,Catch the Fire: An Art-Full Guide to Unleashing the Creative Power of Youth, Adults, and Communities by Peggy Taylor and Charlie Murphy.  This is the book provided to each arts team at the Fall Arts Team Launch Meetings.
From page 172-173 ofCatch the Fire.

Cover image of book, "Catch the Fire: An Art-Fill Guide to Unleashing the Creative Power of Youth, Adults and Communities
Materials: 18"x24" paper, crayons, oil pastels or markers

Steps:

  1. Break into small groups of six or eight people sitting around a table.  Give each person a blank piece of paper, and place oil pastels, crayons or markers in the center of the table.
  2. Ask participants to close their eyes and imagine a time they felt happy and creative.  Have them begin drawing an image that represents that feeling.  Once the drawings have gotten started, ask everyone to pause.
  3. Preface the next instruction by saying, "What I'm going to ask you to do next may make you feel uncomfortable, but please go along with it anyway." Then ask people to pass their picture to the person on their left.  Now everyone gets to add images to the new picture just received,  After a minute or two call out, "Pass the picture to the left."
  4. Ask people to imagine they are giving the originator of each drawing a gift as they add new images to each picture.  Invite them to use words as well as images, but with a focus on images.
  5. Once the pictures have gone all the way around the circle, each person adds some final touches, then looks at their picture and adds a short title.

    This activity release a lot of creative energy and generates a good deal of delight.  The groups have fun talking about the process and comparing their pictures.  Of course, the real learning has to do with freeing the voice through the arts. (See this research study on how drawing impacts writing skills.)