Organizing your studio

Organizing your studio

Organizing an Open Studio Setting
Road map for art educators and art therapists

“Art teachers, art therapists and artists express themselves, among other ways, in the
language of materials furniture, shelves, classification of the different mediums and
tools, serving as a text with its own intrinsic logic, which influences both body and mind.
Every shelf of materials can be perceived as a sentence, every cabinet as a paragraph.
They function as an alchemical basis supporting the creative process.
In the art studio, students or clients are offered materials. The organization of those
materials is in itself a non-verbal message, the secret component which determines
whether or not the work process will flow smoothly. Is the classification in your studio
accessible, allowing each child or adult to find his/her way among the different
materials? Does the organization of the room allow for the child to select a suitable place
to create in, whether within the large group or apart from it? Do you notice if students
enjoy what they do? Do children know where to find what they need? Do you offer a
variety of artistic modes of expression in your classroom? Do children help and teach
each other? Are the works of art well kept? Do you enjoy your time with the children?
If an open studio setting is made possible, a magical phenomenon takes place: the
students learn about their inner world and take responsibility for their choices. They
develop a personal process and share with their classmates what they learnt with less

If you are interested in this tool, you can find it here.


4 thoughts on “Organizing your studio”

  • Thank you Nona for sharing so inspiring and meaningful thoughts. Working with creative workshops, the question I always struggle with is about the right balance between freedom (just a lot of materials and toys freely available) and limits or rules (for example giving a specific material or activity). Of course, a proposed activity can provide a different level or freedom within it… And the rich setting of the open studio is very important for giving many different possibilities so that everyone could find his/her way.
    Anyway, sometimes I have noticed that too much freedom can also hinder a creative process, specially with adults that are not familiar with art (“where should I start from?”).
    How can a person choose something that do not know? Can the open studio itself guarantee the freedom of choice?
    I think the art teacher is in the middle of this, searching for a balance between giving informations-supporting-guiding on one side, and let everybody express her/himself on the other one. Not so easy…

    • Thank you, Roberta, for your clear description of what is so commonly felt in Kindergartens, schools and even therapy.
      Yes, it is a very delicate task and needs attunment all the time.
      In addition, in different cultures there will be different varieties of actions- thoughts- feelings from the teachers.

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