paintings

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Art Show 2010

A little red friend - born in the collage centerA little red friend - born in the collage centerStaging an art show is an interesting exercise. It's one part celebration, one part pulling teeth, one part planning, and one part total surprise. As our choice-based studios have matured at Evergreen Elementary School, we've taken on a bit more with our end of the year exhibition. Year one was an art walk. Our current PTSO president, Donna, contacted area businesses and arranged for display space. She has considerable artistic ability in her own right and the displays"I found my picture!""I found my picture!" were well received in coffee shops, cafes, libraries, and utility companies. Artwork was chosen on the basis of variety and pithy artists' statements and Donna did ALL the legwork involved in hanging and retrieving the displays.

Year two (last year) was our first year staging a big show in a public space. Since our gym/cafeteria is used for so many purposes during the day and is also booked for athletic and dance practices in the evening, it wasn't a good idea to display our artwork there. This beautiful weaving took at least four class sessions.This beautiful weaving took at least four class sessions.Our hallways have some bulletin display space, but with active, innovative teachers, they're always full of children's writing and poetry, artwork, and science and math project work. Our experience with staging the show at our local Civic Center was a positive one, so we booked the big main room again this year. Only four blocks from our school, the two story "big room" lends itself well to weddings, big meetings, community events, and elementary art shows! The city offices that are there - police, court, and water payment offices result in lots of foot traffic and their facility manager, Mark, has a crew that is adept at setup and take down.Dan, the art guru from our neighboring school across town, checked out the art, too.Dan, the art guru from our neighboring school across town, checked out the art, too.

After I looked at the attendance data from last year I realized that having the show in the evening hours, alone, resulted in fairly modest numbers of visitors. We'd also attempted to gain larger crowds by scheduling the show during our annual Dia de los Niños celebration. Instead of bolstering attendance, that split the crowd. A brainstorming session with my specialist team (PE, music, library) started the planning for walking field trips to see the show. Grade levels would make the trek in pairs (K-1, 2-3, 4-5) with lots of adult walkers to help with safety and behavior choices. Many critters were represented, including this puffin.  The puffin science unit is many third graders' favorite lesson.Many critters were represented, including this puffin. The puffin science unit is many third graders' favorite lesson.Our specialist time provides planning time for teachers but after presenting the proposal to the Leadership Team, people were willing to juggle their schedules for the day so that all children and staff could see the show. To help support the goals of my library partner we scheduled a book fair for the evening of the show in the school library.

Perhaps I'll track the amount of time it takes to mount 540Zentangles® are this fifth grader's favorite design challenge.Zentangles® are this fifth grader's favorite design challenge. pieces of artwork on black construction paper and convert oral or written artists' statements from each child someday. This year's effort began last June, when the order for 18"x24" black paper went in. The April, 2009 show taught me that gluing enough 12"x18" paper to mount the number of large paintings we had was seriously time consuming soTrue friends - a girl and her dog.True friends - a girl and her dog. the larger paper size worked great this year. I talked to the students about the show early in September when we decorated our portfolio covers, promising that they'd enjoy the process of choosing a favorite piece when the show came along in the spring. A few children proudly announced, "This one is for the show!" when they finished a particularly satisfying piece of artwork. Others needed to be nudged a bit. I give a prize to the student who brings the most visitors to the evening show.  This smiling Candelaria was responsible for 17!I give a prize to the student who brings the most visitors to the evening show. This smiling Candelaria was responsible for 17!Ours is a methodology that focuses more strongly on process than product, so many children prefer to try to "just do one more picture of X" to choosing a piece from further back in the year. After much shuffling of artwork, deep consideration of everything in the portfolios, and only a little bit of BossyArtTeacherStrongArming, works are chosen.

The show's first visitor on Wednesday (with hanging still in progress) was this clever snail's artist - with a squeal of delight.The show's first visitor on Wednesday (with hanging still in progress) was this clever snail's artist - with a squeal of delight.





Artists' statements are amazing things. I watch adults and children alike sink into the fascination of listening to the artist's voice in print while their eyes look at the art. Some are tidy lists thatTissue paper, glue, and scissors - the perfect kindergarten combination.Tissue paper, glue, and scissors - the perfect kindergarten combination. highlight process. Others are rambling stories





that beg for more print space. Still others are almost too private - windows into that artist's mind. Younger students dictate their statements and they're dropped straight into a computer template. Older students do their own first draft and submit the statement when the art is submitted for the show. A few find it difficult to talk about their art (hence the earlier reference to pulling teeth) but I politely insist. You won't be there to discuss your work with your viewers. Share just a little about what you were thinking, please. This year's format was two statements: Share something about why you created this piece. Share something about how you made it. Notan - serene and powerful, from Japan.Notan - serene and powerful, from Japan.

Thank you notes have gone out to the volunteers who gave us their afternoon to help hang the show, to the maintenance men who transported the livestock panels for my display kiosks, and to the facilitator of the room, for being such a pro in how he deals with our wandering art hordes. Data from the surveys I distributed to staff are being collected to help in next year's planning, and the artwork from the 2009-2010 art show is safely posted on refrigerators all over town. Life is good.This one is mine!This one is mine!Satisfied customersSatisfied customersA masterful second grade phoenixA masterful second grade phoenixKnights are popular in 21st Century SheltonKnights are popular in 21st Century SheltonOjos de dios require a fair amount of dexterity but are well worth the effort.Ojos de dios require a fair amount of dexterity but are well worth the effort.I used a setup picture instead of the take down picture because the latter is too scary. See all the soon to be filled space?I used a setup picture instead of the take down picture because the latter is too scary. See all the soon to be filled space?

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