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Art Shows

Behind the Scenes of an Art Workshop…

Behind the Scenes of an Art Workshop…

By on Jul 21, 2016 | 0 comments

In 24 hours I’ll be welcoming art teachers, classroom teachers, studio owners and parent to my 2-day summer art workshop. It’s too cliche to say I’m excited. It’s more than that. This is what I love to do. Teach.  Inspire. Motivate. Create. But behind the fun of planning the lessons and playing with the supplies, there’s a whole lot of madness, mess and paperwork beneath the surface… Here’s What Really Happens…. 1. The date you want to host your workshop is never available. Like a wedding, if you want to plan a workshop that can accommodate more than 25 people, you need space. And space is always in short supply. And it costs money. I knew that I had to turn away as many people that attended my 2015 workshop, so doubling the room space was necessary. I went from an easy-peasy set up at a large university to a big deal set-up at the same university. Bigger rooms mean more expenses, more rules and more paper work. And they mean that you need to work around their schedule and not the other way around. The university had one weekend available all summer long;  the date in which I travel home to PEI and start my summer vacation. But vacations can be adjusted but not the university schedule! The room I secured is big, beautiful and comes with a bevy of staff to help you plan your event. Nice! Lesson learned: Plan way, way in advance. If you want to host your workshop in a hotel, conference center or university, sometimes you need more than a year’s notice. Just like a wedding. 2. People cancel and cancel and cancel…. One of the discouraging things about planning a workshop is all the cancellations. It’s like hosting a huge party and everyone makes other plans. But the trick is to have a waiting list so that you can allow other folks to join the party when spots open. Also, don’t take it personally. If you do, the joy of hosting a workshop starts to fade. And we don’t want that. Some conferences I have attended have a zero refund policy. You can offer your ticket to someone else but no refunds. that’s hard but it also makes attendees...

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Art Show Guidebook

Art Show Guidebook

By on Mar 12, 2014 | 4 comments

I’ve been waiting to put this puppy together for years now and something always got in the way. But with art show season upon us, I was eager to share my twelve years of art show experience with you all. Creating this 38-page guidebook was pure joy because although art shows can be incredibly taxing, nothing is more well-received by children, parents and teachers. Think about it, is there anything more wonderful than a roomful of children’s art? I think not. It’s my hope that you will find simple solutions to your most frustrating art show problems, like scheduling, soliciting help and mounting all that art! I’ve created handouts for you to give to teachers and volunteers, forms to make mounting art easier and ideas for clever display alternatives. Here is a peek...

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Art Show 2013

Art Show 2013

By on Apr 11, 2013 | 13 comments

    This year’s art show will be unveiled tonight. I won’t be there. I’ll be watching my son do his thing in Ventura at a track meet. I’ll miss the excitement as the kids search for their piece of art. Pictures will be taken and parents will ask good art questions. These moments will be brief as the families rush off to visit classrooms, buy books at the book faire and grab a grilled hamburger at the bar-b-que. But the children will remember these events. I’m so proud of the efforts and enthusiasm of my students but I’m even more appreciative of our school community. Here’s how they helped me: Teachers, classroom aids and parents mounted all the artwork The school Principal (I know!), amazing resource specialists, student teachers and anyone with an hour not with a student or in a meeting helped hang all of the art work. Super parent/teacher, Jennifer,  organized it all. Yup. I’m a very lucky art teacher. None of them may speak to me tomorrow or want anything to do with art ever, ever again, but I know I’m lucky . I love how our community rallies to make these events happen for our children. THANK YOU BRANDON COMMUNITY!!!! Need tips in organizing an art show? Check out my post on Art Show Prep and Asking for Help: Art Show Volunteers ...

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Art Show 2012

Art Show 2012

By on Apr 13, 2012 | 14 comments

To my wonderful students, Look at what you have achieved! You have learned about color and composition, line and shape, tempera and watercolor, tint and shade, clay and paper, O’Keeffe and Van Gogh, Matisse and Klee. Are you tired yet?  You tune your curiosity and creativity to the highest levels; your keen attention and your willingness to learn is motivating. Thank you for your efforts as they are appreciated by so many others.  We have more to learn. See you next week! Mrs....

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Art Show Volunteers

Art Show Volunteers

By on Mar 26, 2012 | 7 comments

Art Show season is upon us and according to my last post on prepping for an art show, every art teacher has a different approach to their particular show. Some do it alone, mounting artwork for weeks and weeks and others scramble at the last minute and hope for the best! There is no best way, but I can’t help but think: Do you want help but don’t know how to get it? I’ve been so very fortunate to have a slew of involved parents at many of the schools I have worked at. This is especially helpful during art show season. Don’t assume that just because I have volunteers that my school is rich with parents who have nothing else to do with their time. Just the opposite in fact. There is no school today that has a surplus of anything, especially busy parents, but if given the chance, most schools can drum up some volunteers. I come from a PTA background. I’m proud to say that I was a PTA President and a board member for years at my children’s school. Did I have surplus time on my hands? Yes. But there were many other dedicated parents who had very busy professional and home lives that found time to volunteer. Did we always have enough volunteers for back-to-school bar-b-ques, school auctions and jog-a-thons? Not really, but we always squeaked by. I’m convinced that soliciting volunteer help depends on two things: The attitude of the person asking The whats-in-it-for-me factor of the parent being asked. It’s really important that if you are the person asking for help, then you need to understand that you are in charge. Your demeanor will dictate if the few volunteers you get one year will be willing to stick around to do it again. Part of that role means being organized. No volunteer wants to step into a mess. It’s just too overwhelming. Once you have a volunteer or two, determine if that person just wants to get in her two hours or if she has other motivations. Perhaps they love art and are very creative. Maybe they have a vision as to how the art show could be run. Don’t be shy...

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Prepping for School Art Show

Prepping for School Art Show

By on Mar 23, 2012 | 48 comments

Many of you might be in the process of planning your end-of-the-year art show. Monday is Spring Break, but for me, I’ll be back at school sorting and organizing my student’s art work for the upcoming art show. I’ve written before about how I plan out my show…certainly nothing fancy, but boy does the show look great! Here are a few of my strategies: Extra Art Display Last year my friend Mario and I made folding art display panels for extra display at the art show. They were the single best thing I have contributed to the school. Since last year, the panels have been used in plays as backdrops (remember they are on wheels!) and for our PTA Reflections Photo Gallery. Talk about versatile! Portfolios It would be impossible to select a child’s best piece for the show without the use of portfolios. I’m the first one to admit that creating and maintaining a portfolio system requires a dedicated amount of time, but being organized is part of the job. Since I only have 15 sessions with each class, I don’t like to waste precious class time having the students create their portfolios, but if you see your students every week, then by all means, get them to do it. On this note, if you do see a class every week, chances are you are accumulating a great deal of art work. Start weeding out which pieces go home. Any free-choice or half-done pieces that you know won’t be worked on again–send home. Any large 3-D pieces that are not intended for the art show–send home. You get the idea. I keep my class portfolios in standard filing cabinets. When I didn’t have cabinets, I used wooden shelf-style cubbies (the best!). When I didn’t have cabinets or cubbies, I used cardboard boxes and placed the boxes under tables along the perimeter of the room. Selecting Art Work There are a few things I keep in mind when selecting art for the annual school art show: Every student needs to have one finished piece. Sounds easy but I have some students who miss many classes. If I look through their portfolio a few weeks before the art show and...

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