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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 101 and Guidebook

Art Show 101 and Guidebook

By on Mar 12, 2014 | 4 comments

It all starts with hundreds of pieces of art that are mounted onto colored paper by classroom teachers. The enthusiasm, energy and can-do attitude make the Annual Art Show a wonderful event for the school community to enjoy. Yup. I’m a very lucky art teacher. Teachers, classroom aids and parents help mount all the artwork. The Principal is an amazing resource and there have been so many helpful parents. I love how our community rallies to make these events happen for our children. Just take a look at the colorful years past in my Annual Art Show history. Brandon School Art Show 2011 Brandon School Art Show 2012 Brandon School Art Show 2013 Every art teacher has a different approach to their particular art show. Some do it alone. They mount the artwork for weeks and weeks while others scramble last minute. There is no best way. But if you want help, do you 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 the art show season. There is no school today that has a surplus of anything, especially busy parents, but most schools can drum up volunteers if given the chance. 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. Asking for volunteer help for your Art Show The secret to asking for help is building up the reputation of the program that needs support. If the art show at your school has always been organized and managed by the art teacher, then finding volunteers to help that first year is going to be challenging (but not impossible). Try asking a parent with whom you have a strong rapport. Ask for a small amount of help and be super organized with...

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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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