Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Shows: Evidence of Learning

These past 2 weeks, lots of time has been devoted to our district art show (750+ pieces, k-12), and coming soon, the school art show (grades 3-5). I hang & label up to 200 pieces of art every 6 weeks or so anyway, but I try to glean the most creative and interesting pieces for these shows, plus mix up newer stuff as it gets completed. The title links to Dr. Marvin Bartel's show suggestions, but what really resonates with me is this comment from the website: "Philosophy: It takes extra work to make a nice looking school display of student artwork. So, why should we do it?
1)Children gain self esteem by seeing their work seen by others. 2)Art is incomplete without an audience." Agreed, and among the many reasons I make the time to honor my students' creativity and effort with ongoing displays, plus those 2 time-intensive shows.
So, during the early morning hours, I like to grade, label, hang, and photograph art (the digital photos are part of my ongoing digital gallery at ARTSONIA).
I always get happy looking at a completed "spread", which is 2 hinged boards, each board about 5 1/2 feet by 4 feet. They tell a story--not just about whatever project/media we were focusing on, but the progress that was made, the strides! I see each piece and remember a snippet of what a student told me (e.g. "those are flying ninjas in the trees"), or how we moved through a block ("I did not know I could draw/paint/etc. this good!"), and I simply forget about any other educational worries (usually along the lines of "no time").
So, spring always means extra work for a "creative" educator ( art, band, music, choir---we all do shows), but then, there is the evidence of learning--the performance, the art, the smiling face. Totally exhausting, but totally worth it!

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The Sketchbook Project

The Sketchbook Project: 2011

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The journey of process intrigues me and I am always changing it up.

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