Here are some more photos from Art Show 2014. Thanks again to Devan, our art show chair (and party planning/layout genius) and all the AMAZING art show and art room volunteers who put this show together.
SSF art show 2014: paint cans spill a rainbow of color down the stairs; Bob Ross painting video plays throughout the evening.
We had our annual art show last week. It was amazing! Over 1000 pieces of art; at least two from each student. This show featured a rainbow theme (designed by Devan, our AMAZING parent volunteer art show chair), a FEAST! food art area, and an iPad photography/digital art showcase.
Devan used real paint cans purchased at Home Depot. The colored ‘paints’ are plastic table cover rolls. The 10 cans on the stage were drilled and hung on monofilament. Hidden PVC pipe stands hold up the freestanding paint cans.
The show featured Devan’s amazing freestanding paint can decorations.
Giant crayons and a rainbow of color in front of the plaster masks.
Five FEAST! art projects (clockwise from left): clay cupcakes with roses and alphabet pasta; Seurat pointillist food; Thanksgiving feast collage; cooking plate collage; Wayne Thiebaud geometric dessert.
Andy Warhol activity:
We had a coloring contest again this year. I used a blank Campell’s soup can sheet courtesy of E is for Explore blog. Click here to get yours. We used a real soup pot and real cans of Campbell’s soup.
Our interactive coloring contest ties in to the FEAST! unit. Check out the pot of crayons!
iPad Art Showcase:
We put the iPad showcase right up at the entrance. I printed out a few samples of the second grade iPad photography project, then stationed two iPads looping slideshows of our other digital art projects.
This achieved three goals: 1) display student art, 2) advocate for the art program and 3) thank the parents who raised money to bring iPads to our school.
iPad photography print outs, plus looping slideshows at the iPad art showcase.
Thanks to our PTO and parent volunteers
Our entire art program is made possible by the parents at our school. A big thank you to the art room and art show volunteers for all their hard work during the year and for three CRAZY days hanging the show. We also had the help of a college student, Abby, who spent two weeks observing our art program. The gorgeous room layout and decorations are the vision of our amazing art show chair, Devan, a professional party planner. We are so lucky to have Devan on board.
100% of our art program is funded by our school PTO. Thank you.
This is a long post on a topic near and dear to my heart: art room volunteers. We are veryfortunate to have a lot of parent volunteers in our school, including in the art room. Ideally, we will have a parent in every art class.
I’m especially grateful for all the help because I’m a part-time teacher. My motto is ‘delegate, delegate, delegate’. Here’s what volunteers do in our art room.
Art room volunteers can:
set the tables before class (they’d may be willing to come in a few minutes early for this – just ask)
cut paper and templates
wash the bottoms of ceramics
write student name/number on wet clay art
pass out the fired clay
help kids (especially K-2) load the drying rack
empty the drying rack
help set the tables for the next class.
prep for other grades (i.e.not just their child’s grade).
hang students work on bulletin boards in the hallway
be a guest readers (see below)
Our volunteers also cut wire, plaster wrap, and clay.
Volunteers and the art show
Our school is blessed with some dynamic AND RELIABLE parents who are willing to help out with the annual art show. I have an art show chair I really admire and trust. As a result, I have relinquished some control over the show. I select the artwork, but I’ve given up some control for layout and theme. I work in partnership with the art show chair and volunteers and I am pleased to report it has turned out beautifully every year.
Art show volunteers can:
chair art show committee
set up tables and easels
take down the art show
recruit their friends to help
If you exhibit student art in YAM, in local museums, galleries, or even the county fair, you know the paperwork and logistics can be daunting.
Exhibit volunteers can:
fill out the paperwork
package individual artworks
pick up art
Tips to keep volunteers happy and engaged
#1: Keep them busy. Parent volunteers need to feel useful. They want to be helpful. The worst thing is for a parent to show up and you have nothing for them to do. If you don’t need prep help for their child’s class, ask them if they can use the time to prep for another grade (preferably the grade of another of their children).
Model. You need to model what you want done. Trace and cut a template. Make a sample. Show the completed project. You as the art teacher need to take the time to write out instructions. Some art teachers just don’t want to be bothered. But I say go for it! It forces you to plan ahead.
Show them all their children’s artwork. I pull the siblings’ portfolios. I will also pull samples of upcoming projects for all their children’s grades. Parents will be proud of all their children, and have good feelings about your art program as a whole. This really engages the parents.
Ask them to be guest readers: if I am introducing a lesson plan that involves literature, I will ask the parent to read the book to the kids in the art room (I use this time to do more prep). Little kids are especially proud of their parents when they read to the class. More parent engagement!
Thank your volunteers regularly
Thank your parent volunteers every class. Ask the children to say ‘hello’ at the beginning of class, and ‘Thanks’ at the end of class. Write a personal thank you note to each volunteer at the holidays or the end of the year. You could even give a small gift (it could be 1/2 dozen homemade cookies). a personal note is always the best way to say thanks. I also bring bottled water and snacks for the volunteers hanging the art show, and have a thank-you bagel brunch at the end of the school year.
Student volunteers are awesome
I also have 6th grade student volunteers in the art room. They don’t use the paper cutter, but they can do almost everything else if you model it for them. They often already know how to do the projects, and I’ve found they love to help younger students.
Ask the classroom teachers for help signing up volunteers
Let the classroom teachers know that you are interested in parent (and student) volunteers. At our school we sign up volunteers on back to school night (BTSN).
Count on 80% Attendance
Parents won’t be there for every class. Their children get sick or have school plays, they have their own doctor’s appointments, they go on trips. Fine! Any help is better than no help. Every time they help out it is a gift.
Use free online tools to coordinate volunteer jobs
This year I am experimenting with online art show sign ups. I looked at VolunteerSpot and Sign Up Genius. Both have mobile apps. I am leaning towards Sign Up Genius because it syncs with Apple’s iCal calendar system.
The end result….success!
This year I teach 18 classes per week, and have 20 volunteers signed up in the art room so far. Some parents love volunteering in the art room so much they sign up year after year. One mom volunteered a record 9 years in the art room!
With volunteers on board, you don’t just teach art: you manage the art program.
Our students are so lucky! Why? We have dedicated parent volunteers in our art program. One very special volunteer is Devan, chair of the annual art show.
I wanted to share a few of Devan’s ideas for displaying a lot of student art, both 2D and 3D, using just three 6-foot tables.
Here’s how Devan does it:
arrange the tables in a ‘T’
skirt all the tables with student art
place narrow risers in the center of the tables
Table Skirt Display
We created table skirts from bulletin board paper, and stapled the art to them using a long reach stapler.
We use long, narrow ‘beams’ of styrofoam as risers for the table. They are twelve inches tall, six feet long, and about six inches wide. We we able to pin third grade self-portraits to both sides of the styrofoam.
Result: we had space to show ceramics on top of the table and the risers:
The space-saving display.
Do you like the cut out I made for the handle?
Do you like my door display? I used the time-saving ‘Deep Space Sparkle’ method to hang these: mount the art on construction paper, then staple the art to bulletin board paper using a long reach stapler. I urge you to read this post – it contains so many practical, time-saving tips.
Whew! We had a fabulous art show last week. Everyone – students, parents and staff – loved the show! Here are some ideas from our show.
Pick a Theme
She’s back! “Crazy Quilt” is our creation for Cow Parade La Jolla.
All of our art shows have a theme, and we keep it secret until the show. This year it’s Cow Parade. Our school created this cow, “Crazy Quilt” back in 2009 for Cow Parade La Jolla. It is inspired by a 3rd grader’s design. The cow made a visit to our school for maintenance and ended up being the star of the art show.
Create an Interactive Event
Cow Parade coloring contest
Our art shows always have an interactive event. This year it is a Cow Parade coloring contest. In past years we had a QR code scavenger hunt, and a stamping station with eraser stamps made by our sixth graders.
Music and Video
We always have music and video during the art show. This year I made a slide show of all the cows in Cow Parade La Jolla, followed by a slide show of all our iPad art projects. This would be a great time to show student-made movies.
How to label all those clay self portraits? Cover the table with paper and write the students’ names in Sharpie. Better than all those labels! The clay looks great leaned up against colorfully wrapped cardboard boxes.
Doll house filled with clay pots.
We use this doll house for clay display. It has nice, open walls and saves a lot of space.
Our entire art program is made possible by the parents at our school. A big thank you to the art room and art show volunteers for all their hard work during the year and for three CRAZY days hanging the show. The gorgeous room layout and decorations are the vision of our amazing art show chair, Devan, a professional party planner. We are so lucky to have Devan on board.
100% of our art program is funded by our school PTO. Thank you.
One more thank you – to my husband.
My husband had flowers delivered to me at the art show. WOW!
p.s. More art show display ideas in the next post!