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It’s Art Show Time!

June 3, 2023 No Comments

It’s that time of year again and we just wrapped up our second annual art show! After having our first show last year, our art show has quickly become a welcome tradition with students and staff. Each student chooses two artworks for the show and many of them had already started thinking about what they wanted to create in September!

For me, the art show is a labor of love. It is without a doubt a huge undertaking and a lot of work. Here are a few things that I’ve learned through the years that help make it more manageable:

  • Ask for help
  • Start early
  • Keep a to-do list
  • Sometimes sticking to the basics is necessary
  • Take time to enjoy the exhibit!

I have come to accept that it’s ok to ask for help. No one can do it all. Parent volunteers are not always a possibility, but if they are available they can take home art to mount and help hang the exhibit. I try my best to start collecting work early, getting it mounted and also have students assist by pre-taping work with foam tape (teacher’s tape is great!). I have also given myself permission to omit things as needed. I used to have judging, which meant finding and guiding judges, as well as printing, writing and distributing certificates. When I started at my new school, I completely omitted this step and replaced it with “fan notes”. This required a simple sign with post-its for viewers to write words of encouragement to our young artists. Not only was it less work, but also took the pressure of judging and worry of “winning” off of students. A to-do list can help break down tasks into smaller chunks and make it more manageable. To avoid getting too overwhelmed by a long, daunting list of never-ending tasks, I like to have two lists, one for the beginning of the year and one closer to the show. These lists are important to me so that nothing gets overlooked and I’m not rushing around at the last minute.

Here are snippets of two basic show to-do lists

Several Months Before the Show:

  • Select a date/obtain permission
  • Take photos of students working for advocacy purposes
  • Gradually make posters with student photos for advocacy display
  • Make grade identifying signs to hang with artwork
  • Continuously collect artwork and mount small batches

Several Weeks Before the Show:

  • Make sure walls are clear (or will be) to hang exhibit
  • Request volunteers to help mount and hang
  • Make “fan note” signs (have plenty of sharpened pencils and post-it notes)
  • Hang signs around the school that the Art Show is coming!
  • Advertise the show – put in the newsletter, online and/or send home information

Once the show is up and running it is both a huge relief and a feeling of accomplishment. Although I see my students’ artwork in progress and while mounting, there is nothing quite like viewing the show in its entirety. I enjoy writing the “fan notes”, reading (or in most cases, re-reading) their artist statements and seeing my budding artists proudly show-off their artwork!

"Foxy" Origami, 2nd Grade Artist
Foxy, Origami, 2nd Grade Artist

Sunset, Acrylic Painting, 5th Grade Artist

Fish in the Ocean, Gotakyu Printmaking, 4th Grade Artist

Sunshine Bear, Watercolors and Sharpie, 4th Grade Artist

Howling Wolf, Pastels and Sharpie, 3rd Grade Artist

Lisa Blanchette

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Welcome to my blog! I’ve been an art teacher for over 20 years and have worked with a variety of age levels. I am passionate about art, teaching and learning. I’m excited to share lessons, resources, tips and tricks that I currently use in my elementary choice-based art room. Read More

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