Saturday, May 12, 2012

White Flint Arts Fair.

This post is nearly a month overdue. Le sigh. Better late than never, huh?

My county hosts an art exhibit called The Elementary and Middle School Arts Fair every April, at a local mall (called White Flint). This year it ran from April 18th - 22nd. It's a great opportunity to showcase your student talent and "borrow" ideas from fellow teachers. As a first year teacher, this was a huge stressor. What work to choose, and how much to display? Clean lines, or a more wacky, creative approach? How to word the descriptions? What kind of signage? Double mats or single mats? Choose the best individual pieces or choose work from my most consistent, committed student artists? Ahh!

It was enough to wear me ragged, and it did. In a previous post I mentioned how I got sick the day of installation with a stomach bug. It was a Wednesday, which I took off once I realized I felt like poop. My trusty father drove me to the mall in the rain, and assisted the install-- which really wound up looking half decent, if I do say so myself.

These pictures were taken the Saturday after the installation / sickness debacle, while I was volunteering at the information table. I even ran into one of my students while I was volunteering (her work is the quilled letter "A")! A good chunk of my students told me that they ventured out to take a look at their work while it was up, which made me a proud mama hen-of-a-teacher. I had been told by the other art teacher at my school that students rarely go to see their work in person, so when a bunch of them told me that they did indeed go out to see it (the mall isn't all that close to our school), I was pleasantly surprised. I created packets that went home with students the Monday before the show went up that included a certificate of appreciation, a letter, and a map of the mall that provided clear instructions on where our panels could be found. I don't think they had ever advertised the show to students this way before-- how are families supposed to go if you don't provide them with information or pump them up about it?!

One of my talented cutiepies!

I managed to squeeze twenty-six pieces of art onto the two panels, and included art from grades 1 - 5. Sorry kinders :( Next year! Special thanks to Phyl from There's a Dragon in my Art Room-- check out those Wacky Weavings! And special thanks goes out to Mr. E from Art with Mr. E (I don't think he even reads my blog? Is there a way to tag him?)-- one of the  Line Designs is actually moving on to be displayed at the state level-- as in, it might be moving on to a show at the Maryland State House! The powers that be will let me know when they have more information. I was truly honored and touched that something made by one of my students received such an accolade. I found out that it had been a few years since any work from my school had been selected for future shows. Woot woot!

All in all, aside from being sick, preplanning and preparation made this a smooth and successful experience. Next year I might try to be a little more creative with my approach-- there were some incredibly dynamic displays that incorporated 3-D or decorative elements that really made their panels pop. It would be awesome to have students work within a theme so that the work displayed reflected on some cohesive subject.

All in due time!

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