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Lesson Plans

Displaying artwork

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Buerkle, Jennifer (
Sun, 14 Feb 1999 11:46:56 -0500

This talk of display has me wondering about something. It has always been
my practice to keep student work in portfolios and hand them back at the
end of the semester, rather than have them take them home as completed. It
helps me with assessment, and I like the effect of the full portfolio
arriving home in one piece, rather than pulled out of the black hole of the
backpack. So when I want displays, I jsut go through the ports and pick
out the stuff I like. The display is then eclectic, to my mind, more like
a "real" art show. I have noticed a lot of art teachers in my district
display the entire set of classwork, under a title. 30 pieces of artwork,
all matted identically, all lined up. I'm wondering what people's
thoughts are on this. I at first found this distasteful, and felt a bit
smug that my own displays were more "interesting" but I am wondering about
the philosophy behind this. Should ALL work be displayed? Are children
with "inferior" (to their way of thinking) products ever embarassed by
having their artwork displayed next to the "kid who can draw good?" Or in
your experience are all children proud of their work. What messages do we
send with either strategy...selecting the best, or showing them all? I am
not expounding my way here, I'm truly after opinion.

I once really got toasted by a parent who came to an open house to see a
display of about 75 pieces in an "art show" and didn't see anything by her
child. (One of 400) I was told the child was destroyed and I had ruined
her spark of creativity. I was also once similarly criticized by a parent
(to the school board of the private school I taught in at the time) for not
"sending home work to put on the refrigerator" regularly enough.

Your thoughts?


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