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I've done it both ways -- combined projects which have a related theme
(i.e.,Winter) and class work, same project.
I like the visual variety of mixed groupings, but usually don't then have
the space to hang all student work. If a students asks where their work
is, I then explain the limited hanging space -- they understand.
With a class project (example -- still life) there is the "sameness" of
subject matter. However, I can hang all of the artwork and be more
specific in my accompanying label. For the labels I usually include
something about the Art History (with a xeroxed copy of an art piece), Art
Making (the process and decision making skills the students encountered),
student Critique, or multicultural connection. I think this helps the
faculty and parents better understand what goes on in my classroom.
Our district also participates in the VIP (Ventures in Partnership)
Program. The business community definitely WANTS student artwork, and the
demand is so great I've had to turn down requests at various times. While
I don't gear my art program to this (like the VIPS wanting holiday art) it
is another avenue for displaying as much student work as possible.