We have a huge, two-day art/vocational show that we hold in our high school's gymnasium in May. This encompases both semesters (all art classes are one semester) and is a nice ending to the school year. All students are invited to attend and we also hold an open house (from 4-8pm on the first day with cookies and punch) for parents of students who attended art classes and anyone else in our town who is interested in seeing what's up in the art department. What we try to do is choose AT LEAST one piece of work from each art student. This requires a TON of work on our part with matting, hanging and putting names on everything to the extent that we spend alot of time at school after hours preparing for the show.
There are always one or two students who get left out for some reason or another and they will ask why their art work wasn't included. I do feel bad at those times because, for the most part, students really do try to do well and may not always have the success that others find so attainable. Also, there are many, many students who take art because they have a terrible time with other academic classes. This may be the only time something of their own making is displayed. The students who are naturally artistic and produce awesome work are a delight to teach and I've had many. The other students know who the ones are that are truly blessed with the gift of having artistic talents and compliments are plentiful. But this gives EVERYONE a chance to have their work displayed and studied. Also, we have a judge who awards white,red,and blue ribbons in each category (it took the judge FIVE hours this year!!!) and then the principal and administrator each choose a piece they like and those are labeled "principal's award" and "administrator's award". So, it is a highlight of our school year, really. The atheletes have their moments to shine ; the academic students have the honors assembly at the end of the year; and the artistic students have the annual art show.
----- Original Message -----
From: Judy Decker
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Sent: Wednesday, June 20, 2001 6:43 PM
Subject: displaying student work
Displaying work is a requirement for my students. I have it written into my course description. All middle school students have had at least one project on display sometime during their middle school years (I get many only for twelve weeks). I don't put up every project of every child -- I don't have the time. But I do not put the same kids up all the time either.
Why do I do this? I get many students who have never had a project on display anytime during their elementary years (K thru 5)...and even more who have never been in our district art show. It is interesting, when we have judges come in from other schools for our district show--they often select works that I would not have selected as the "best" and they frequently select pieces that I put in from students who have never been in our shows.
Who is decide what is good art?