"......with a guest artist from the community coming
in and critiquing. I think MS kids would eat it up. "
We have done this and I think it is important for students to have that contact and input from "experts in the field". This year we were in a drawing unit and had a forensic artist come in to do a demo,. etc. She took the time to critique student works in progress. It was valuable. authentic and the kids loved it.
Similar to these type shows, students have loved our Challenge Workshops. One this year was around idioms with lots of interesting solutions ranging from sculptures to paintings to mixed media. One drawing even ended up a national silver key for Scholastic!