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Lesson Plans

Re: "Art Days"

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Christine Merriam (
Thu, 05 Mar 1998 09:19:50 +0000

Hi Deb,
You have my sympathy! We tried a spring festival of the arts for a few
years. It was a neat experience for the kids, and a major headache for the
rest of us!
I came away from that experience, and one of having visiting artists see my
students only one time with the understanding that we were providing a
"commercial break" about art. Since then I have focused on quality long term
involvement, which is not easy, but a few local artists were able to meet
with one grade level for 3 weeks in a row, taking them through the process
and evaluation of creating an artwork.
I seriously doubt if I would work on another art fair.
Contact me if you have more questions.

Christine Merriam
Kayenta Intermediate School

Deb Rosenbaum wrote:

Here in Hawaii where there are no longer art teachers employed at the
elementary level, schools have taken to sponsorng "art days" once a year at
which artists volunteer their time (an usually materials!) to present a
40-50 minute project to 4 - 6 rotating classes. As a professional artist
and free-lance art teacher (I work independent contracts through
Artists-in-the-Schools and am the director of a summer art academy) I get
bombarded with requests for these events. Most of my artist friends who do
these events feel as if they've been used and put through the wringer when
its over.

I've been asked to write an article for our local Arts Society about the
benefits/disadvantages of these events and am looking for input from those
of you who have experience with this. My initial feeling is that some art
is better than no art for the kids, but deep down I believe that these are
product oriented events at which no real learning takes place. I am
beginning to think that "art days" reinforce the notion that art is just a
quickie, fun, play activity provided by artsits who aren't valued enough to
be paid. I am working hard here to convince administrators and teachers
that art belongs in the curriculum as an important subject in its own right
and as a valuable interdisciplinary teaching strategy.