Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Get Ready for March YAM Kickoff Week!

Youth Art Month is officially just a couple of days away!  
Here's some great ideas for you to use.
1
Make prints of student artwork, frame and present to local officials.  Walmart or Walgreens make cost efficient 5x7's or 8x10's.  Use this as a photo op for YAM during the first week in March.
2
Ask your BOE for an endorsement of Youth Art Month.
3
School-wide mural project with a theme of Collaboration/Unity.  Everyone creates a panel to add.  Or use the Post-it Challenge.  Plan colors of Post-it Notes to spell out school mascot or school's initials.
4
Hold a 10x10 (or 12x12) art challenge for students and staff using any media.  Install in school foyer.
5
In cold climates, have a YAM Snow Sculpture Challenge!  Bundle up and brave the cold to create a temporary sculptural piece.  Compete in teams or classes.  In warmer climates, go outside and create Andy Goldsworthy temporary installations. Photograph and enlarge to display indoors.

And don't forget...
6
Make Art Monday - every Monday in March - share what you are doing in your classroom/school/community for the visual arts.  Use the hashtag #MakeArtMonday and share on Facebook, at the YAM NYS page (or, if you're in another state, that state's YAM page), or on Twitter!

Monday, February 18, 2019

Art Advocacy Mid-Winter Break Ideas!

Is this a vacation week for you?  Rest and recharge, as Youth Art Month is less than two weeks away.  If you cannot get away for a vacation, plan how you can use some of these virtual art trips, for your students to experience artwork from both around the world, and close to home. 
1
Visit an online museum or build your own collection of artworks.  (Art Institute of Chicago has a build-your-own collection feature.)
2
Arrange an Artist in Residence Program during March, by inviting in local community artists to demonstrate and/or talk to students.  Are there local museums nearby?  Set up a visit, and if area artists have work present, try to arrange it so that they can be present to discuss their work with your students. 

Monday, February 11, 2019

How about another Art Advocacy 'Fab Five'?

YES!  Here's another set of five great ideas for you, and a bonus, too!
1
Plan a statewide postcard exchange with another school, or create artist trading cards to swap.  Consider too... a postcard campaign to state legislators about the value of art education, and combine that with a lesson on the First Amendment!
2
Have students design placemats and table tents that can be used by local restaurants.  Challenge older students in Graphic Design classes to choose an area establishment in need of a 'makeover' and design a new logo/menu/etc.  Invite the owners and any contacts you have in advertising, to choose the strongest design and discuss importance of branding to create market awareness. 
3
Start to hang student work of the week in the principal's office/main office area of your building, and in the administrative offices (superintendent, etc).  Add in the NEW Visual Art Standards, your Essential Question and student reflection, for a reminder of the importance of the art program to the school curriculum that cannot be ignored. 
4
Planning a YAM show?  Select an 'honorary  chairperson' from local, well-known artists or 'local celebrities' who support the arts.  Give them an honorary certificate and invite them to your show opening. 
5
Be sure your Media Advisories are out this week for any show in March, and that info is up on you school website, and community calendars at your local TV and radio stations.

BONUS IDEA!
Approach local doctor's offices and medical facilities to hang student artwork in waiting rooms and public areas.  Many are more than happy to give you space, and welcome student work as a point of conversation for staff and patients!

Monday, February 4, 2019

Art Advocacy Fab Five for February 4-8!

Long winter days need some special events built in to move them along.  These ideas lend themselves perfectly to classroom curriculum, build the concept of teamwork and planning, and can become great advocacy PR pieces for the local newspaper.  The old saying "You have to be a hero in your community first" is so true in art advocacy!
1
Valentine's Day excitement have you feeling blue rather than red?  Create a school-wide UNITY event based on the work of Jim Dine and his Hearts series in multiple media for K-5. Tie right in with PE, as may schools celebrate Heart Month with different event challenges.  Dovetail with classroom teachers talking about the need for good nutrition and organize a healthy snack day for all.  Need ideas? Check out Pinterest under Jim Dine (click here) to find some exciting lessons. Here are direct links to a couple of heart project ideas at There's a Dragon in my Art Room: click here and here.
 2 
Hungry for more?  Older students (grades 6-12) can do the Empty Bowls project and join forces with community food banks in raising money.  Tie in a nutrition study with Family and Consumer Science classes and have local grocery stores donate dried soup ingredients to package up in Ziploc Bags to be auctioned off with bowls (if you cannot do the actual meal event).  To find more info, click here.
3
Partner with neighboring school district and set up a traveling art show - 5 to 6 pieces that move from school to school.  Great way to collaborate for the arts, and showcase not only your own students, but also those in your area.
4
Using the food theme, combined with a study of Andy Warhol, do a community service canned soup food drive.  Use Warhol's Soup Can series and the theme "You CAN make a difference", plus a sculptural installation of the donations (in a safe area, of course), plus recognition for those who contribute, and help stock up the local food pantry at a time of the year when things may be scarce.  Involve your Art Club, Honor Society, Student Council, or K-Kids (Kiwanis organization for younger students).
5
Budget time, for many, is getting close.  Schedule a time slot at the next Board of Education meeting and share with them the interdisciplinary value of art, and how you are preparing students with valuable 21st century skills.  Bring students along with examples of their work, and invite all of your parents who supported the program!

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Art Advocacy Fab Five - January 28 - February 1

2019 is one month old!  Here are some ways to liven up February as we move closer to Youth Art Month.  Many high schools have a Senior Night/Spirit Week during this time, and there are some GREAT ideas here guaranteed to energize the celebrations!

1
Do a Stop, Drop & Draw - everyone in the school - for 15 minutes.  Then have entire school (and staff) display their work!
2
Hold a 'So You Think You Can Draw' challenge - do this by grade level/class challenge/faculty and staff challenge.
3
Invite local artists to YAM openings.  Make them honorary chairpersons.  Line these folks up now!
4
If your community has an electronic billboard for community events, see if they can scan in a piece of student work to promote YAM as it approaches, or to promote one of the school-wide events listed here.
5
Create a famous cut-out of a work of art (ex: The Scream or Mona Lisa).  Have photos taken of kids  for $1, and donate proceeds to a local charity.  Be sure the cut-out has the YAM logo on it!  Or create a large scale cut-out of your school mascot to try this at sporting events!  Better yet, bring it out into the community!

Second semester is starting!  Plan now how you will be celebrating Make Art Monday and involve students in the brainstorming!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Art Advocacy 'Fab Four' - January 22-25, 2019

It's a short week (and even shorter because I'm posting this a day late), but anyhow, here's 4 great ideas that, if you want, you can use to move you closer to Youth Art Month!
1
Create a virtual art gallery for your school website.
2
Love the work of George Rodrigue and his "Blue Dog"?  Take a trip to New Orleans via Google and step foot in his gallery on Royal Street.  For elementary students, read Why is Blue Dog Blue? and create some mini Blue Dogs for the local humane society. 
3
Create a Photo Story of a collection of work by an artist.  Include some biographical material, title slides, and music.  Display on your school webpage. 
4
Can't get to a museum?  Build a "Gallery Walk" - 5 famous works of art and gallery tags.  Challenge students to visit the gallery, observe quietly and write a "Twitter" style short critique/statement on Post-it notes as they choose their favorite work.  Post the notes and use different color Post-its for classes or grades.  Do an informal poll to see what the top artwork is and announce to the school (best at the elementary level).  A great way to teach gallery manners too!  Added idea: have the staff and teachers choose their favorite to write about as well!

Monday, January 14, 2019

Art Advocacy Ideas for January 14-18

Here's this week's fabulous 'Fab Five' advocacy ideas!
1
Stage a Living Artist Night - Teams of students study a particular painting, research and recreate it as living models.  Match clothing, props, etc, as closely as possible to the original piece to be displayed.  Build a booth and frame, light the instillation, and invite the public in to view the installation. Set this up around an art history unit.  Or, pair up with a social studies class and create this around a particular period in history that the bulk of your students are studying. (ex: Early 20th Century, WW2, the Industrial Revolution, etc.  Start now!
2
Invite parents of art students, who own local businesses, to hang student artwork at their place of business.  Create a sign that says "XYZ Supports Youth Art Month!"  Promote on social media and local print media.
3
Have student design placemats and table tents that can be used by local restaurants.
4
Plan an Artist in Residence Program during March, invite in local community artists to demonstrate and/or talk to students.  Line them up now.
5
Participate in an Artist Trading Card Swap with another school in a different state.