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.

Monday, January 7, 2019

'Art Advocacy Fab Five' is back!

It is never too early to get started on your March YAM (Youth Art Month) plans... and these are guaranteed success stories ready for you to use in your school!
1
Make prints of student artwork, frame and present to local officials.  Walmart or Walgreen's make cost efficient 5x7's or 8x10's.  Use this as a photo opp for YAM during our first week in March.
2
Ask your BOE for an endorsement of Youth Art Month now.  Approach your local elected officials as well.
3
How about a school-wide mural project? - Use the Youth Art Month theme Your Art: Your Story.  Everyone creates a panel to add.  Or use the Post It Challenge.  Plan colors of Post It notes to spell out school mascot or initials.  (ex - Liverpool Middle School = LMS).
4
Have a 10x10 (or 12x12) art challenge for students and staff using any media.  Install in school foyer.
5
In cold climates... YAM Snow Sculpture Challenge!  Bundle up and brave the cold to create a temporary sculptural piece!  Compete in teams or classes.  In warm climates, go outside and create Andy Goldsworthy temporary installations; photograph and enlarge to display indoors.

And don't forget our bonus...
6
Plan ahead for Make Art Monday - which will be every Monday in March - share with us what you are doing in your classroom/school/community for the visual arts.  Use the hashtag #MakeArtMonday and share on Facebook, on Twitter, or if you're in NY state, at our YAM NYS page. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Start the New Year right, with Art Advocacy!

It's a short school week this week, but why not start off the New Year and dive right into some advocacy lesson inspirations!  Beat the mid-winter blues with these ideas for Youth Art Month. Start now and build momentum for March 1st!

1
Organize an Urban Sketching event (you don't have to be in an urban area - any size local community has tons of great places to sketch) in your community for students - particularly good to tie in with a study of local history.  Think about a historic place, with an indoor space to sketch.  Or, do it virtually with Google Street view on a Smart Board if you cannot travel!    
*Many years ago, my college painting professor in New Paltz NY, had us sketching regularly in the community, and in particular sent us to sketch and paint at the historic Huguenot cemetery.  I've never forgotten the experience, and while it's the wrong time of year to sketch outdoors in a graveyard, keep it in mind for the spring!
2
Make an in-house video on what art means.  Have student releases signed, and have 'interviewers', volunteers to speak, and 'videographers.  Edit and play in-house or on your district web/Facebook page.  Students can use a prop titled "What Art Means to Me" and write their responses to hold up.
3
Use props from #2 and post daily to Twitter.

4 Bonus Idea!
Create walking paintings - cardboard with a face cut out from a famous work of art. 

Friday, June 1, 2018

Putting your best foot forward

How we present ourselves can make a big difference.  
If we want people to value our programs, we need to make an extra effort to always consider how we are viewed.  But how we present ourselves means more than just our physical presentation (the clothing we wear, our posture, how we speak, and such).  It can also refer to how we present ourselves in writing.  A recent post about pet peeves, on my blog There's a Dragon in My Art Room, addressed this topic.  The post inspired enough dialogue for me to feel it was worthy enough to also discuss/repeat here. 

When you send information about your program to parents, school board, or administration, or when you make signs for an art show, or when you write an article for a newsletter or a press release for a newspaper, or when you post on your school district website or other social media, you can expect that, if you don't review and edit what you have written, there will be mistakes.  And someone will notice your errors, and those errors will reflect negatively on you.  

 Here are a few commonly made mistakes that you should be aware of when you write:
  • Complementary colors:  Colors placed opposite each other on the color wheel are complementary colors.  You give someone a compliment when you want to say something nice.  Note the spelling difference.
  • Tempera paint:  We paint with tempera paint, not tempura paint. Tempura is a Japanese dish of  batter fried seafood or veggies.  Delicious, but definitely not something you paint with!  Again, make note of the spelling difference.  Since they are both 'real' words, you can't count on spell-check to make sure you are using the correct spelling.  As a matter of fact, if you are not careful, it might even auto-correct you to the wrong word!
  • Your or you'reMake sure you are using the correct word.  Your is possessive, something that belongs to you, and you're is a contraction for you are
  • There is no apostrophe before the 's' in a plural.  Using an apostrophe before an 's' creates a possessive.  
  •  Principal:  Your principal is your administrator.  To remember the correct spelling, remember that he or she is your pal!  A principle is something you believe, a foundation for a belief.  Make sure you are using the correct word. 
  • Be careful about the spelling of the names of artists!  
    • Jackson Pollock, not Pollack
    • Michelangelo, not Michaelangelo 
    • Faith Ringgold has a double 'g'
    • Georgia O'Keeffe has a double 'f'
Proofread, proofread, proofread!  
Spell-check, and double check when you are not 100% sure.  People will notice!  If you are hoping to convince people of the value of your program,  you need to present everything you do knowing that how people respond to it might help or hurt you.  Don't give them opportunities to find errors in your presentation! 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

10 Quick Start Youth Art Month Ideas for 2018

Youth Art Month has begun!  Here's 10 ideas to quick-start your involvement!  Pay special attention to #10, and remember to document everything you do for YAM!
1
Ask your principal to sign a  Youth Art Month Endorsement Certificate.  Ask your mayor and/or superintendent to sign a Youth Art Month Proclamation.  Display them prominently in your school office or lobby.  Print the forms out and send in documentation!
2
Create a bulletin board in honor of Youth Art Month.  You can use the new national theme adopted by the Council for Art Education (Building Community Through Art).  Send your state a JPEG photo of your bulletin board!
3
If your school has an art show this month, include the Youth Art Month logo in the signage and promotional materials.  Download the YAM logo here: http://www.nysata.org/youth-art-month.
4
Arrange to have art highlighted in your school's daily announcements through the month of March. You could have art quotes read, or announce an "Artist of the Day" - it could be a student artist or a famous artist.  Comment to let us know what you did!
5
Announce Youth Art Month on your school web site.  Send your state your link!
6
If you are in NY State, post what you are doing on our NY YAM Facebook page or ideas on our Pinterest Board.
7
Team up with language arts teachers to have students write statements about what art means to them, why art class is important, or what their favorite art experience has been.  Or write letters to public officials about the importance of art in our schools!  Send copies to your state!  We love student quotes!
8
Ask a local business (or two or three or more) to support  Youth Art Month by programming receipt printers to include a simple statement, such as "March is Youth Art Month... Support Art in _____ Schools" or by displaying student art for the public to enjoy.
9
Issue certificates of appreciation to parents who support your art program, thanking them for being a "Friend of the Art Department."  Use a template or create one of your own, or  have a student design it!
10
Document, document, document!!  Let your YAM co-chairs know whatever you do - big or small - to acknowledge and promote Youth Art Month so it can be included in your state's report.  In NY, check back HERE for the Google Forms link. 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Feb 26-March 2 Fab 5: YAM Kick-Off Week!

It's just a couple of days till YAM (Youth Art Month) kick-off time!  Here are some great ideas for you to use.  You might want to take particular note of bonus tip #6, about Make Art Monday, which is something you can do every week. 
#1
Make prints of student artwork, frame and present to local officials.  Walmart or Walgreen's make cost efficient 5x7's or 8x10's.  Use this as a photo op for YAM during our first week in March.
#2
Ask  your BOE for an endorsement of Youth Art Month.
#3
School-wide mural project - Collaboration/Unity them. Everyone creates a panel to add.  Or use the Post-It Challenge.  Plan colors of Post-It notes to spell out school mascot or initials.  (ex: Liverpool Middle School = LMS.)
#4 
10x10 (or 12x12) art challenge for students and staff using any media.  Install in school foyer. 
#5
In cold climates - YAM Snow Sculpture Challenge! Bundle up and brave the cold to create a temporary sculptural piece!  Complete 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, and share with us what you are doing in your classroom/school/community for the visual arts.  Use the hashtag #MakeArtMonday and share on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and at our YAM NYS page!

Monday, February 19, 2018

A Couple of Art Advocacy Mid-Winter Break Ideas!

It is vacation week for many, or at least a long weekend for most!  Rest and recharge, as Youth Art month is less than two weeks away.  If you cannot get away for a vacation, use some of these virtual art trips for your students to experience artwork from around the world, and some from home. 
1
Visit an online museum or build your own online collection of artworks.  (Art Institute of Chicago has a  build your own collection feature.)

2
Hold an Artist in Residence Program during March - invite in local community artists to demonstrate and/or talk to students.  Do you have local museums nearby?  Set up a visit, and if area artists have work exhibited, try to arrange it so that they can be present to discuss the work with your students.