Friday, May 13, 2011

Fine Arts Night: A Glowing Success

Our annual art show/chorus concert at Dolvin ES was a hit last night.  The show was quite an upgrade this year, with every student's work in a double matted picture frame.  The Artome company did a fantastic job getting everything displayed on time and in grade level order.  We had lots of positive parent feedback! 
Congratulations to our student artists who represent their grade level in the Dolvin Gallery permanent collection:
K- Susana Pacheco
1- Rowan Darnell
2- Ashleigh Hampson
3- Trey Malcom
4- Mark Sabbagh
5- Shelly Ray

Our student gallery awards, K-5

A selection of Kindergarten works

First Grade

Second grade

Third grade

Fourth grade

Fifth grade


  1. We did something similar about 4 years ago, with the company School Art Fairs (or something like that) - identical frames, but tabletop displays. It was very easy, but I had 2 MAJOR complaints and would never do it again.

    1. While there was no obligation to buy the frames, there was a lot of feeling of obligation to purchase, after seeing the art in a frame. We have some very poor families, and it was a hardship, especially the families with 3 or 4 kids in elementary. One boy was sobbing that daddy didn't have the money for the frame. Awkward.

    2. The other problem was the paper/frame size. I like BIG or strange sizes, and it was very limiting. The artwork was all small, horizontal format, and flat. Not my cup of tea. It looks like you however were at least able to also do vertical format for the displays, which is certainly better for stuff like portraits.

    I'm glad to hear your show was successful. I surveyed parents afterward and while most reactions to the show itself were generally positive, there was consensus that they did not want to repeat it because of the feeling of obligation to buy frames they could not afford.

  2. I was hesitant about using them for similar reasons, but we really downplay the selling aspect, since all students get their artwork back after the show whether they purchase the frame or not. I really don't like the idea of tying money in with the art show, but since these frames are amazingly affordable - try having custom framing for $25 - I think of it as a service for the parents if they'd like to take advantage of it. We didn't promote it as a fundraiser.
    I also would like a variety of sizes available, but in a school of 1,000 students, anything over 9x12" is harder to hang for an event like this anyway. It did eliminate a few pieces from being chosen, but it wasn't really a big deal, and it kind of makes it easier on me to keep most projects at or under 9x12".
    I gave it a shot, mainly because every year the school pays to frame a few selected pieces for the school, and the kids are always begging for theirs to be the one chosen. This made it possible for all the kids to see their art framed, and believe me, it looked amazing, which was really the whole point - to showcase the art at its best.
    Next year, we are going to try and get the show up the night before, so that every class can do an art walk during the day without any sales going on at all, then at night the parents who come will have the opportunity to purchase the frame.
    It's funny how you touched on the two areas that I myself was sensitive about. I am happy to say that it all worked out very well, and there were no pieces of torn art on the ground from stapled or taped up construction paper mounted works, as had been the case for the past 18 years of my art shows!

  3. Hope,

    Your art show demonstrates your organizational skills. From what I can see it looks awesome.
    I can see the hard work you put into it.

    This "frame" issue reminds me of the book "The dot", where the little girl realizes that she has a talent in art after she sees her "little dot" framed by her teacher and hugged on the wall behind her desk. Some kind of frame is important if you can find a way to make it available to everyone.

    This is how I dealt with this dilemma in the past:

    1.Our local galleries are often willing to donate frames they do not want. I am thankful for any size they are willing to donate.

    2. I ask parents to donate unwanted frames.

    3. I visit our local hardware stores (in the beginning of the year) and look for ideas to display art work. I asked them if they are willing to donate any unwanted wood or metal.
    I collect all the materials and when I have some time I make frames using wood, metal and anything else that I find appealing.

    Not all the frames look the same of course but parents and students do not seem to care.
    I have made frames out of fallen brunches of trees, magnolia leaves, broken wind chimes, discarded metal pieces etc.

    Congratulations on "showing the art at its best"

  4. I love that idea of using "recycled" frames and materials. I could see this working for smaller exhibits and displays, where you are only doing maybe one grade level at a time. I have bulletin boards for each grade level for temporary displays, and I might give that a try - thanks for the great idea!


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