Advocacy from the Art Room.

How many of you have been in a school with nothing on the walls, boring hallways and the fluorescent bulbs just blaring? Who wants to learn in an environment like that? Now is the time to really promote your students and their art work. 

In Northwest Ohio we have a wonderful museum, 
who helped sponsor our regional Youth Art Month show. The Director and CEO of the museum, Brian Kennedy, was the key speaker at our opening ceremony and briefly spoke about Visual Literacy. He commented that with all the technology today children are submerged in such a face paced-tech society and are missing the details of artistic beauty. People do not know how to slow down and see beautiful craftsmanship 
while using their different senses.  

Now, onto your educational environment.  Is it aesthetically pleasing? Are your students’ projects full of artistic beauty? Do you rotate your displays and student projects? One thing that you need to understand as an Art Educator is that YOU are the PR (Public Relations) for your school building, your district and YOUR PROGRAM. You can’t just rely on word of mouth. Your students’ work needs to be displayed neatly for all to visually read.

Amazingly, you are the one to promote visual literacy. You have the power to slow down the students, visitors, faculty and staff and to have them use their senses. It does take time, but this is how a district will value you as a visual arts educator and appreciate the beautiful creations that are being produced in your classroom.  When feed back from parents and community members make it to the ears and emails of administration they get excited about the positive vibe in their school. 

Here are some helpful ideas to promote art advocacy
Step One:

Start small and display in a prime hallway of travel. Use sticky tack, a good quality masking tape and bulletin boards. Tack strips work really well and are not too expensive. If you do not have tack strips write up a proposal for your principal to purchase a few, use them frequently, then ask for more 🙂 

Step Two:

Use large rolls of display paper to create murals. The students love making these and collaborative group projects are always a hit with administration.

Step Three: 
Create banners promoting art vocabulary such as the ones used in State and National Art Standards. 

Use bright colors! Tempera Paint is inexpensive and looks great. Outline with black or white to make lettering “pop”.  Be creative! 

Step Four:

Have an art show, write up invites, send them home with students, take photos (of course with parents permission) and submit in your school’s newspaper and local area newspaper.

Step Five:
Get active with your local, state and National Art Associations.
Display your students art at a Youth Art Month- get your students artwork out there. Present at conventions- when you collaborate with others in your field you give and gather so much information.

Remember, you are the PR of the school. 

When you are proud of your students’ work and school it’s contagious! The school community will support you back. 

Keep on Creating!
Laura 🙂

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  • Reply
    Cassie Stephens
    April 15, 2014 at 3:39 am

    Love this! you are so inspiring, thank you for a great post 🙂

  • Reply
    Christie - Fine Lines
    April 15, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    I'm imagining what those hallways looked like before you got to them! Love all that color and creativity. Thank you for all the work you have done to promote art in the public school!!!!

  • Reply
    Patty Palmer
    April 15, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    Thanks for sharing the positive side of art advocacy. Love hearing your enthusiasm!

  • Reply
    Elisa Santambrogio
    April 15, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Thanks a lot por your great ideas!

  • Reply
    Yolanda R Brown
    April 17, 2014 at 2:40 am

    A wonderful article, which is greatly needed and appreciated by many.

  • Reply
    July 28, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    Love it all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! enough said

  • Leave a Reply