Musings about the importance and impact of art and art education in the 21st century.

Musings about the importance of art and art education

Boys and Girls Club National Fine Arts Exhibit

♠ Posted by ArtMuse at 7:58 PM

Last week was the Girls and Boys Club of America's 'National Fine Art Exhibit. Each club (the local level) hosts a juried art show consisting of all the artwork done since September. Each of the three judges votes on their favorite pieces in 9 different categories (multi-colored, b & w, pastels, acrylic & oil, collage, sculpture, group project, watercolor, and mixed media) in 4 different age groups (9 or younger, 10-12, 13-15, and 16-18). The winning pieces get sent to the regional exhibit, and voted on there; where if they win, they get sent to the national compeition and become elgible for cash prizes and club grants.

Considering that I run an art program where they kids come on a voluntary basis, I amassed a pretty decent amount of work to show! Unfortunately I didn't have much middle school work (middle schoolers are so damn fickle!), and hardly any high school work, but I had quite a bit of elementary level pieces. The 9 and younger age category was particularly frustrating because the cognitive ability of a 4th grader is so drastically different than that of a 1st grader, that to lump their artistic accomplishments together into one category made it really hard to judge. What ended up happening, which I can only assume happens in other clubs as well, is that the 5 to seven years olds works get trumnped by the 8 or 9 year olds work and never gets picked. My other problem is that December is so early in the year to have an art show, it was really hard to cover all those mediums in successfull lessons, I wished I had more time. Alas, to combat this I spoke with my director and have put in for an end of year art show in the gymnasium, which I think will be great. The only downside to that is that I pretty much am the entire 'art department' so prepping the work, setting it up, and displaying it will be a ton of work.

Anyways, the show we had was great, we had it in the learning center of the club, a fairly large sized room. The artwork was mounted on matt board and construction paper and posted on large black bi-fold partitions. We served potato chips, cookies, and popcorn, which the kids consumed voraciously and we had quite a few parents come by and check the work out. I even put up a vote box for 'best in show' so that the members and staff could vote for their top three picks. I wish I could've had the show in the local library, but if you'd beleive it, all the local libraries were booked up for the entire year! I put in for 2010 at the Tilles Center, but who knows if it'll pan out. Overall it was my first student art show and I think I did a pretty good job. Hopefully every show here after will get even better.