Displaying student artwork teaches children that creativity is valued and appreciated. By hosting an art exhibition, your students invest more in their artwork, parents and siblings get involved, and you have the opportunity to raise classroom funds.
Generate art appreciation by creating awards for student artists. After concluding a class-wide art project, your students present their artwork to the rest of the class. The other students come up with two original "awards" for the piece of art. Examples of awards are: "Most Colorful" or "Best Shading." The two awards for each piece of art are documented on a notecard. During the exhibition, display the notecards next to the piece of art. As parents view the exhibition, they vote on which award best fits the piece. At the end of the event, the final awards are announced and students are presented with certificates. This is a way of demonstrating to students that their creativity is appreciated--without making the event competitive.
Host the exhibition at a local art gallery and sell framed art to raise class funds. Art galleries may agree to host the event for free just to get the publicity. Otherwise, offer the gallery ad space in a school newsletter, or hand out information about future gallery events in exchange for the space. Ask the students to paint pictures on a common theme such as flowers or boats. Provide them with examples of famous paintings that use the same theme before giving them materials. Make a border for the paintings using black card stock and frame them in inexpensive frames. Allow guests to place silent bids on the paintings and set a minimum bid that covers the cost of materials. This type of event works best if it is publicised in local newspapers or on the district's website.
Guess the Artist
Use an exhibition as a way to study art history. Every student is assigned to a well-known artist from history and is provided with a colour picture of one of the artists' paintings. Each student must copy the painting to the best of her ability. Take time with every member of the class to discuss the colours and images every artist uses. Display the students' paintings around the classroom on black matt board. At the exhibition, give each parent a handout with pictures of the famous paintings that the students used as inspiration. The parents must try to match each student's painting with its famous counterpart.
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