In January, I was the appointed chairperson for our local elementary school’s Art Night. I had volunteered back in September before all the hoopla of the school year not knowing full well what this endeavor would consist of – still it was art and it is my children’s school – what better way to combine my passions?
I began preparations back in November with a handful of volunteers – the original long list of hopeful volunteers had substantially whittled away after my first communication. Since this was a brand new endeavor for me and our school (it had been done three years prior, but little documentation was left and what was left, did not appeal to me) I set out to reinvent the proverbial wheel.
Being the consummate perfectionist, I dove into research with abandon – which is one of my other passions – so it was a good fit. I scoured Pinterest for creative educational ideas for elementary students. After my initial research was complete, I met with our part-time Art teacher Andrea, who, by the way, was due with twins in February! Together we finalized the ideas and I got busy putting together the plans.
The first thing I did was figure out how the artistic activities would flow and fit into a pattern. I settled on three main components for our event; the Student Art Show, “Art Through the Ages”, and Recycled and Fiber Arts. I wanted the participants to have a program/brochure that would be both useful for the evening and an educational take-away. Below is the result.
By the time event day finally arrived, I was exhausted, anxious, nervous and excited! We had our share of drama – but once the clock struck 6 p.m., the doors opened and there was no turning back.
Student Art Show
The student art show was housed in the cafeteria. We used the cafe tables, folded in half, to display most of the kid’s artwork. We also had on hand three large grey display panels and purchased two large black matting boards. In the middle of the room was a “Pee-Wee Picasso’s Coloring Table” for the little ones.
Recycled & Fiber Arts
The second component to the event was composed of two stations: Ugly Dolls and Recycled Robots. These two were the hit of the event! For Ugly Dolls, the kids created a unique design on paper and then with the help of a volunteer sewed a lovable monster to take home. The recycled robots were made from tin cans, disc magnets, small hardware, and craft pieces like pom-pons and pipe cleaners. With the aid of volunteers and lots of hot glue, the kids created adorable robots.
Art Through The Ages
In the gymnasium, we housed the Art History portion of the event. The stations were spread around the gym in a circular fashion , showcasing the various art forms throughout history.
We began with Prehistoric Cave Painting where the kids could go inside a refrigerator box and color the walls. At the Roman Mosaic table kids made pictures using paint chips for tiles and glue. For the Renaissance period, kids placed their hands and face through cutouts of the Mona Lisa and posed for pictures.
After the Renaissance came the Still-Life station where kids used oil pastels to draw a picture of flowers. At the “Seurat-The-Dot” station kids painted pictures using q-tips. The Expressionism Movement was represented by another fun PhotoOp, Edvard Munch’s, “The Scream.
We introduced two types of Contemporary art: Abstract Expressionism and Geometric Abstraction. The kids had a blast watching their colorful designs come to life with Marble Painting. The boys enjoyed working on Crumpled Paper Designs. Everyone joined in the fun for collaborative Circle Painting.