Tag Archives: Displaying the (He)ART of Students

You Can Go “Home” Again


Our third theme in Art 1 this year was “home”. This proved to be a harder theme than anticipated…and one that many thought was uninteresting. I knew some students wouldn’t be able to get past doing a drawing or a painting of their house, no matter how much we discussed different things that “home” could mean.

I challenged them to look beyond the obvious and look into their lives and show me what home meant to them. Many took this challenge. Many succeeded. But, many fell short. However, that doesn’t mean they didn’t learn anything.

A new “station” was opened on this unit. I introduced them to paint. We looked at watercolor pencils and watercolor paints. We also looked at acrylic paints. I could see the sparkle in the eyes of the few that explored the world of acrylics. I watched the frustration. And I saw the perseverance of the few that kept working and working until they were satisfied.

While I am unsure if I will use the theme of “home” again, I am pleased with the results. Here are some of my favorites.


To see all the artwork, visit The Barnett Blog.

Displaying the (He)ART of Students


Taylor High School Visual Arts Department proudly presents the inaugural Art Show.  March 28, 2014 at 7pm the doors opened and the show began.  That morning I arrived at school at my normal time of 8am.  Then the madness began.  I gathered up my thoughts and set up camp in the front of the school outside the main office.  Students came to help at various points in the day, and several students “skipped” their classes and helped all day.  And, for that I am grateful.  They gladly hung work and dealt with me and my blabbering and my orders and my annoyances and all the rest.

As walls became filled, we covered the work with red, green, and black paper to cover it from prying eyes.  Flyers were hung, hopefully enticing students and teachers to come back tonight to fill their curiosity about what was behind the paper.



At 6:45 I was ordered by my students to go and change.  They knew I needed a break, and they were anxious to see me in a dress.  When I came back, people were starting to arrive.  It was a beautiful site.  Image



I was glad to see the QR codes that showcased the Senior Artists were being utilized.




The culinary department made some wonderful treats and decorations.ImageImage

The show lasted about an hour and a half or so.  By the end I was so overwhelm by the support I felt.  I felt support from the students, from the teachers, from my administrative staff, my principals, and most importantly, the community.  It felt really good and to know that what my students create is supported by all these people.  A parent told me in both English and Spanish that I touched her heart because of the inspiration I give her son.  It almost made me cry.  I am still overwhelmed days later, and it makes my already awesome job that much more worth it.

I have created a youtube video/slideshow of the art show.  It is long–coming in at 31 minutes.  There were over 400 pieces of art submitted to the show and each one is showcased in the slide show.  So, if you have some to spare, take a look.  Slideshow




Prepping for the art show


In August I decided I wanted to celebrate National Youth Art Month.  I thought what a better way to celebrate than to put on an art show.  In September I asked my principal if I could and he said Yes!  So, for the next few months it was kind of slow going.  Now that March is here and the show is in a week, things are finally starting to make me anxious.  I am worried that I might not pull it off.  I am worried that I will in fact pull it off.

Things that I had to do for my show:

  • collect student art…check  (this should be done through out the year and by both art teachers)
  • mount student art…check
  • get written up in local paper…check
  • print and “mount” labels for all artwork…check
  • get culinary students to help with refreshments…check (now this was a tough one to figure out how many people to figure for.  I said 100.  I feel that is high, and that makes me a little sad.)
  • send invitations to parents of those students with work in the show…check
  • figure out tables and table coverings…check (I had a ton of burlap, so that’s what I’m going with)
  • figure out how to hang work in a place with no walls that will take tacks…check (I bought a bunch, and probably not enough, sticky tack for the lighter pieces and I plan on hanging the framed pieces around the stairway columns.  Let’s hope it all works.)
  • make a poster and announce the show…check (it’s on the website, in the lunch announcement powerpoint, an all-call is going out to parents on Wednesday evening, and the principal will announce it in the morning announcements)
  • spotlight the Senior artists…check (for this I created a google form that asked the seniors a few short questions.  From there I found a free QR code program and made codes for each student.  I will hang a code by one of the senior’s artworks and guests can scan the code and find out a little artistic tidbit about that artist.  I think this will be a great interactive addition for the show.)
  • set up the show during the day…  not there yet.  Friday is the day.  I took the day “off”, but I will definitely be working.  I plan on pulling students from various classes to help me set up.  I hope it goes smoothly.  Who knows.

I hope I can pull it off.  It all comes down to Friday.  I don’t know who will show up.  I hope at least half of the students with work in the show will come.  Many students have said their parents have expressed an interest in seeing their child’s work.  As I said before, I am nervous that I might not pull it off.  And, I am nervous that I might.  Wish me luck.

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