SchoolArts Magazine

September 2016

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Page 18 of 58

M A N A G I N G T H E A R T R O O M The 100-Hour Drawing Adventure T he end of the year is my favorite time of year. By then, I know my students, their personalities, abil- ity levels, humor, and what makes them tick. But a new crop is about to come in—some that I know and many that I don't. There are so many opportunities to touch the lives of new students—to light fires and inspire each to do their best. As a teacher, it is as important to remember that these new students are looking to you for trust and guid- ance. As an art educator, how do you ask them to expose a vulnerable side of themselves through creativity, and to trust that you'll always guide them in the right direction? Microcosmic Community Several years ago, I began to consider the artroom as a little microcosm within a much larger school community. How could students develop relationships while working on individual projects? How could I make their first proj- ect of the year foster a comfortable art space so that stu- dents with a variety of learning styles, personalities, and ability levels would want to participate? 100-Hour Drawings I had previously done what I called "100-hour drawings" with students. This was a project where each student cre- ated overlapping sketches and drawings to create a compre- hensive artwork on a large piece of paper. (Not necessarily for 100 hours!) It was a great introductory activity, but I felt that it lacked student-peer interaction. I also saw stu- dents immediately comparing their work to each other's, and some began to lose confidence in their abilities. New Foundation To remedy this, I considered a new approach: an interac- tive, community-based drawing in which all students could p articipate in their own special way. If a student was good at drawing, value, pattern, lettering, design, or even just filling in spaces, he or she was valued and could bring something to the table. We started the school year with this as a foun - dation. (Students drew what they were comfortable with, b ut you could assign a theme or have students develop their own.) Collaborative Installation As the weeks progressed, the drawing took on a life of its own, growing to almost twenty feet long. The large tube of paper was unrolled as the drawing progressed. If a stu- dent stepped on it in the middle of the floor, the footprint became a part of the drawing. My students made it work, wanting to come into the artroom to begin immediately or continue where they left off, and they got to know each other in the process. At our final art show of the year, we exhibited our long, collabora- tive drawing as a beautiful installation in which all stu- dents could take pride. Nicole Brisco is an art teacher at Pleasant Grove High School in Texarkana, Texas. nbrisco @ Nicole Brisco I considered a new approach: an interactive, communit -based drawing in which all students could participate in their own special wa . 14 SEPTEMBER 2016 SchoolArts

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