SchoolArts Magazine

February 2017

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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now. Money for the registration fee and shipping was also a problem since that was not part of my budget, but I believed so strongly in the value of this experience that I paid for those myself. The result was well worth the time, effort, and expense—my student's artwork was selected and exhibited! When it was returned after the show, we recognized the student and dis- played his art at our school. He and his family were thrilled. The Power of Exhibiting That first effort's success led me to submit an artwork for Youth Art Month (YAM), and that piece was also chosen. My husband and I and the student and his family all traveled to Austin for the awards ceremony at the Texas State Capitol. The special attention shown to my student was indescribable—certainly a cherished memory. Since then, I've seen how much it means to students with special needs and their families to have artwork prominently displayed at school and online. I've also seen what power an artwork selected for a state exhibit or special contest has to propel a stu - dent to new levels of self-esteem and d etermination. For the past two years, I've traveled to Austin for YAM and watched as Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott personally placed a medal over the heads of student winners; each Ranella Franklin Priceless! Art Exhibitions for Students with Special Needs M E E T I N G I N D I V I D U A L N E E D S I've seen what power an artwork selected for a state exhibit or special contest has to propel a student to new levels of self-esteem and determination. A rt contests and exhibits are so much more than a way for art teachers to show off their students' best artwork—they are ways to honor diversity and provide inclusion , and they are especially good ways to elevate students' pride and belief in themselves, which may even be truer for students with disabilities. Identifying with Art As an art teacher, I spent countless hours hanging artwork. Though it was time-consuming, I made sure that all students had equal opportunity for their art to be on view. I now teach special education and continue to use art on a regular basis as a means of self-expression, as a way to calm and regroup, and as an instructional tool to present core con- tent. I also continue to hang students' artwork, display it on Artsonia, and request that it be included in school- wide art exhibits. It's such a joy watch- ing students identify their artwork with pride every time they see it. Submitting Student Work More than halfway through my teaching career, I wondered what it would be like to submit an artwork to the Texas Art Education Associa- tion (TAEA) for one of their annual exhibits. I've always been a member of TAEA, but never submitted any student work for all the typical rea- sons (too busy, too much trouble, too expensive). After a little research on what to do and how to do it, I decided to proceed with a submission. T he work submitted had to be mat- ted, so I reached out to Ken's Custom Frames & Gallery in Fort Worth. Not only did they provide the materials, they did the entire matting, gratis, and their generous support has con- tinued over the course of many years Karricinda Estey (grade ten): December 2015 EISD Board meeting with her mom, Dr. Melvin Bedford (Principal), and me. CONTINUED ON PAGE 53. 16 FEBRUARY 2017 SchoolArts

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