SchoolArts Magazine

APR 2018

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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F O C U S I N S tudy the masters in Amsterdam. Invent your own drawing tools in Singapore. Animate clay figures in Massachusetts. Design art advocacy posters in Santo Domingo. Participate in an art show to raise money for charities in Hanoi. Tweet using an old-fashioned letterpress in Oxford. Bind your own sketchbook. Build your own zoetrope. Have your portrait drawn by a robot. Welcome to the Big Draw, the world's biggest cel - ebration of drawing! Universal Importance Every year in October, the Big Draw hosts drawing activities for people of all ages and skill levels. The pur- pose of the event is to get everyone drawing. Kate Mason, director of the charity, described the importance of its mission: "Reading and writing are key and help shape us—but it is drawing which helps us really see and explore. There are many languages, but only drawing is truly universal." The Big Draw promotes drawing as a life skill vital to investigation, inven- tion, and communication. The Big Draw Origins The Campaign for Drawing (as the Big Draw was originally named) was inspired by John Ruskin, a Victorian artist, philanthropist, and social leader. Ruskin created detailed drawings of nature and architecture. He advocated drawing as a way of seeing. Drawing augmented his observational skills in a way that he believed would be useful to everyone. The Campaign for Draw - ing continued Ruskin's work in the year 2000 with a single art event. It has since grown into an annual inter - national month-long celebration. More than three million people in twenty- eight countries have participated. Make Your Mark The Big Draw events take place all across the world in parks, galleries, libraries, museums, and schools. I took my own family to some of the festi - vals. At the Big Draw LA's Make Your Mark in the Park event, adults (some of whom claimed they couldn't draw) doodled with sumi ink, cut and pasted paper collages, experimented with camera obscuras, drew landscapes with their kids, and had their portraits drawn by students from the local art school. My own children drew their versions of city hall, decorated fancy paper airplanes, and beautified the sidewalk with colored tape. As an art teacher and a dad, I was overjoyed that they didn't want to leave when it got hot. "There's another Big Draw event The Big Draw Rama Hughes Welcome to the Big Draw, the world's biggest celebration of drawing! next weekend," I consoled them, "We can draw monsters at the Getty Villa!" How To Participate You and your students can participate, too! Visit thebigdraw.org to learn more. As you will see, there is a fee to regis - ter, but that cost supports the charity and gives you access to its educational, promotional, and logistical resources. If your school cannot support the cause with time, space, money, or volunteers, you as a teacher can still help. In 2017, my school didn't have the time or space to host an event, so I shared the local Big Draw calendar via our school's communication systems. Several dozen parents thanked me for offering their children such a wealth of enrichment opportunities. It was the easiest praise I have ever earned. Rama Hughes is an art teacher at Yahweh Academy and a contributing editor for SchoolArts. rama@ ramahughes.com W E B L I N K thebigdraw.org PAGE SPONSORED BY: Drawing by Rama Hughes. 44 APRIL 2018 SchoolArts

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