SchoolArts Magazine

MAY 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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Page 12 of 54

A D V O C A C Y CONTINUED ON PAGE 46. of-the-year exhibition, including an artists' reception. They come together as a team to coordinate the whole event. Student Responsibility Students divide responsibilities, design promotional materials, and send invi- tations. Gallery space is allocated and decisions are made about lighting, display boards, and props. Food and drink assignments are made; set up and take-down is planned. Many students make themselves business cards and create even more art to sell at the reception. They also write professional artist statements to be displayed with their work. High attendance at the exhibition and strong, positive feedback leave the students feeling confident. I am proud of them. This tradition is con - tinuing successfully and the alumni look forward to coming back to see the new crop of AP artists showing each year. Results So what does student involve- ment really have to do with art advocacy? Here's what I've expe - rienced: student artists become more engaged, invested, and seri - ous about their work when they know that the final product will be seen publicly. Student-produced exhibitions also provided motiva - tion and confidence to make more art and share it with others. We continue to look for more opportunities for students to share their art. This past year began with an AP Studio Art student approaching me with an exhibi - tion opportunity she arranged with the owner of a local coffee shop. She brought it to the class and cating for our art program. Working at the high-school level, I'm fortu - nate to be able to present opportuni- ties that teach students how to plan, organize, and present their art to a public audience. The Power of Presenting Since adopting the National Stan- dards in our state, I have become more aware of the "presenting" part and have made it students' responsi- bility to take part in preparing and sharing their work. My beginning-level art students learn to mount or mat their 2D work, label, and hang the art. Intermediate and advanced students become more involved with the organization of their exhibits. By the time high-school art - ists are in AP Studio Art, they are able to put on a successful final show at the end of the course. I put the AP Studio Art class com - pletely in charge of their own end- I want to share with you what I feel is my strongest art advocacy tool: my students. I have been in art education for nineteen years, taught all levels, and spent a few years as the curator of education at a museum. For my part, I enjoy deliv - ering news about our art program via many different channels. I've posted advocacy quotes and statistics around school, usually in the form of posters made by students as part of a project. I also communicate with students, families, and the commu - nity through social media and school newsletters. Student work is displayed as fre - quently as I'm able, but I'm always wishing I could do more. We have a wonderful district-wide team of art teachers who collaborate to put on art events and shows throughout the year. But what I have recently learned is how important the involvement of students is in advo - Standing Out for Art Deborah Prahl What I have recentl learned is how important the involvement of students is in advocating for our art program. 8 MAY 2018 SchoolArts

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