One of my students won second place for the Safe City contest at our high school. Safe City is a contest that several different districts in our area participate in. Each school puts together a team of teachers and administrators to choose a first, second, and third place winner.
My students could choose to work from several of the suggested themes: family violence, suicide, bullying, or cyber-bullying. For this project, we focused on the Element of Texture. Because it is a required contest for all art teachers to participate in, many of my students had created a poster in Elementary or Middle School.
In order to make the project new and interesting, I showed my students examples of artists who incorporate text into their artwork. Each student could decide how to include words in their drawing.
I was so proud of how this student wove the text throughout his drawing and turned each letter into a detailed and powerful representation of the tough subject matter he tackled. He won a $50 award; he and his family were invited to a celebration for Safe City. I’m so proud of him!
This was my first year to help my students participate in the VASE (Visual Arts Scholastic Event) competition. Students create a piece of artwork and write about the decisions they made throughout the process. At the competition, their score is determined by the artwork itself and by the interview they have with a judge about their art. If a student scores a 4 (the highest possible score), they receive a Letterman jacket in Art.
I let my students choose the subject and medium for their artwork. I knew that it was going to be a huge amount of work for them outside of class, so I wanted their artwork to be something that they were personally connected with.
Some students decided to take an assignment they were already working on and spend extra time and effort getting it ready for the contest. I let all of my students use class time to work on their piece.
They also stayed after school and took their artwork home over evenings and weekends. We had a work day after school where students filled out their paperwork, including their answers about their choices in creating the piece. They also had an opportunity to practice interviewing each other. It was great for them to have a chance to get to know each other while they prepared for the interview portion.
We spent a Saturday morning and afternoon at the actual competition. It was an incredibly rewarding experience for them to present their artwork. They were able to walk around and view the other pieces that were submitted. I was so proud of all the hard work they put into their art! All of my students who were judged received a 4, which means that they will be getting a Letterman jacket in Art!