Introduce the topic of displaying children’s art in the classroom; discuss the importance of the visual arts and creative expression in fostering the development of young minds.
1. Benefits of Integrating Art in the Classroom
The inclusion of artistic activities in the classroom can provide systemic benefits, such as helping to cultivate a sense of creativity and student engagement, as well as encouraging individual expression while teaching imparting skills in relationship-building and communication. Art can also enhance critical thinking, problem solving and reasoning skills, develop fine motor skills, and promote a sense of self-appreciation and connection with the world around them.
2. Developing a Classroom Art Gallery
An excellent way to immerse students in the visual arts and make use of their artistic output is to develop a classroom art gallery. This serves to create a sense of pride and ownership within the student body, as well as offer them an opportunity to showcase their creative talents. Additionally, it encourages critical thought and gives teachers the opportunity to spur discussion about each piece.
3. Selecting and Placing Artwork
When selecting artwork for display in the classroom, bear in mind its content, relevance, and space. Generally, artwork with engaged faces, warm colors, and light themes are better suited for young children.
It is also useful to pick pieces that add impact to the room and do not distract from the classroom atmosphere. Take care to position the art in such a way that classrooms are cost-effective and not overcrowded. For example, when selecting the type of frames or mounts, choose something that will last a long time and ensure that the artwork is spaced out so that each piece may be seen and appreciated.
4. Framing and Mounting Artwork
After selecting and choosing the best artwork for the classroom, it is necessary to frame and mount it. Consider using durable frames, to give the artwork a professional look and feel. For each frame, it is also necessary to select a proper backing and mountboard, to protect the art from dust and fingerprints, as well as ensure it hangs correctly.
It is important to select a mountboard which is strong and sturdy enough to carry the weight of each mounting.
5. Hanging and Securing Artwork
When placing artwork, it is best to make use of wires, hooks, bolts, or other suitable accessories to hang the frames in the designated places. Use clips to keep the artwork in place, as well as to ensure a good looking finish. Additionally, ensure that the fixtures used to hang each art piece are of high quality, to ensure that the frames hang securely and do not fall or become damaged.
6. Lighting Artwork
Artwork needs to be placed in the classroom in such a way that it is easily seen by students and visitors. This includes the appropriate placement of lighting sources such as spotlights, picture rail systems, wall washers and even natural light — to make all the artwork stand out, and to create an inviting atmosphere.
Avoid using harsh lighting, as this can wash out the artwork and become a distraction to the students.
7. Gallery Speech
When displaying the artwork, it is important to provide a gallery speech that explains the purpose of the show and gives students the opportunity to express their individual perspective on the artwork. This can be facilitated in various formats, such as a gallery tour, art lessons or even class debates.
The speech should serve two purposes: help drives the emergence of themes, and encourage a dialogue amongst the students.
8. Documenting and Archiving Artwork
Documenting and archiving the artwork is a necessary part of the display process. This can take the form of digital scanners and photographs. Documenting provides the opportunity to compare new artwork to past artwork, which enables the teachers and students to observe the progress of their artistic ability.
9. Inviting Family and Friends
Invite family and friends of the student body to the art displays to help create a sense of pride and to give the display a wider sense of audience. Additionally, family and friends can provide positive feedback, appreciation and constructive criticism regarding the artwork.
10. Promoting Art Events on Social Media
Promote art events and displays through social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram. This will allow the artwork to reach a larger and more diverse audience, and can help encourage more social interactions with and appreciation for the artwork.
11. Evaluating the Show
Once the artwork is displayed, it is advisable to reflect on the success of the show. This can be done through surveys, interviews and qualitative data.
Questions can be asked about the choice of works, the installation, the impact and overall effect it had on the students. This will lead to worthwhile insights and feedback, which can help to improve the experience next time.
12. Keeping Art Alive
After the artwork is taken down, consider holding a class discussion, or creating a newsletter or publication out of the display. This will help ensure that the artwork is kept alive and appreciated in the classroom, even when it is no longer on display.
13. Art Source Materials
Lastly, take note of the materials used in the artwork. Different textures, colors and materials can stimulate creativity and bring depth to artwork displays. Consider providing an array of source materials like clay, paper, colorful fibers, and other recyclable materials for the students to work with.
Displaying children’s artwork in the classroom is an excellent way to foster creativity and increase student engagement. Setting up an art gallery and providing lessons on critically examining artwork can help to spark meaningful discussions and inspire creative learning.
The goal should be to create a space where students can express themselves and learn to appreciate their own art, as well as the art of others.