What makes a student feel like he or she is an artist? Often teachers assign an art project, it gets completed and it is sent home. However, with one more step, students feel their work is valued and shared with the school and community.
Judy Johnson and Jana Miller at Arendell Parrott Academy in Kinston, North Carolina have learned the value of a student art show. Judy states “I have been doing this for 24 years and the excitement never pales.” Each year they host a show that shows off their students’ work.
Judy explains how the art is selected. “Each year I save all the work that has gone up in the halls and the students bring in their pile (after a very confusing delivery system) to class and they SHOULD have their two strongest pieces on top. I work with each one to determine if their decision is a sound one. Sometimes we negotiate and sometimes the class may get involved with a critique…even 1st grade.” The art is then judged by an independent artist from the community. The students feel like they have their own gallery and that their work is valued. From the number of walls covered with art in the pictures, you can see Arendell Parrott Academy has a vibrant program.
In having judged thousands of students’ work I can testify that they are one of the top programs in the country that participate in our contest. Their student work is a joy to judge.
Tom Worthen. Ph.D.