We had the first session of the 2013-2014 New Artist program at Phillips Elementary. We started with some essentials for gearing up our kids: name tags and portfolios. The students displayed amazing individuality with their first projects.
We also had fantastic participation writing rules for our Covenant, which everyone signed. The three categories on our Covenant are "Be Ready," "Be Respectful" and "Be Responsible." We asked the students to tell us some rules that applied to each "R". Some notable rules were “Don’t talk over others,” “Don't use the Materials as Drumsticks” and “Use Time Wisely."
We encouraged our young artists to personalize their name tags through collage and multimedia. Emily and I and our aides made our own name tags the day before. To introduce ourselves before we started the project, we showed our name tags and explained how they said something about us. Emily's name tag was decorated with roses and a seashell, and mine had a shark wearing a Pirates baseball cap. This seemed to give our students ideas of how to mix and match their interests. I encouraged other kids to look for critters they identified with in the National Geographic, one of several magazines we brought. The resulting name tags were very impressive… each person ended up with a work of art hanging around their neck!
After the name tags, we passed out portfolios. The new artists had time to draw and collage on their portfolios. We got a sense of our students' varied interests... sports, pigs and marine life were popular subjects. At the end of the session, some of our students burst out into an informal fashion show and were strutting down the runway with their new portfolios. It was an inspiring moment, complete with wind effects from the fans in the room. What a great start to New Artists!