At the end of every year, I always tell my students 3 sad stories. The stories seem to stick with them, because their younger siblings have heard about them and they ask questions sometimes.
The reason I tell the stories is because I send their artwork home and it always makes me sad if they throw their entire portfolio away before showing it to their parents. It makes me sad if they throw one drawing away.
The first story I tell them happened just a couple of years ago. I had sent artwork to the Capitol Exhibit for Youth Art Month in 2010. The artwork came back, I returned it to my 4 students (3rd and 4th graders at the time). The artwork was unique to their portfolio because it was in a big white mat, and they got a certificate for participating in the show. Most parents frame the artwork because it is really special.
That particular year, my students had painted patriotic songs with black paint on kraft brown paper. The paintings were unique because it was all about their handwriting.
About 4 years later, I got an email from someone running the Capitol Exhibit. Apparently, the governor's wife had remembered one of the piece I had sent to the show 4 years ago. She wanted to know if the girl still had the painting and could she hang it in her office?!
What a great surprise!
I did not have the girl in class any more, but I had her sister. That same afternoon, I called her mom to inquire about the painting of Amazing Grace.
When I asked Ally's mom if Ally still had the painting, she replied: " Oh, that? Yeah that was probably in her closet and got tore up. Ally doesn't take care of stuff very well. Her room is sort of a mess. We haven't seen that in years. But Ally (now in 8th grade) could probably paint it again."
I was heartbroken to have to email the governor's wife and relay the sad news. A new version, repainted now that she was in 8th grade, just wouldn't be the same.
Now I tell all of my students that their artwork is special because they will never be able to paint like this again. If they even try to paint the same way, or draw the same way they do at this age again in the future, they won't be able to replicate the results. Even though their artwork may not be perfect, like a professional, it is special because it was made by them and no one else could have made it exactly the same way.
The reason we keep the portfolio, isn't so that they pack rat every little scrap of paper, but so they have a record of the year, and a few special pieces to show how they've started out as artists.....or....as you will read tomorrow, they will have a few nice pieces, JUST IN CASE they need them.
This is my 'slice of life' blog.
My Art Teacher Blog:
This Little Class of Mine