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“Wild About the Arts” Fine Arts Night

It has been several weeks since our Fine Arts Night and I have been waiting until things settled down here to write all about it.

Many, many thanks to my co-worker Katie McEnaney for taking photographs of the event!

“Wild About the Arts” Fine Arts Night

We had our first ever Fine Arts Night.  The night combined musical performances, an art show and art activities to celebrate the arts!  We decided on an animal theme. We displayed one artwork from each child in the school.

We had 3 different blocks of time for performances by different aged groups and they were about 15-20 minutes each. Each class sang about 2 short songs. We alternated with performances and then about 30 minutes of art time/refreshments/gallery walking. I set up the rooms with art activities and supplies, then we had 8th graders & parents volunteer to keep an eye on them. It was very self-explanatory with pictorial examples for ideas.  We had several parents also help organize refreshments and help set up the artwork!

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Artworks were mixed up between the grade levels, K-8.

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We had paintings, drawings, collages, paper mache masks and clay projects.  A great variety with a lot of creativity!

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The theme of animals was a “loose” theme.  There were some dragons, unicorns, made-up creatures and even several appearances of a microscopic organism called the “water bear” (see below, next to the eagle picture.)

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These were Arctic Animal reports the 2nd grade students made in their Language Arts class.  In art class, we painted pictures of the animals with watercolors.  These were used as the covers for their research reports.

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Each students painted several butterflies that were used for a giant butterfly mural of wings.  The remaining butterflies were placed on other bulletin boards.  We had a LOT of butterflies!

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We also had art activity rooms!  We set up 4 rooms with older students and parent volunteers to help run the rooms.  Each of the rooms was “self-explanatory” with minimal directions needed.  We placed directions and picture inspirations in plastic stands or laminated them to lay on the table.

First station was Animal Origami.  We used this simple dog origami sheetfish, and cat origami.  I am all about the cute and easy origami.  Origami is not my thing and anything more complicated than these are very frustrating for me!  Origami was the most popular room.  It was always crowded.

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Next was a Paper Plate Mask and Paper Bag Puppet station.  I set out paper bags, paper plates, construction paper scraps, googly eyes and markers.  I printed out many examples of masks and of puppets for inspiration.  The kids got so creative with these and they could make their masks and puppets however they wanted.

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The next station was line drawing environments around pictures of animals:  Line Art ATCs.  I got these sheets from the Art Projects for Kids blog by Kathy Barbro.  Here is another one.  We just printed out many copies, laminated some examples and set out black pens.

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Finally was a room with two large posters with picture frames printed on them.  The directions were to draw and color animal portraits in the frames.  Neither of these were filled up at the end of the night.  I think people liked the projects where they could take something home.  But, it was still a fun idea.  I downloaded the free file from the Crafting Chicks, at the bottom here, and I had it printed as an oversize black and white engineering print at Staples.  It was under $10 if I remember correctly.

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This girl who is coloring stopped at the mask station first and made an alligator headband.  LOVE!

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We had balloons and many visitors!

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We had two different scavenger hunts for kids to fill out as they walked around the art exhibits.  I was writing out the questions and realized it was getting too long… so I made it into two hunts.  Many kids happily did both!  The questions were things like “Find the multi-colored giraffe.  Who made it?”.  Kids who turned their scavenger hunt back to the front received a small piece of candy (again, monitored by a parent volunteer.)

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And there were many animal themed refreshments!  Of course, these beauties did not last too long.

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Our other art teacher, Jayne, decided to organize a butterfly wings mural as a photo op for families. We have seen many of these fantastic wings murals on the Facebook art teacher groups.  I believe it all started with Cassie Stephen’s What Lifts You mural.  A group of 8th graders assembled all the butterflies into the shape of butterfly wings.  Kids in all of the grades made these butterflies.

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We had SO MUCH FUN!  It was a great turn out and we all felt very excited and proud of our artwork. The only thing we decided we would change next time is to spread it out a little more throughout the halls (it was quite crowded) and perhaps combine it with a Scholastic Book Fair in the library.

Do you have any ideas for Fine Arts Night that you would like to share?


Why I Have Been So Busy Lately


Our house we just sold

We have been busy because we are going to be moving soon!  We put our house up for sale and spent every waking moment for the past couple of months fixing up things in our house.  I repainted 3 bedrooms, the kitchen, kitchen cabinets, spot touched the living room and the hallway.  We packed up and put away about 2/3 of our stuff in storage.  My husband did countless “fix-it” projects in the house and laid tiles in the basement.  We spent hours scouring the real estate listings and keeping watch on the market like hawks to find a house we liked in a specific area we wanted.  It all came together in ways that things don’t usually come together for us!  We found our new house because I was stalking a real estate group on Facebook, we got in to see it a few hours after it was listed, bid on it and our offer was accepted.  There were 5 offers written that day and 4 coming the next day.  So it was a miracle we got the house. Then, they found a couple of expensive problems with the house during the inspection, but the owners agreed to fix it!  I am super excited about having a porch!  The whole neighborhood is a wooded area and I imagine that sitting on the back porch reading a book will be so peaceful.  There is a great playground just down the street.  We had an open house for our home last week and we sold it within a day for more than the asking price!  The market is crazy here right now.  We had two fantastic real estate agents and I would never recommend going about it on your own if the market is this hot.  So anyways… it’s been a whirlwind of house work and paper work and meetings. But now I feel like I can get back to blogging, relaxing, maybe reading a book or at least stop worrying about all this house stuff that’s been up in the air.

Have a good weekend and leave a comment to say hi!

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About Marcia Beckett

Marcia is an elementary art teacher and loves painting, drawing, sculpture, art journaling and clay. Her blog, Art is Basic, features many exciting art projects for kids.

4 Responses to “Wild About the Arts” Fine Arts Night

  1. Kathleen Crowe says:

    Great ART night – thanks for sharing – always excellent!

  2. bklavery says:

    What an amazing Fine Arts Show for the school! So very creative!

  3. kara says:

    Thank you Marcia for sharing this lovely event. I have been feeling very worn down at my school this year (especially emotionally). This post gave me a boost of sunshine to keep going and try to have fun with the big task of setting up/taking down the art show.

  4. Hope knight says:

    Your show looks amazing! Congrats on that as well as your new home 🙂