Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bittersweet (w/new photos added) & Art Show!!


Here are some views of the Art Show Garden!! The garden was a HUGE hit! Parents, families, and kids spent a lot of time peeking everywhere, trying to find all the gnomes, each one so unique, nestled among the flowers and bugs; and the mushrooms, the snake, the veggies, the seed packages, the insects, as well as the flowers and dragonflies!


Here's me and my coworker by the Chihuly Rainbow Tower ~


And here's a random sampling of high school and 7th grade work from her students ~ the octopus below was done with a batik-like process. The student who created it is the daughter of my friend "C" that I've blogged about here in July 2010. (By the way, she's healthy these days!)

As for the piece on the right - it's a photo - but it elicited an interesting comment by the gal who is my likely replacement. I've turned her on to reading the blogs, and she said "this reminds me of a bottlecap mandala I saw on a blog." I immediately knew it was the one in this post by Art Project Girl!

Can you tell that the contour hand is slightly raised off the surface in the image below? That piece, and also the adorable sculpture to the right, were both done by 7th graders.

Below - a sweet pair of bookends by a high school student, and perspective tree houses by 9th grades -

And more elementary stuff -

There were too many display flats to show them all, with everything from toothpaste batiks, to Rizzi cars, to 3rd grade dragons, to 1st grade self-portraits, and much more. You've seen much of the artwork throughout the year, so I'm not going to post it all again now. Below is a glimpse of a Chihuly macchia display using coffee filters and starch, and some 4th grade perspective pieces.

The gym, below, before it was filled with people -

And during the show -

Today, at the end of the day, with still lots to pick up, it looked like the end of the movie Woodstock.
Eeks.

Meanwhile - related to art shows, since so many of us are posting about our events, there's a spectacularly awesome post at fem manuales that you should see! The translation of the post is "Spring Festival" and I am just gaga over EVERYTHING there - I want to pin every image! (The blogger does have a "translate" button on the blog which helps a bit if like me you don't do well with understanding other languages.

I almost forgot - about the title of this post - here's the SWEET part first: the excitement of the kids, the wonderful comments from parents and coworkers, many of whom expressed so much sadness that I'm leaving, the giant crowd of happy people, the Booster Club cheerfully donating refreshments, the adults and kids who were so wonderfully supportive, and the fact that it's done and I can relax.

Here's the BITTER part: it is my last show like this. Ever. Despite the exhaustion I really do love it and will miss it terribly. I'll miss the kids like nobody's' business. And then there's the part I probably shouldn't write about but I will, that has me feeling the most bitter. My principal never stepped foot in the art show, even though she was there in the building. It would have been great PR for them, supporting the students and staff, and chatting with the parents and kids. I heard that my superintendent came in for a brief peek several hours before the actual show began, but he never came back. Neither of them has spoken a word to me about the show -not in the weeks/days prior, not during the show, not afterwards. Insulting. No letters of congratulation for me and my coworker, no quickie email, no nothing. It's especially noticeable to me since it was my last show. Parents came and talked to me, a LOT, but nothing from those two administrators. Does your administration show support for your art show efforts? Or are they like mine?

23 comments:

  1. How crummy! I can't believe that they were in the building and didn't come. They should have been there, and you both should have heard about what a great job that you did.

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  2. Look closely at the photos and you'll see Lucy "in the sky" (my sweet dragon) came to the art show and perched above the tooling foil dragons to watch over them! Her wing is broken. :(

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  3. Phyl - The show looks absolutely FABULOUS!! Congratulations on a job well done!! I can't imagine an administrator NOT making an appearance at any school function -- unheard of in my neck of the woods. Our principal is great about little congratulatory notes in our boxes as well as public acknowledgements. It says a lot about your administration that they would not appear. I would think that parents would notice that he/she was not there!!

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  4. Very sad to hear that those administrators didn't go out of their way to thank you for all your hard work.....one never knows what else they had on their "plate" that evening, but it would be hard to imagine it was anything to warrant not acknowledging your efforts. This is no excuse, but also sometimes people who have it all together and make things look easy don't get acknowledged - this could be the case here. (You're not the person w/ her hand against her forehead saying, "Oh me, oh my, what a ton of effort I've put into this show. I've been working non-stop, I think I'll sleep for a month after this, blah, blah, blah." soliciting thanks from others.) Or they might be of the clueless category when it comes to what you do - they really don't get the amount of work involved in putting on an art show. Too bad for them, they missed an easy opportunity to display positive leadership attributes.
    Thanks so much for sharing your pics of your last art show. Love the garden theme!!!

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  5. The show looks like it was incredible!

    I work for a Boys & Girls Club, and I have the same lack of support from my administrators and board members as well. I figure part of it is because the show is not a "money maker" or viewed as a potential money maker. They'll show up to anything that will help make a buck and they can schmooze. Higher ups can really suck sometimes.

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  6. Phyl-
    It is really disappointing that administration didn't even stop by! As Tisha said above, even if it stings now, their loss! I'm sure the parents and families noticed, and as things transition for the school over the next year or so, they might be reflecting on the decisions and actions (or lack of action) they have made recently.

    I've gotten input, as you read on my blog, because I've gone to my principal for guidance since this is my first show... at this school. But yes, I am so lucky to be in such an amazing building. I never want to leave (at this point) and my principal has seen my dedication and has told me, and other staff, that he will vouch for me to stay as long as he can. (In MA, you don't have "tenure" or professional status until you have worked for 3 years and have a Master's. I'm one year in on both accounts)

    The show looks wonderful. The kids and families are so lucky to have you and I know you will be missed. Heck, you and your blog have been inspiration and guidance even for me over the last few years! I look forward to reading about your new adventures. Congratulations on a job well done!

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  7. Phyl..you are amazing & your show is amazing!!! The kids & the parents know it...and THEY are the most important!!! I know it stinks that the admin. aren't supportive...but the thing is..you could actually tell them what ya think when that last day roles around this year!!! (ha ha..something the rest of us dream about!) I've been lucky to have admin. that are pretty supportive. Mine has not been able to come the past two years...but it was because there were district things she had to go to. My staff at school are very encouraging!!

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  8. Your show looks amazing! I can tell you now that putting together a show like that is above and beyond what most teachers do. When I taught in IL, we had a superintendent (3 schools in the district) that would come to pretty much EVERY school event/show/whatever and talk to families and teachers. He sent a birthday card to every staff member on their birthday. He knew every teacher's name. (Go figure, the next school I worked at, the superintendent had no idea who I was.) I think it goes a long way to build school community and the feeling of being supportive of each other.

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  9. This is amazing! Every element of the art and display large and small are such a wonderful contribution.

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  10. Beautiful job Phyl. You must be ready to put your feet up after all your hard working.

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    1. Oh yes, feet up... sounds wonderful. Thanks so much Janis; let's get together this summer!

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  11. you are not alone.....i put together a HUGE art show for a district that really loves it art programs, only to find out the next day i was rif'd...now i am in a district that claims to adore my/my program, but upon hiring me, made my position p/t with no benefits. it appears its 'a money issue', yet they have created two new positions in the district that were non-exsistant last two years. it's really frustrating. oh well-we surely aren't in this for the money or fame!

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  12. It is amazing and the show itself a work of art and heart. Congratulations dear Phyl. YOU did it. You did it for all those kids. It is all too common for administrators to have no idea what's going on, or to care. Sad. Very SAD. I hope the new teachers coming up will have the same passion to work to high standards even if they aren't recognized! You are appreciated here! Congrats and thanks for sharing all that went into this as well as the final show.

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    1. Thanks so much, my friend! As I have said before, the praise from all of you, who understand what is means to be an art teacher, means more than anything to me. HUGS!!!

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  13. Coolest art show ever! I love the idea of having to find the gnomes! I was wondering last night what you were going to be doing the next few weeks at school. I am so envious.

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    1. Oh yes, the next few weeks... busy busy - still teaching - clay projects in the drying racks, finger paints for kinders, and am thinking about using up all paint with a Jackson Pollock explosion! And then there's sorting and cleaning and packing, and working with my replacement to help her figure out what materials to order etc. So BUSY!!

      Thanks for the compliments, Jan!

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  14. Phyl,

    Be proud of the beautiful legacy you have created. There will always be insensitive beauracrats in this world, but there will never be another Phyl Brown to spread joy through art to so many children. The show is absolutely outstanding and your hand lettered signs are exquisite! What a night to remember!

    Well done, Madam!

    :)Pat

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    1. Pat, I love that you noticed my signs! I love making them - the only two you could see in the photos were the Chihuly Tower one and the garden sign, but there were several others as well. Thanks so much for your sweetness - it means a lot to me to get kudos from people who actually understand what it is to be an art teacher. HUGS!!

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  15. Thank you so much, everyone. I am incredibly proud of the show and will catch up on much needed rest this weekend. I hope I didn't sound too ugly about my administrators; really it isn't worth wasting my time about. I know what I did is good, and all the hugs from both parents and kids make me know it was appreciated. It's the administration's loss that they didn't get to see all the good will in the gym - they missed a great PR opportunity. And I know the kids would have loved showing them their artwork.

    Tomorrow night is the annual retirement dinner and the only thing I DON'T look forward to is that they will probably both be there. I do not want to talk to them.

    All the gnomes and cats and flowers have gone home today, and the other piles are being sorted and returned, and Lucy (the dragon) is temporarily hiding in the staff room since there is no room for her in my classroom at the moment. So there is NOT a dragon in the art room today!

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  16. Phyl, the show looks fantastic! Congrats to you & I'm sure your students LOVED it!

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  17. Congrats on a job well done!! I keep hearing horror stories about admin and I am so THANKFUL to have such an awesome supportive principal. She keeps telling me she wished she went to art school. We are going to be working on a presentation to give at VAEA - I am looking forward to working with her and tapping in to her knowledge and experience!

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  18. Phyl, WOW!!! What a terrific ART show! I luv, LUV, LUV the garden installation! You are a FABulous person, teacher, and role model. I am sorry for the hurt that was caused that night. It has happened to me, not by my administration but by my colleagues. That was a long time ago, and now I have a terrific principal who makes up for that. Congrats!

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  19. Awesome show Phyl. You really went out with a bang. Your passion for art and love for your kids really shows. About the admins - they obviously not only don't value art, but more generally don't know the most important admin skill is building respect and maintaining relationships. So sad! But know that it is not about you or your program. Enjoy your summer!

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