Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Art Portfolio


During the school year, our children never bring home artwork.  It drives me crazy.  They hardly ever mention art class at all, even though they go once a week.  Occasionally, Georgia or Josie will mention a big assignment, but these great creations never make it home and we never get to see them.  

Until the end of the year that is, when the children lug home their Art Portfolio.


I love to see their art work, so I make a big fuss when the Portfolio comes home.

Well, I usually make a big fuss.  This year Georgia brought home a Portfolio with about four items inside - all black and white pencil drawings that looked like rough drafts.  Where was the clay?  Where was the string and the glue and the tissue paper?  Where was the paint and the craypas?  Georgia had no answer.  She only said that it wasn't the most fun art year she's ever had and she left it at that.

I've never met the art teacher at our school, but I am starting to wonder if she isn't going through some sort of dark period in her artistic career.  With Pinterest in this world, there's really no excuse for an elementary school art teacher to not come up with thousands of ideas for exciting art projects.  I understand that funding for the arts isn't what it used to be, but I can still name at least 10 really great art projects that I did in elementary school back in the seventies and eighties - all of which involved such exciting things as paper mache, needlepoint, foam board printing and mediums other than paper and pencil.

Josie brought her Portfolio home the following week and at least there was color.


But once again, the majority of the projects were pencil drawings that had been colored in with marker.





The most creative was an underground rabbit warren complete with media room and underground pool:



And there was one exception:  a clay building that Josie called The Color House:


I think it may be time to end the Portfolio process.  Maybe if the art teacher sent things home throughout the year, parents would start to notice that their little darlings weren't doing very much in art class and start to complain.  Art Education is very important and elementary school is the perfect age for children to experiment and take artistic risks.  By middle school, art is only taught for one semester and kids are at that self-conscious age where they don't want to do anything that might set them apart from the norm.  

Am I the only parent who has noticed a drop-off in quality in the Art Portfolio?

4 comments:

Terri said...

I can't wait to see ours! I have some amazing pieces hanging already that the boys created. But your right, the art are taking a back burn (even up here) sadly

Angie said...

How disappointing! I only have one child in school and she's in High School so she doesn't take an art class. My preschooler of course does tons of art projects geared towards 3 year old kids. It doesn't look like your girls had a very fun year of art :(

Martha said...

Terri - I hope your boys' Art Portfolios are more colorful! They certainly couldn't be less!

Martha said...

angie - I think you are probably right. Josie said she enjoyed her art class but Georgia said it was kind of a boring year. Next year, G will be in middle school and she'll only take art one semester, but the art teacher is really great, so I expect great things sent home!

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