My students have been hard at work on their Comic and Manga Unit.  They have grown by leaps and bounds, devising personas and scenes all while determining how best to “tell a visual story”, improving their general drawing skills, and learning to use professional … Continue reading COMIC RELIEF

So Much Good News!

********************************************************************IMG_2524  UPDATE:  Please excuse the poor photos, but I am excited to report that my “Get up at 4am on a Saturday to travel to (very WORTH IT) OAEA Board Meeting” also yielded a special bonus – seeing my students’ work on view in the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art!  (See original post below.)  I *might* have been a little teary as I encountered these two examples with artist statements in print, hanging on the walls of this great museum.  These pieces represent so many great conversations, sharing about tough things, and learning to communicate both verbally and visually.  We took on this contest very early in my nine weeks with this group of students, and it was powerful.  This was a wonderful example of how art can be used to heal, speak out, make connection, and encourage and challenge others.  SO proud of all of my 6th Graders who grew through this process!


One of the exciting things about having SO MANY students again is all of the amazing growth that is happening daily in the art room – though one of the downsides is rarely getting the chance to wade through my many photos to share some of the good things that are happening!  I apologize, friends, for that – but we are just so busy making art (and planning, grading, prepping, cleaning, and occasionally displaying)!

So, as you might be able to tell from the exceptionally excessive use of exclamation points, I’m a little (!) excited to share some news.  (I promise, it’s not just the two espresso drinks I “ate” today…)  So, without further ado:

  • Two 6th grade students, Sharon and Marisol, were chosen to have work displayed in the NewArt Northwest Kids Exhibit at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in Eugene.  Their work is framed and mounted on real (!) museum walls (and many of my other wonderful students’ pieces are scrolling through on an electronic monitor) on the University of Oregon campus through May.  I love this museum, and I very much appreciate this program and their commitment to arts education.  I am proud of my kiddos not only for their terrific products, but for the breadth and depth of important and impacting subjects they chose to cover in the “Choices” theme.  The courage so many showed in expressing some very real and personal effects of their own and others’  choices, as well as the commitment to make steps now to overcome obstacles or work toward future  goals, is an inspiration.  I was so sad to see so many of these kiddos shuffle out through the “wheel”, and I feel blessed to have witnessed their deep introspection and to have shared in their overwhelmingly rapid and tremendous growth.  I’m proud of you!


  • 7th-8th Grade student work will be on display at the Benton County Historical Museum Gallery March 11 – April 9, and a number of these students also received Scholastic Art Awards in several different categories. GOLD KEYS (Advance to Nationals)

    Runway Line, Hannah Driebergen. Fashion

    Mike The Traveler, Jared Dyer. Comic Art


     Fun Times, Samantha Matheson. Comic Art

    Deer Girl, Madison Grannum. Comic Art

    Elegant Blues, Richelle Daniels. Fashion

    Tears, Emma Long. Comic Art

    Honorable Mentions:                                                                                                               Hands Of Time, Sylvia Cate Hosey. Sculpture                                                                   Restaurant, Johnathan Barron. Architecture                                                                         Yaquina Light, Abbey Dubois. Sculpture                                                                                                Master, Jared Mathys. Drawing and Illustration


I’m so proud of all of the hard work, growth and learning represented!


A note on contests and competitions: Sometimes students or parents voice the sentiment that competitions are bad because art should not be judged.  While I am very careful about what contests we enter and how they are presented, I make a point to expose students to competitive opportunities.  When a juried opportunity is presented in conjunction with a unit or assignment, students are required to complete projects to meet standards, though actual contest entry is purely optional.  Some students are very motivated by contests, and others are hesitant or opposed.  I continue to offer students opportunities for contest entry and exhibit proposals because they provide a number of benefits – firm deadlines, real world application, practice tailoring to specific audience or theme, opportunities to carry a message to a broad audience, and more – that far exceed potential awards.  As always, the value in the process is key!