At the encouragement (or prodding) of my Principal and Office Manager, I entered several of my students pieces of art in a show at the Pittsburg Art Collaborative (the work should be posted here by the end of next week).
I almost did not enter, but I am glad I did. My office manager is the Secretarial type, I don't think she gets the ADHD world in which I live. Non-Artists do not understand the ordeal of getting your work into a public venue, but it is usually worth the time and effort. This one really paid off, because we totally won – not that that is why we make art, but it is nice to get validation from our peers.
Last week, I pulled several pieces from the pile of stuff I had not yet returned to students and I asked several students to create stuff specifically for the show. I took all of them to my best friend Heather, who happens to work for a custom frame shop – Creative Framing in Oakland. I had her help me narrow down the choices and then she framed all of the pieces as a donation to the school. If we had to pay the bill it would be a damn lot of money that we don't have.
Last Tuesday I carted the 12 finished pieces from 9 of our students off to Pittsburg. I told all of the students about the show and each student who entered was asked to be there tonight (Friday) when the show opened. During 7th period I got a phone call telling me that one of our students won, but I was not told what she had won.
There were about 40 people in attendance at the opening. The show had about 60 works of art from 45 student artists from high school and middle school. The gentleman in charge, Martin, started the award ceremony by telling about the Pittsburg Arts Collaborative and then he talked about show and the judging process. Each judge had several stickers which they placed on the most deserving pieces.
Martin then began to hand out the awards. First, three honorable mentions – $25 to the artist – we were not in that group. It was getting exciting, that meant we placed in the top three, a much bigger deal! Next was third place – $50 to the artist and second place – $75 to the artist. It was almost over and I started to wonder if there were some other prizes, maybe more honorable mentions before announcing first place, and I started to get nervous. I looked at Heather and she looked nervous, too. Then Martin said the name of the first place artist. I looked around the room to check, but I knew she was not there and I told them so. “She’s not here? BUT THAT’S MY KID…uh…STUDENT.” I collected her prize – $100 to the artist. Even better!
By the way, Martin told me later that the winning piece had more than twice as many stickers (votes) as the second. My School RULES!