Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Art Club & Art Fundraisers

Today I finalized my list for my after school art club and I will be beginning it next week!  How many of you do an art club and what kinds of projects do you do?

This is the third year I'm doing art club and this year, I'm going to really try and plan some good projects.  In the past, I have kind of "flown by the seat of my pants," but I need to start making this program a little more stable, reliable and advanced from regular art class.
These are the two things we deifnitely do each year...the first is that we use boondoggle (plastic lacing) to create bracelets and key chains to sell to make money.  The teacher before me used to do bake sales, but to me, that doesn't really fit well with art (unless we were making creatively frosted items!).  Sooooo, I decided to have the kids do boondoggle fund raisers...we usually do 2-3 sales a year during lunch time.  We make a variety of sizes so the younger kids can afford them as well.  The range from 25 cents all the way up to $2.50 (bracelets).  As we start making these, I'll post pictures of our creations!  The kids get really into making big spiral and zig zag key chains and the metal cuff bracelets.

The other art project that is an art club staple is glass art.  The summer after my first year of teaching, I was able to use the extended day grant our school has to purchase a small glass kiln and supplies for fusing and slumping glass.  I always let everyone in my art club create a 6" glass plate to take home. We also use a microwave kiln to create glass jewelry or key chains.  (Last year we created jewelry for a silent auction to make money...it wasn't as successful as our fundraiser the first year, but we still did pretty good. A lot of people complained about how heavy the glass pendants were...) If you do any fundraising for your art club/art department, what do you do?
This is what I tell parents about how I choose students for art club.  I come right out and tell them that I look for more advanced students in terms of artistic ability.  I look for mature students who are willing to come every Wednesday during the school year from November until the end of the year.  Students must be able to stay on top of their classwork and their homework.

Students will lose art club membership if they start doing poorly in class because they aren't completing homework. They will be asked to give up their spot if they continuously miss art club without a valid excuse (doctors appointment, family emergency, etc.), if they bully others, have inappropriate behavior on the late bus, and so on and so forth.  I usually have kids drop out before they get that far!

The first year I did art club we did a major fund raising project at the end of the year the night of the art show. We spent about 4 days after school painting bowling pins to look like famous art.  This had to have been the BEST project ever!  The kids loved painting a weird object like a bowling pin, and they did a really nice job recreating famous art and understanding their artist's painting style!  You can head over to Artsonia to see everyone's bowling pins, but here are some examples! (These are all done by 5th and 6th graders...each bowling pin auctioned for at least $15-$20, the highest one went for $55! We made almost $900 by auctioning off almost 34 bowling pins...) Can you guess which artists they modeled these after?

Anyone have any suggestions to take better photos of sculptures?  I have a really poor set-up, not professional at all!  What I really need is a more professional camera for Christmas...hint hint hubby! ;)


  1. Your bowling pins are fantastic - what a great idea!! No wonder you made some serious money :) And I'm so jealous that you are able to do glass art - please post some examples, I'd love to see your creations!

    1. I definitely will! I have photos saved somewhere on my computer of their glass plates from last year...as soon as I find them I'll post them!

  2. What fun! Where did you get all the bowling pins?

    1. I just went down to the local bowling alley and asked. When the pins start getting cracked and chipped, the alleys rotate them out and usually just throw out the bad ones. They really weren't even in that bad of shape. I think out of 40 pins I got all together, there were two that we couldn't use.

  3. Awesome idea! We're always trying to find projects for art club. Suggestion for taking better photos of your sculptures-- Make a box lined with white paper to put them in a photograph them inside of it (opening facing forward not up) it will flash off all sides instead of just the back.

    1. Ooh, thanks for the suggestion! I'm definitely going to hunt down some boxes! I have a few cans of white spray paint too, so I think I'll spray the inside! Thanks!

  4. I so love these bowling pins art works! Brilliant, girl..... I bet hey were so super fun to make for the students!! :)
    xox, Crystelle

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