Thursday, October 7, 2010

Gallery Opening: Art Snobs only, please.

I'll go ahead and toot my own horn: yesterday I was full to the brim with good ideas. One of which was conducting a gallery opening-style critique during my Digital Photography class. I proposed this bit of brilliance to my photography students, first explaining what happens during gallery openings (food, drinks, and the sharing of artist's statements) and we decided to conduct our very own gallery opening today, to showcase our most recent project and share the artists' statements written about each. It would be unfair to say that my motives were purely academic - indeed, I wanted to partake in a fancy feast as well. I will uphold this feeling forever: in-class parties will never not be fun.

Each student signed up to bring a 'fancy snack' (fancy = Nutter Butter bars, mini-cupcakes, and Doritos apparently) or drink (we had Sparkling Grape juice). I happened to mention the word 'coffee' and every one went wild. So this is why you could have seen me this morning, hauling in a coffee pot, artifical sweetener, and a dozen mugs into my classroom. Nevermind they all drenched their "coffee" with spoonfulls of Splenda and showers of White Mocha flavored creamer. Nevermind that most of them dumped cocoa mix into their coffee (this is another "fancy" drink) until I'm sure it resembled neither coffee nor anything edible. With our sparkling grape concoctions and utterly non-coffee coffees in hand, we all raised our glasses, cheered and pretended to clink, officially opening our Gallery Showcase as I toasted "our first gallery critique, with many more to follow". Tomorrow we'll continue our gallery opening - it was a hit today, everyone was very respectful, actually got into character, and discussed the artwork of their peers in a way we haven't been able to before. I actually think they're genuinely sad we won't be able to have our sophisticated coffee tomorrow, but I explained to them the danger I'd be in with my husband if our coffee pot was MIA tomorrow morning.

I threw out the idea of dressing up like 'art snobs' for the culmination of our critique tomorrow... why am I surprised that they are thrilled with this idea? Especially since this idea sprang from something I myself did in high school. During a field trip that combined the AP Art History class (which I was in) and the GT kids (not in), our class decided to be ... funny? and dress up like art snobs. (Please refer to the picture above, which I brought in to show my class today. I made them guess which one was me... and unsurprisingly it took them awhile. God rest you, chubby high school Christie.) Oh, and we stayed in character all day; my friend Chelsea and I wrote bad, emo poetry during the bus ride all the way from Lake Travis to Houston. We thought it was absolutely hilarious.

So I'm feeling really good about the direction of most of my classes. In fact, the results of the Unplugged Hour Free Draw assignment were surprising; it's the sketchbook assignment that is the most completed thus far. I'm thrilled, even if they did cheat.

Oh, and if you couldn't pick me out of the crowd: