Normally, when our co-op has its end-of-the-year program, I put the art up around on the walls, and the mini art show is part of it. This year, however, because I had three classes and a LOT more students, I decided early-on that I would have an show specifically for art.
In September, I figured out that I was going to need portable panels to be able to set up in the gym. I decided to go with insulation panels that were 8′ tall (you want the ones that are 2″ thick for support). When I priced them at Home Depot, they were running about $25.00 each, and I needed nine of them. Add the duct tape, spray adhesive, and black paper to cover everything, and the out-of-pocket expense was too much. So, I turned to my friends on Facebook, and within two days of putting the shout-out, all nine panels were sponsored! I know some pretty awesome people. They sent checks and, in the spring, off to the hardware store I went.
About a week before the show, I had the kids frame their artwork by gluing them to larger sheets of colored paper. I also had them take their art out of their portfolios and stack them according to the piece. This would make it easier to mount later. I also glued the paper to the panel. I used spray adhesive to keep everything smooth. I used two different types (one for craft, and one heavy-duty). I wanted to use the can of craft adhesive first, and I should have ONLY used the heavy-duty adhesive, because everyone one of the panels that had the craft adhesive had to be re-sprayed on the day of the show. It just wasn’t sticky enough. The industrial stuff worked great!
On the day of the show, we started early. I had a team of people come in throughout the day to help, and they were magnificent! The first thing we had to deal with was re-spraying the paper on the panels (see above). Once we had that back under control, we began the process of duct-taping the panels together, accordion-style. You’ll want to work in teams for this. One person needs to hold the panels together while the other person runs a line of duct tape down the seam of the two panels. Next, the duct tape person runs another line to right (or left) of the first duct tape strip. The tape will extend over the side, but that’s ok, because you can fold that down over the paper on the panel, securing it. Finally, a third strip will be run on the other side, with the same fold-over step being repeated. When the first two panels are complete, flip them over, and line up the third panel with ONE side, and repeat the process. Your aim is to create connections to make a letter “Z”.
Don’t forget to duct tape the two edges of the outer pieces. You don’t want the pink to show. You don’t have to worry about taping the tops and bottoms, because the bottoms are, well, bottoms, and as for the tops, no one is 8′ tall.
We also made free-standing pillars. I asked my parents to bring in medium to large-sized cardboard moving boxes throughout the year. My original idea was to individually wrap the boxes in brown kraft paper, but I realized I had leftover black paper from the panels, and this would make the art stand out even more. We didn’t have enough of the paper to wrap each one, and this was a GOOD thing to discover, because we ended up duct-taping six boxes together, and then wrapping the entire column as one piece. Brilliant! We ended making three columns for the show.
Now it was time to mount all the art work. That, in itself, is a feat, and takes a team! I arranged the panels, columns, and tables where I wanted them, and then dropped a stack of art before each side. I also made sponsor signs for each panel as well as title cards for each project. The team went to work, and everything turned out fabulously!
Another really successful part of the show was the drawing table. I put two tables together, and covered with brown kraft paper. I drew some frames and left some markers and pencils on the tables for anyone that wanted to sit down and create. Both kids and parents had fun!