Thursday, March 12, 2009

Art Expo - what a crazy day!

Pine Tree

2007, Caroline Roberts, 36"x36"

Today I was at the Art Exposition at my son's school. My head is reeling. Four hours sitting at a table talking to elementary age kids about my art. I had an hour to set up and then barely a break all day. Chatting to those kids was so much fun - there were several groups that I had really interesting conversations with. Several of the third and fourth graders really seemed to 'get' the idea of abstract art and I had a long chat with one guy who looked like his mind exploded when we discussed how the simpler paintings were harder to do! Seeing a lightbulb go on inside someone's head is just amazing, maybe I should do some teaching?

I wrote and printed up 100 copies of a newsletter and handed out every single one. While I was at the expo I noted down a few things that I learnt for next time:
- I need more handouts, maybe even postcards, the kids love to get "stuff".
- Have some small paintings on the table: everyone looked at the table before they looked at the backboard where the paintings were hanging.
- The Moms that lead the kids round have a definite bias to the jewelry tables. Not sure how I can compete there!
- Tables where there were demos going on were popular. Maybe I can do some actual painting next time.

Things I did that worked well:
- I had sketchbooks and larger color studies on the table and I found that kids and adults alike were interested to hear how I worked on ideas. So many people think we just walk up to a blank canvas and paint.
- Kids love to be asked about their favorite things to draw and their favorite colors.
- I let them touch some color studies and one painting and they loved this. Next time I shall bring small color studies with loads of textures - the showy stuff is fascinating to them.
- the business cards with different paintings on them. Was so glad I didn't use any of my old vistaprint ones when I saw several of the other exhibitors with standard vistaprint cards.

I'm proud of myself for just getting there and having a newsletter and business cards - there's been so much sickness in our house the last month. My son and I have coughs that have led to infections and asthma, so I also have continual jitters from the albuterol. I am so glad that spring break starts tomorrow for us and I have a week off. New York here I come! Really. I am so excited... I am going to try posting by email but who knows if I'll manage to get photos as well as text? This will be one big, fun experiment!


  1. Well done Caroline. Sounds like it was a really good experience for you - thanks for sharing your tips with us.

    If you don't mind me asking, where did you get your cards?

    I really do think engaging kids in art is an easy thing to do (at a young age) and really important for them.

    Have a great Spring break!

  2. thanks Rose. It was a great experience and I shall definitely be involved next time. I forgot one item in my "next time" list: a hammer and nails. My tacks worked fine but it was hard on my hands.

    I printed my business cards myself using the HP snappable cards. I plan to get some postcards done but I'll need to investigate that. I'll post about both.