Art Expo – what a crazy day!

Posted on March 12, 2009

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!

2 Responses

  1. Rose Welty
    March 13, 2009

    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. Caroline
    March 13, 2009

    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.


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