Art bulletin boards are the first on my back to school preparation list I tackle at the end of the year. Yes, at the end! As I stated last year, I like to fully enjoy my Summer vacation and that means getting my art room ready for back to school in June.
And while I usually figure out my elementary art bulletin boards in late April, that didn’t happen this year. I was so bogged down with art projects that I was working on these bulletin boards minutes before leaving on the last day. Both of these are rushed, unpolished ideas, but both have a kernel of an idea that I like. Let’s dive into what I created and how I would improve on them with more time to spare. And perhaps this will help you design your own bulletin boards for the Fall.
Art Bulletin Boards
After two months off, kids need to brush up on their skills. They forget what they’ve been taught all year. Fall is a great time to remind them that they come to acquire art skills and techniques that will last a lifetime.
First, I created the giant brush from some large oaktag paper that I painted loosely to create lots of texture. Then, I created the bristles by cutting tan construction paper into strips, stopping an inch short of the other side. I scored some heavy duty aluminum foil to create the ferrule. That’s the metal part that holds the bristles onto the handle. Lastly, I sampled on some scrap tissue paper made for a beautiful rainbow effect at the bottom.
Now here’s where things got rushed. I have to hand-cut all those letters for my bulletin board. After I was finished, I had little time left to contemplate what to put on the other side of the board. I wanted whatever imagery I was going to put there to answer the question, “What skills do students need to brush up on in the Fall?” I needed a quick solution, so I used some example artworks I had hanging around my art room. Yeah, not the most creative idea, but when you’re scrambling, you do what you can.
Here are some ideas that would be better:
• I think if the examples were smaller, it would be great to point out what techniques and skills are being taught. For example, in the watercolor painting, writing words around it to illustrate techniques like wet-on-wet, dry brush, salt, and masking. Or writing soumak, Egyptian knotting, and interlocking for the weaving. I like the idea that a bulletin board display can remind students of techniques they already learned. It’s especially helpful if it’s a hallway bulletin board. I love listening to kids walking past saying, “Oh yeah, I remember when we learned that!”
• Going back to the link posted above, one of the skills taught in art is problem-solving. Students test out ideas and they don’t all work, which is OK! They learn a thousand ways what not to do in order to refine their skills. I imagine their inner dialog like a flowchart which would look great on a bulletin board. At the bottom could be the solution (the artwork) and above it, all the thought processes that lead to the creation. “What colors would best express the mood of the scene?” Or “what techniques would best highlight the visual textures in the scene?” Showing more of an artist’s though process demystifies the problem solving aspects that inhibit student’s creativity.
I have one other idea I created for the hallways display which I’ll show you in an upcoming blog post. Until then, if you have your own ideas to improve upon mine, I’d love to hear them! Please leave a comment below.
And if you love this idea, I’d be honored if you’d pin it to an art board on Pinterest.