We have a family clothesline art show and sale at least once each year. For several reasons. First is the art educator's obvious position. Every person has something to say, and for many, a drawing, painting or sculpture is the way it is said best. Public recognition and appreciation for one's efforts affirms those expressions, born in abundance at grandma's house where a bounty of art supplies is always available. Here, grandchildren enjoy open invitation to finger paint for the first time at age one or culminate six years of practiced experience in a carefully detailed mixed media masterpiece. These works - all of them - are carefully signed, dated and stored away for the next show. And yes. I am aware of the accusation by some that these days "little Johnny" is excessively praised for the faintest academic effort. I think they're crazy. Excessive? Mind your own business! Over here, grandma and grandpa swoon over every little squiggle and finger painted wiggle and pay big sticker prices for them too. We're grandparents. And that's our job. (DUH!)
Family art shows introduce entrepreneurship too. When little artists observe family members gobbling up their contributions, they recognize that productivity has value. They see, too, that a successful event requires careful planning and cooperative preparation.
At ages four and six, my oldest grandchildren are not too young to offer suggestions on invitations, traffic flow and set up. They show up early to fill popcorn bags and sort and clip artwork for display.
It's not a good idea to sell a food product unless you've tasted it yourself. We handle this task with competent vigor!
When parents, aunties, uncles and grandparents arrive, kids serve as gracious hosts, selling refreshments and seeing to the needs of their patrons with an enthusiasm that is an art form in itself! At show's conclusion, their kid sized wallets bulge with cash to count and save for spending and donating in appropriate percentages. That's important lifelong learning too!
Kaylee, at age one, does not take well to being left out. That's age discrimination! She does a brisk business renting shopping baskets and finding buyers for her original finger paintings.
Scrapbook paper makes excellent framing for a child's artwork. Use purchased mat board frames as templates or cut custom sizes using a quilter's rotary wheel and cutting board. Attach small photos of artists in action too, for a special touch.
Within moments of opening, our clothesline is picked clean, baskets brim with fine art in a wide range of media, and patrons and artists alike report nothing but satisfaction!
And Angeline? Have you any comment on your first family art show experience?
"Sure, grandma! I came. I shopped. I bagged my own purchase!"
And, like the rest of the event, darn if it didn't end up being a perfect fit!
See how much we've grown! Here's where you'll find the story of our very first Clothesline Art Show, Sale and Auction in 2012.