Today at school they had the after school program showcase. This meant I had to prep a TON of student artwork to hang quickly and easily (as we're not allowed to keep it up in the cafeteria for a variety of reasons).
I had some art from my younger kids in the fall and then of course from the older classes in the spring. When it was all hung, I had to say I was surprised at how excited the kids were to see their work up.
Art isn't usually the loud thing you go see at a showcase. It doesn't scream at you to pay attention to it (well, not unless you're at a really weird performance or installation art exhibit - which doesn't happen in elementary schools, thank GOD!). It is a quiet thing that requires viewers to stop, examine, and consider. This is ironic, because the creators of the art hung today are anything but quiet or still.
That said, they couldn't wait to see their art hanging on the wall. They loved how it was up on brightly colored butcher paper that made it look matted. They loved having their three-dimensional mini models on display. It didn't matter if parents didn't take the time to look at the work. It didn't matter if their friends didn't like it. They picked their art to hang. They liked it, and I loved watching the pride on their faces when they saw their work displayed for everyone present to see.
It was one of those moments that despite taking an incredible amount of work was really beautiful to experience. It was another reminder why I do the things I do; payment comes in smiles on young faces every day, eager and excited to make something new.