Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Have you tried to sell student artwork at your art shows?

For SaleImage by Ian Muttoo via Flickr
Hi There,
It's getting close to our annual art show and many of the same questions/ideas/comments come up every year.  Some of them are easily answered, but this one continues to stump me, "Is there a way that the student artwork can be for sale?"
So far my answer has been, "Yes, but...............",  and after the "but" are all the practical reasons for making this task very difficult and some of the fears I have regarding students feelings toward their art.
With that said, I am at a private school and funds are needed now more than ever.
Has your school ever sold student artwork at it's art show?  Can you share the method used & would you recommend it?

Would love to hear from you, especially those of you who've been teaching art for ages and have been-there, done-that!
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Hope Hunter Knight said...

We use a company -"Artome" - that frames all the art for the art show and offers the frame for a reasonable price. We don't sell the art - parents can buy the frame that night with the art already inside, or the art comes back to me (and then the students) after the show if the parents don't want to buy the frame. We advertise it like a great service to the parents to get the perfect frame for their students favorite work at a great rate and the school makes a little profit. You can see an example here: http://dolvinartknight.blogspot.com/2011/05/fine-arts-night-glowing-success.html

Sarah said...

I also teach at a private school. We have an Art Auction every other year. Students choose 2 pieces of their work to be auctioned off. We hold our Art Auction the weekend of our Spring Musical so that it gets a lot of parental exposure. We also make sure we are very clear what the money will be used for. Last time we wanted new playground equipment. We chose the pieces we wanted & included photos of it in our advertisements of the auction. We also had a very large photo of it hung in the entry to the auction room.

Miss said...

At my first school, which was also private, I was expected to hold an "Art Show & Sale".

I taught all the grades, K-12, so basically I had one set price for all of elementary (K-6) and another set price, slightly higher, for the rest (7-12). I can't remember how much I charged- maybe between $10 and $20. Not much. I simply mounted the art on black paper and used sticky-tack to adhere the art to wooden display boards we had.

I was very opposed to this b/c I just don't agree with putting a monetary value on children's art, but it had always been done that way at the school. I was also worried about student art that didn't sell. What I was told was that it was an unwritten rule that parents were expected to buy their own child's art.

Well, that didn't happen! Probably about half the art sold- of course the supportive parents who always help out, volunteer, etc. were the ones who bought the art. Some teachers also bought art at the end of the day which hadn't sold which was nice.
Ugh- I hated the experience, but then again, I'm just not business/marketing minded or money orientated at all. I know some art teachers who are and they enjoy the process and are very good at it. I'm just not.
I hope your goes well, though!

Miss said...

Oh, and to add what others mentioned, I saved one artwork per child throughout the year. I just kept a checklist and when I saw a student had done a great piece, I kept it and checked of their name. We held the show towards the end of the school year, also in conjunction with the annual school play, so we knew there would be lots of people coming. The money raised went back into the art room to help increase our budget.

Marcia Beckett said...

We have sold collaborative artworks by the kids. I feel like it is an imposition on the parents to sell individual artworks.

Jen Musisko said...

I also work in a private school and we have an auction. I do group art projects that the whole class has worked on, like a quilt or framed mural for each class and then the parents bid on it, but I've never sold individual works.

Jodi said...

My school uses the art & music show as their biggest fundraiser. They have a show (no sale) of the kids' art (one per kid) in the atrium (entryway) of the school and in the media center there is a silent auction. Artwork is submitted from local artists, and students are invited to submit if they'd like. Guests get an auction number and sign up using the number so there's no hurt feelings later. There's also a music show in the atrium that the music teacher is in charge of. Kids sign up for 2-3 minute slots to sing or play a song. Girl scouts provide snacks too. It's a big affair that we're known for around the community. I take no credit, it was all started before I arrived here and is run primarily by one of our parents (thankfully she has a kindergartener!)

Abbey Logan said...

I recently had my first art sale, and to my surprise, it went great! I taped at least one artwork per child, and displayed every ceramic piece that I had. I have about 700 students, and my school is around 65% low income, so I was not expecting much. I made about $450, which was great for my first art show. I will do it again, next time with more advertising. I just asked for a $1 donation per artwork, and many parents gave $5, or even $10.

Tisha Smith said...

Thanks for all the great comments, so awesome what you all are doing!

Sue said...

We have a Gallery Night at our school, in fact it was just held this past week. We hold an art auction. Each class works on a collaborative piece usually done on 18 x24 canvas, the kindergarten classes make a small sharpie drawn picture and it is modge podged onto a frame, this year we asked for artists donations from parents and we received about 10 additional pieces, so in told there are 2 classes per grade level Jk through 5th grade....so 14 canvases or frames....the bidding starts at $20 for any of the pieces and this year we raised $1230. It is a lot of work but it is a great way to showcase not only the schools art program (scavenger hunt is held, so that families have to go throughout the school to see all the art) but a fun night too.