Nov 12, 2012

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5 Steps to Making your Art Club a Success!

Having an Art Club is a great way for students to be involved in art throughout the year. When our time with them is limited in the classroom, an art club can serve as a nice supplement for students who can’t get enough art.  An art club also allows more opportunities and freedom to try new things with students.  There are some really fun Pinterest boards out there labeled “Art Club Ideas” if you are in need of even more inspiration!

Recently one of my colleagues mentioned she wanted to start up her own art club.  She asked me what it takes to make my art club a success.  If you are passionate about starting an Art Club this helpful guide will make sure you start it off on the right foot.

 

5 Steps to Making Your Art Club a Success

1)      Decide on a Time

Choosing the right time will be crucial for attendance.  At our middle school students are involved in several morning activities so it was important that I did not choose to have art club on the same morning that honor choir was meeting, since many students are involved in that.  To choose the right time I used Google forms  to survey those interested in art club.  This allowed me to see a summary of results in a wonderful bar graph to analyze this data.  Our best time to meet turned out to be Monday and Friday mornings, so we will alternate to include as many students as possible.

2)      Fundraise for Supplies

We have various fundraisers throughout the year to help raise money for our art club’s art supplies and annual field trip.  This allows students to get out into the community and talk with others about art club.  This helps to raise money and build advocacy for your art program, what a great win-win.

3)      Make T-Shirts to show Pride

Just like any soccer team or school, team shirts are a great way to show you are united and to show your pride by your involvement.  What a better way to show art club pride by making your own t-shirts, whether they are screen printed or stenciled. See our most recent creation in the photo above. Students will love seeing their artwork on 20+ t-shirts and wearing them on the days they have art club! We loved wearing our t-shirts on our annual field trip. (More on that in tomorrow’s article) The shirts also helped us stay together as a group.

4)      Display Student’s Art work

Partnering with Local Businesses to Display Student Artwork will help let community members know what your art club students are creating.  It also gets your art club excited to know that their work is on display for all of the public to see!  You can even display students’ art on a bus! This partnership creates a great win-win for both parties involved.

5)      Go on an Art Club Field Trip

Tomorrow I will be sharing all of the details on how to conduct a successful art club field trip, so stay tuned.  Organizing this event was well worth the effort.  It was very powerful o have a conversation about art the students had seen in person.  They raised their hand and said “Mrs. Meyer we saw that on our art club field trip!”  This is a great end of the year art club trip for us and students look forward to it throughout the year!

 

It is very rewarding for me as a teacher to have an art club, as I get a chance to work with students who are truly passionate about art and love creating! The energy they bring is just amazing, even at 7:30am! Art club gives me the freedom to try more complex projects that I might not try with 100+ students.  I hope this helps you organize an art club at your school, if you do not already have one.

 

Do you have an art club at your school or have you thought about starting one?

How do you organize your art club?

What is your favorite part about having an art club?

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  • Litchfieldartroom

    I would love to do an art club! The main reason many of us don’t is time and supplies. I and many of my colleagues are working on the balance between an overloaded school schedule and family. I used to have a spot in the school day for art enrichment which was fun. I do one team after school with a partner and it is a big commitment no oonly on my part but for my entire family. I am thankful they support it and help me with the babysitting when I am working late. I can’t lie I miss my daughter a lot but think the environmental awareness club is really important to the kids. I also started it before I had her so it wasn’t as big of a deal back then.

    • http://www.theartofed.com/ Chelsie Meyer

      Hello Litchfieldartroom, It sounds like you have your proirities straight with family first! We as  art teachers give so much to our students that it is important to make sure you keep your family first! I start my art club 15 minutes before my morning prep and students work with me during this time.  I feel as this helps to keep it all balanced!

    • Tcarey

       I have to pick up my children after my days of art club, so my art club’s policy is  if they are picked up late from art club two times, they are out of art club. I’ve got to pick up my own children. It works wonders! I’ve had club members picked up late only once! I’ve never had to kick anyone out!

      • http://www.theartofed.com/ Jessica Balsley

        That is such a great solution. It sounds harsh at first, but everyone’s time is valuable and if you put it out there, people will respect your time. Way to go.

  • Jescia Hoffman

    I just organized an art club at my middle school, and the turnout has been phenomenal! I have no designated budget, so I asked for a very low ($5) activity fee, and for the fist few projects, I am having students bring in supplies from home to share. We are currently making duct tape art and other (free) projects to sell right before Christmas break as a fundraiser. We meet once weekly for 2 hours after school, and I get an average of 25-30 students each time! I love these kids – they are so enthusiastic and truly engaged, so it is really a treat to see them more frequently!

    • http://www.theartofed.com/ Chelsie Meyer

      Jessica, That is wonderful to hear that your middle school art club is off to a great start! It is very rewarding when students are so excited about it. Any tips on how to get it off and running successfully?

      • Jescia Hoffman

        There are a few factors that I think contributed to our current success. Our school is extremely sports-oriented, and there are very, very few opportunities for students who are not athletes. Art Club has really helped students find a niche in the school.  When organizing, I was very pleased to have the full support of the administration and other teachers. I involved interested students right away; Art Club has been very democratic – I started with a few basic ideas that I wanted to do, and they contributed many more ideas.  I just made a Facebook account to post pictures of projects and get word out for activities and fundraisers beyond the school hallways.

        • http://www.theartofed.com/ Chelsie Meyer

          Jessica,Thanks so much for sharing the tips that helped make your art club successful! These are great pointers that I know will help others who are looking to start up their own art club! I think your democratic point is oh so true! Students love coming up with new ideas or projects to try and their enthusiasm is so catching!

          • http://www.theartofed.com/ Jessica Balsley

            Another idea, along these lines, might be to set the kids up with their own “Art Club” group Pinterest board to pin art ideas they all like, and can then vote on the ideas they like.

          • http://www.theartofed.com/ Chelsie Meyer

            What a great idea, Jessica! I will have to start one up for my art club! Thanks

  • Dbullock28

    My search on Pinterest didn’t result in much.  Do you have any specific projects that would be good for an art club as opposed to their regular art class?

  • Lmiska

    My art club has grown so much in size over the past years that this year I decided to break it into 4 different groups and offer specific topic/materials per group.  I allowed the kids to sign up for 1 of the 4 classes.  As much as I am excited about having so many kids, it made it difficult to supervise and I was not enjoying hosting it anymore.  This new way allows art club to meet in smaller groups which is more enjoyable and manageable.  Only negative the meetings are divided by 4, so they meet less.  I feel bad about that, but I am just not sure what else to do, there is only 1 of me.  So far I am liking this new system and it seems to be a success. 

  • Shruti Mistry

    I was actually planning to make an art club at my school. Our mascot is a cougar so I decided to call it the Colourful Cougars! We’re going to make origami, bracelets, holiday themed art or if you just want to come in and draw, you can do that too. I am planning to sell some of these things before Christmas break and the money will go to MeToWe, which is a foundation that raises money for rural homes in China. If anyone has anyideas of how I could expand this club please reply!

  • Ozichi Fah

    I am thinking of started an art and crafts club at my school too. I am unsure about the activities we will do once I get the club organized. What are some good and fun crafts that 11 and 12 year old students will want to do?I really want something creative that will keep the club running.

  • Sam

    Jessica, do you have a ball park figure of what it would cost to start an after-school art club?