3 Easy Ways to Get Work Home After the Art Show

All of your hard work has led to this…

art show 1

The art show is over, but that doesn’t mean the work is over.

You took down all of the projects and now you have to figure out what to do with them. There are several different ways you can handle this situation.

art home

1. Let students take the artwork home at the end of the show.

Our state youth art show has a huge reception at the state capital with a closing reception from 4pm-7pm. They allow the students to take their artwork with them at the end of the reception. The pieces that are left are mailed back to the teachers. It saves a lot of work when the students take their special pieces with them at the end of the show. For a school show, you might allow students to take work down after a certain time. For example, if your show is scheduled from 5pm to 8pm, you may let students take work starting at 7:45pm.

art show 2

2. Send the artwork home with the students via their classroom or homeroom teachers.

Maybe you chose one picture per student. Maybe you took the best of each project. Regardless, all of that artwork has to get home. One easy way is to ask each homeroom teacher to send the projects home when they next send class work or other important mail home. To make this task easier, label each project with the homeroom teachers’ names when you mat them for the show. As the show comes down, put the artwork into class piles and deliver them. The other teacher might even display a small class “art show” before they send the pieces home.

art show 4

3. Store the artwork in the art room.

I like to keep my students’ artwork until the end of the year. That way, I have everything I need for art shows and my students’ projects are more likely to get home if everything is sent at one time. When the art show is over, return the work to where you store the other projects. Make sure to label the back of the images while you are matting so they will be ready to send home when the time comes.

art show 5

Regardless of how you handle finishing up the art show, a little planning goes a long way. Just this year, I learned how to use Google docs to create labels. Making labels with the students’ names, grades, schools and homeroom teachers has made my life so much easier. A quick glance at the label and the artwork is headed home… wherever home may be.

How do you hand back your students’ art show work? 

What is the biggest challenge to wrapping up your art show?

Jennifer Carlisle

Jen is a middle school art teacher from Norfolk, NE who loves exploring and teaching art through traditional and digital art mediums.


  • Jessica

    This year just like last year I have a tone of art work still left. My problem is that I only see students for 6-7 weeks at a time, then they move onto another class and they forget about their 1 piece of artwork they let me keep for the art show. I give them (middle schoolers) a deadline and then I got and save examples and then I will ask if teachers maybe want to look and keep anything they like and then it will get recycled as I don’t have room to keep it all!

    • Jennifer Carlisle

      Can you have the student write their homeroom on the paper and just give them back to the homeroom teacher? I have my students artwork all saved by class so if I miss them on “handback day” I quickly know where to send it. If they are on a rotation would the (keyboarding, language, pe) teacher be willing to hand them back for you if you had them all sorted?

  • Stephanie Murray

    When I hang the artworks, I group them by class. That way when they come down the stack goes straight to the homeroom teacher. I’m pretty sure the teachers hate me, but hey, I see 800 students a week for 45 minutes at a time. Handing back artwork? Nobody got time for that.

    • Jennifer Carlisle

      it is the simple pre-work things that makes our life a lot easier…

  • Hannah

    Can I ask what kind of panels those artworks are hung on? :)

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