Some of your students may be more passionate about art than others. You know…the ones who show up while you’re still setting up and the ones you have to scoot out the door 10 minutes after the bell rings?
An after-school art club is the perfect place for these passionate student artists to try new techniques, and spend time with like-minded student artists. If you’re ready and willing, we’ve got a few tips to help you get an art club up and running at your school.
The first thing you’ll need to decide is why you’re starting an art club. Are you hoping to provide your students with a chance to experiment with new techniques and mediums? Will you be creating art to decorate school walls and display cases? Will you be presenting the lessons or will your students come up with project ideas? Will you be creating in the classroom or taking field trips?
Once you have clarity on the purpose of your club, you’ll want to run the idea past your administration to get approval and understand any requirements and restrictions for after school clubs. Next, announce the possibility of your club to gauge student interest. Be sure to spread the word to non-art students as well as current students. Your club might be the perfect way for prospective artists to give it a go without committing to a semester- or year-long class. Next, consider your schedule and the best day and time for you to chaperone the club. Float a few times past your prospects and the administration, to confirm that your room, or a room, will be available for your meetings.
As with any club, a feeling of belonging is as central to the group as the actual topic of interest. A group activity is a great way to help students bond. Community projects like murals or hosting traveling art workshops to work with kindergartners or older adults create comradery. Or, consider challenging your students to organize and conduct a club fundraiser – perhaps an art auction or caricature booth at the school carnival – to raise money for art supplies or a charitable donation.
When the art club has been meeting long enough to create a library of work, you might also consider hosting a gallery show for the rest of the school, or at least for your daily art classes. Who knows, you might even recruit some new art students.
Do you host an art club at your school? What are some of your favorite projects? Let us know in the comments below and thanks.