What were the project goals?
ArtWorks seeks to enrich students’ knowledge of careers in the arts by creating partnerships between the school district, locally-run businesses, and locally-based artists contributing to Greater Portsmouth’s creative economy. ArtWorks focuses on Grade 8 (at Portsmouth Middle School), since students at this age are forming ideas and beginning to make decisions about potential future careers. In addition, this exploration may influence their high school course registration (which occurs in Grade 8). Approximately 100 students participated in this program during the 2009-2010 school year. ArtWorks has three major teaching components 1) An in-house curriculum component developed by the art teachers to introduce students to a wide array of professional arts career choices. The goal of this component is to expose students to the great variety of local career opportunities in the arts. 2)In addition to the classroom based teaching, students visit local arts-related businesses and meet the employees/owners to learn about various career opportunities within the Arts. Students tour the facilities to get a hands-on sense of the operations. 3)Once the students are exposed to various career opportunities in the classroom and in the field, individual local artists come into the classroom to work directly with the students. The objective this component is for students to gain “hands-on” experience with the artist to learn about the artists’ techniques, styles, inspirations, etc. The students learn how an individual artist contributes to the larger creative economy by doing such things as purchasing art supplies, using the services of graphic arts company to market their art, showing their work at galleries, and providing curatorial expertise or education outreach for programming. ArtWorks incorporates the theme of sustainability throughout the program. For example, the students learn about businesses and artists using sustainable practices. This includes such things as printing with soy inks and recycled papers for graphics firms, to giving a percentage of profits to local charities, to working in or designing LEED certified buildings, to disposing of waste appropriately. It is anticipated that the ArtWorks program will result in the students developing: •Long-term partnerships with teachers, artists and businesses •Life long investment in the arts •An understanding of economic viability and opportunity in the arts •An exploration of career options •A consideration of the sustainability of arts and culture in greater Portsmouth It is hoped that ArtWorks will serve as a pilot/model program for other school districts and that it become an ongoing sustainable program at Portsmouth Middle School.
Have they changed over time?
The students also worked with artists who use the theme of sustainability in their works (eco-artists). The theme of sustainability was chosen because the Portsmouth Middle School is currently integrating the concept of sustainability into their core curriculum for the 7th grade. Therefore the 2009-2010 eighth grade class spent the last year learning many aspects of sustainability in their community. In addition, Art-Speak would like to promote the concept of sustaining the rich heritage and economic viability of arts in our community by retaining local talent.
Who are the project partners and stakeholders?
All students in Visual arts classes at Portsmouth Middle School for terms 3-6 of the school year participated in ArtWorks. •Student population at Portsmouth Middle School (enrollment 558) viewed all work on display in the school's library and hallways, creating a sense of peer-pride and school-wide interest in the project. •Parents of students in these classes received information and letters home about the project and were also invited to and attended opening receptions for the art exhibits at the library, and the culminating event at the at Infinite Imaging. •The school Superintendent, Principals, School Board members, and other school community members were informed of the project via email/newsletter and then invited to attend all receptions and the culminating event for the project. Principal John Stokel and several School Board Members attended the Culminating event and were very proud of students' achievements. Community-at-large • Residents and non-residents visited the Portsmouth Public Library saw the exhibits and library employees reported continued remarks of enthusiasm and praise for the display. •Residents and non-residents viewed art works in the windows of participating businesses. •Over 50 people attended the culminating event including Portsmouth City Councilors and municipal staff, non-ArtWorks artists, Art-Speak board members, families, volunteers, friends and supporters. Participating “Hands-On” Artist: • Nathan Walker, Illustrator, Sculptor •Tess Feltes, Scientific Illustrator, Curator •Barbara Rita Jenny, Photographer, digital media specialist • Bill Rogers, Videographer, film director, producer •Roger Goldenberg, painter, printmaker Participating “Presentation-based” Artist: •Rob Squier •Terry Weidner •Gina Perry •Kurt Danielson Participating Businesses: •Fa-La-Lo •Re-Enhabit •Gamble Design •Infinite Imaging Participating Organizations: •Portsmouth Public Library •Portsmouth School Department (teachers, staff, administrators) • Art-Speak