Saturday, November 14, 2015

What's Your Story? PTA Reflections Ideas

This post can help students know how to make a great entry and help judges know how to score them!  It isn't just about who the best artist is, it is about who can best communicate an idea with their art.

For each entry judge two things:
1) Is the concept the student described in the artist statement related to the theme?
2) Is the concept they described in the artist statement conveyed in the art?  
They must have a better than great concept AND communicate it in a crystal clear way to get the top scores!   Bonus:at the end see a fun example of how to communicate "What's your story?" with art.

Read on to see what Beginning, Developing, Proficent, Accomplished, and Advanced Entries look like as well as how to judge the tricky ones.

This is the judging rubric for Interpretation of Theme and it is half the score for each entry.  The rest of the score is on creativity and quality.  However, this is where the big points are earned!

pretend the theme this year was

#1 Artist Statement: "trees inspire me"

Is the concept the student described in the artist statement related to the theme? No (therefore the max score is 4 points)
Is the concept they described in the artist statement clearly communicated in the art?  
yes! (they get their 4 points)
 Score 4 pts

#2 Artist Statement: "I love the state fair, everything there looks yummy"
Is the concept they described in the artist statement clearly communicated in the art?  
no, is the artist saying the ferris wheel is yummy looking and the funnel cake stand is yummy?  I think they actually mean the food at the fair is the yummiest food they know of, but this isn’t a picture of lots of yummy food, it is mainly an eye-catching ferris wheel picture. (The maximum score for only partially conveying the theme is 8 pts, since the artist statement was perfectly related to the theme and pretty original I gave the full points allowed for a project that only partially communicates the concept.) 
 Score 8 pts

#3 Artist Statement:"I think donuts are yummy."

Is the concept the student described in the artist statement related to the theme? yes!  
Is the concept they described in the artist statement clearly communicated in the art?  
yes!  Hooray!  (Now I know their score will be 9-20pts so I ask one more question.
Is this concept basic, thoughtful, or very deep and full of meaning? Basic (the maximum points for a basic concept is 12 pts, you might give anywhere from 9-12 points based on your evaluation)
Score 12 pts

#4 The Tricky to Judge Project!

What if it is an amazing project and the artist statement has been made to fit the theme very well, but if you are honest, it doesn’t look like they were trying to communicate the theme in their art? 
This happens all the time.  There are always high quality entries that judges want to give top marks to.  They have an artist statement that relates to the theme nicely, but the actual project doesn’t look or feel at all like it was made with the theme in mind.  I reward the student with full credit for their creative artist statement (10 points), but I do not give credit if the project doesn’t convey the theme (0 points for communicating the theme).  The resulting score is a 10, conveniently the middle possible score and it is probably the score I have given the most times in the interpretation of theme category.  Don’t worry judges, this student might still win first place because of their high marks in the other categories, but the artist’s primary job is to reflect on the theme and then show it in their art and if someone does that really well, sometimes they win even if their art isn’t as fancy.

#5 Artist Statement: "I think lots of different things are yummy."
Concept related to theme and well thought out: YES!  This student has put all their personal favorite yummy stuff.  The difference between this and the previous one is that the first took almost no thought to come up with and this one took some real time and "reflection"!
Concept clearly communicated:  Yes, I don't even need the artist statement, the concept comes through perfectly, I love the smiley face!!!
Score 16pts.

  Artist Statement: "Yummy really depends on your point of view.  Are you a fish or a cat?"  

Concept well thought out, full of "meaning purpose and integrity":  I still don't know what that means, but I tell kids and judges to look for emotional response, human connections, deep thought, art that motivates you to change or think differently, anything that really sets it apart.  This student really "reflected" on the theme in a deep way and it is obvious.
Concept clearly communicated:  Yes, it is very clever.  Wow!  Score 20pts.  

Example #2 using 2016-2017 Refelections Theme is 
"What's Your Story?"

"trees inspire me"

Concept related to theme=no, a story could be what defines you, it usually has a begining middle and end or at very least a start and end.  A story could also be a journey, a transformation, a change of direction, an epiphany.  This art could be a story, but the artist statement doesn't really show it.

Does the art clearly communicate "trees inspiring me"?  Yes (kind of), I am inspired when I look at it.  However if I am honest it doesn't really show trees inspiring the artist.  I'm generous because this is already quite a low score, but if I'm teaching a student how to do a reflection, I would encourage them to show how the tree is affecting them, rather than just a really great tree.
4 pts

"I love the state fair"

Concept related to theme=yes, it tells what the artist loves and that is definitely their story.
Does the art clearly show the artist loves the state fair=yes and no, it shows the state fair has great color and that we are going to love it, but I don’t know the artist loves the fair just by looking at the picture.  That is the challenge of reflections, show what you think with your art, but this doesn’t do that.
score: A simple concept, not clearly communicated: 8 points for interpretation of theme

"My story is that I am like these donuts, my life looks wonderful on the outside, but once you get underneath the surface it is really pretty much the same every day."

Concept related to the theme and well though out: yes, it is pretty personal to say that your life looks really cool at first glance, but is rather ordinary in reality.  This is also a bit more complex concept than the other projects had which shows great reflecting.

Concept clearly communicated by the art: No, I don't see the story from the artist statement portrayed in the art.  Some students might put a catchy phrase on the photo with the donut such as "life is a pink frosted donut with sprinkles".  That would help.  Perhaps they would show a girl in a pink sparkly dress eating a donut, so you can see that she is like a donut.  This is a great reflection, but a difficult concept to convey and I don't think they pulled it off.

Summary, great concept, but not really communicated by the art.  This is the most common score I see. 10pts for interpretation of theme.

"I think my story is best told through my favorite foods.  Food is a big part of life and people have lots of food emotions and no two people love exactly the same foods."

Concept related to theme: yes, very well thought out!  I would score it higher than just a simple, similar concept like my favorite food is Jelly Belly Beans.
Concept clearly communicated in art: absolutely!
score:16 pts

For this theme, I'm expecting things such as some sort of unique moment that changed them to be portrayed, the thing that makes them unique, something close to their heart, something that illustrates their mission or purpose in life, a tribute to their roots, or their personal trials or dilemmas.

Perhaps collage or a picture that shows movement, or a snapshot depicting that crucial moment in time, or perhaps they find a way to portray their story with a picture that clearly illustrates what is going to happen next.

"My Life in 23 years painted on my own nails on my 23rd birthday"

I know this isn't a student's project, but it fit really well, so I'm showing it.

Concept full of meaning, purpose, and integrity? Yes! Integrity: this is her, no excuses, not what she thinks other people want her to be.  Its honest and entertaining!

Clearly Communicated?  Amazingly well!  I think Jessie Mills has a fun concept full of meaning, integrity, and purpose and that it is clearly communicated.  She put all 23 years of her life in mini pictures on her own nails!  Check out her blog post where she describes every single year here!

Note: I don't own any of these pictures, they are from internet searches (except the cat/fish picture which I photoshopped),  I just share them for educational purposes.  Thanks.