Yesterday there was an interesting article on the New York Times site (Mom, You’re One Tough Art Critic) about the dilemma of saving or tossing the artwork that children seemed to be churning out nonstop at school. I recently met an elementary school teacher in the Bay Area that started a program in her district to solve this problem. What they do is scan in each child’s artwork into a database so once the child moves onto junior high they have a digital portfolio of their work and parents can even make a book of the artwork. I think this is a great idea to help parents who need to cut down on clutter but feel guilty about throwing out their child’s fingerpainted giraffes!
This got me thinking about what my mom did with all of the artwork I created when I was little. I don’t remember her saving everything. My grandparents (her mom and dad) were the ones that held onto my work. Drawings I did in preschool were made into plates that hung in my grandmother’s kitchen. Construction paper silhouettes and paintings on cheap paper decorated the wall next to my grandfather’s bookcase. Once my artwork was hung on their walls it didn’t get moved or come down until they were in their well into 80s and I was well into my professional career. It was only when they had to downsize and move closer to my mom that those faded pieces were packed up.
A couple years ago at Christmas my mom presented me with a calendar I had made and illustrated for her when I was in elementary school. It was a total surprise that she had saved it and we laughed until we cried looking at those drawings. Shown above is November’s illustration from that calendar entitled “The Dressmakers Shope [sic]”. Enjoy!