Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Great Mumford Art War!!!!!

I need to get out my frustration of what has happened the past week with my art students and their artwork that they entered in the county fair. For those that do not know what is happening, here are the basics, I need to list them to keep it organized:

-I had 16 kids enter work into the county fair art division.
-The rules clearly state that the work needs to be matted, but you are not judged on matting, just the artwork itself.
-Rules also state that ONE 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place will be give in each category. Ex: Watercolor, photography, sculpture, etc....
-Best of show and Grand Champion winners in each category will be given cash awards.
-$2 entry fee required per student, per entry.

Ok, you know the basics, here is what happened: I helped all my kids matt their work with poster board (We didn't have time or budget to get actual matts, but were told by the Fair people to specifically use poster board) and I took all their work into the fair grounds to check it in. The lady in charge of visual arts was rude to me and asked me if I was going to actually volunteer next year? (She told me previously that if she NEEDED me she would let me know, since I never heard from her I assumed there was no need to bug her about me volunteering) I awkwardly said yes and gave her my information for next year.

The judging occurs on the next day and I try for 2 days to get someone from the fair to let me know if my kids won anything. Several of them attend the fair and they contact me to let me know that Reyes, one my students, got 1st place in his division but literally all of the other students got 2nd place. I'm thinking there is some kind of mistake because how on earth can that happen? I also find out that none of them won any kind of money, but yet people who got 10th place in the science fair won over $100??

At this point I am pretty darn mad and so I go to the fair on Sunday to collect all of the kids' artwork and figure out exactly what is going on. When I got there I wanted to speak to the lady in charge (One that was originally rude to me when I checked in) but she wouldn't stay put, so I spoke to the art teacher from another school district who was helping with the show. I ask her why on earth all my kids have 2nd place ribbons except one because to me that seems like these so called "judges" don't know what the heck they are doing. The rude lady in charge then jumps in and tells me that they told the judges to just be as generous as possible, and in some categories there are as many as 10 first place winners. HOW DOES THIS MAKE SENSE? They then proceed to tell me that some of my kids may have gotten first places too, but then ran out of ribbons. Ok, how do you run out of ribbons? Isn't the point of an art competition to observe the artwork and judge them accordingly, and follow the rules that you put out by simply giving one 1st, one second, and one third in every category!!! It's like they just went around the room saying "Very good, you get 1st, and you, oh and you, OOPS! We ran out of ribbons, ok let's start with the 2nd places!!"

Let's ask a question: Do you feel special or get a feeling of accomplishment when you and 20+ people all get 2nd place???? This is ridiculous and a complete insult!!!! These people have no clue what they are doing and lied about everything!!

To top it all of, the other art teacher then proceeds to tell me that her and the other art teacher from a local district want to take me out to dinner so they can "teach" me how to compete. I know how to freakin compete! But what is the point when there is no sound system of judging and all they get is a 20 cent ribbon???? She told me that my pictures may have done better if they had "real" matts on them. Funny isn't it, when the the rules say that it is ONLY judged on artwork not framing? Also funny since the lady in charge specifically told me to use poster board!!! She also led me to believe that if I had volunteered my kids would have done better. WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH THEIR ARTWORK??? They could have entered their artwork by themselves, I only did it for them to make things easier for them! So why on earth does my volunteering affect that???????

I went around the room to look at the things that got the special "cash prizes" (There were at least 50 of them) and they were total crap!! It was stuff that either had to do with agriculture, Texas, or football. NO JOKE!!! Take for instance a cow skull randomly painted with acrylic paint. Yep, I'm sure that deserves an award more than my student who had a perfectly shaded rendition of an Aztec God!!! Or how about a flower arrangement of stuff that looks like it came from a dusty closet of their grandma's? Yes, that is much better than my students' watercolors with perfect glazing techniques and color!!!!!!

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I guarantee half of those winners knew someone in the fair. These people are totally unfair and should not even have an art competition if they aren't going to bother with proper and fair judging.

Well that about sums it up. I'm off to go make something for my kids to show them how proud I am of them and apologize for these stupid people who didn't bother to truly judge their work. We will not be competing next year. I will enter their work into national and state competitions that matter and that only give out a certain set of awards. That way if they don't win, they know to work harder and if they do win they will actually have a sense of accomplishment by knowing they are the ONLY one who got a second or first place!!!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

New Couch!!!

Yes, it's been awhile since I blogged....again. We have had some fun things going on. My kids swept the county fair with their artwork (even if they weren't given cash prizes and the other divisions did! Don't even get me started.....) we had a lovely Spring break with lots of relaxation, we have a brand new green couch that is beautiful!(see below!) had our 6th anniversary, and.....I think that's about it! How's everyone else doing?