Reflections submissionsThe time has finally arrived. After weeks of advertising the program, it is now time to collect the art works. I’ll tell you how we do it at our school, but it doesn’t mean that this is the only way of getting it done.

We set up certain days for the submission. Last Wednesday was the early-bird deadline, and we are collecting the works this Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning before school. We set up two tables in front of the school office and placed a large poster there about the submission. Last week one of the tables had lots of little presents, that the early-bird contestants could choose from. (Note: we did not accept unfinished works, only those who followed the rules and turned in everything received the present.)

As parents arrived with their children and the artwork, we quickly checked for the most important items:

– mounting, info on back, size, copies (if needed)

– name, title, artist statement, email address and signatures on the entry form.

We did need to ask some families to make changes to the works in order to follow the rules. They still have 2 days to turn the finished works in.

After the collection my super team of volunteers quickly started processing the entries to get them ready for the judges. This is what we did:

  1. Numbered each entry form (not in any particular order)
  2. Photocopied an entry form, then folded it just under the artist statement (above the student’s name)
  3. Using masking tape, we taped this half form to the back of the artwork to cover up the info there. The original entry form stays in a folder with us.
  4. We recorded all the necessary info in the Excel sheet, with 2 columns added: the number we assigned to the work, and a parent’s email address. These will be removed before submitting it to the District.
  5. We also took a picture of every work which we will be using later.

By doing these steps we prepared the works for blind judging. Using the photos we will put together a slide show to show off all the beautiful entries to the whole school.

I will use the parents’ email address to reach out to them shortly after the submission time, and thank them for the participation. I will also briefly explain the next steps in the process, and our predicted timeline. In the email I will also mention that the art pieces will be exhibited at our school, and later returned to the kids. Last year I got lots of questions about the time line of events, and hopefully this email will clear up some questions.

There is one more thing we need to do before delivering to the judges: the works need to be sorted into art and age categories. My goal is always to minimize the time the judges need to spend with the works, and I’d like them to use all that time for the judging and not for sorting. Their help is invaluable, and I’d like to establish long-term relationships with them if possible.

This is where we are now – collected almost 50 works in 2 days, and hoping to get a lot more by Wednesday. Deliveries to the judges will happen this weekend. I will write about awards and such in my next post.