a quote from my favorite author

“The most solid advice, though, for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”

-William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze

Sunday, May 24, 2015


There are seven days of school left this year.  I am not usually one to count down the days, but there it is: seven more days. 

However, this is a celebration post.  So, instead of focusing on the reasons behind my countdown or all the ways in which I like a failure of a teacher this year, I am choosing to spend my energy focusing on something that has inspired me this school year: ART CLUB. 

Inspired by Keri Smith's Guerilla Art Kit, I was determined to lead my student artists to create art that could be shared.  Students had become accustomed to showing up for art club, working on a project, and taking it home.  I wanted to do something BIGGER.  

So, we started with life-sized packing tape sculptures that turned into a modern art installment when we discovered how many sessions we would need to complete entire humans:

We contributed a gallery of self-portraits to display at our school's Barnes and Noble fundraiser event:

Just before our first round of PARCC testing, we decided to yarn bomb the stairwells with positive messages made from my grandma's old yarn collection:

We have also made pipe cleaner sculptures, a giant paper flower garden, and watercolor resists, but I failed to snap photos of these projects.

Our final project this school year is putting the knowledge from my Kelly Rae Roberts Hello Soul, Hello Mixed Media Mantras class to work.  After seeing our other projects, our principal offered to purchase the necessary supplies to create mixed media art that will be permanently installed in our hallways.  These paintings are still in progress, but here is a sneak peek of an earlier layer of our paintings (I promise to post the final products soon):


  1. Whatever you did this year that caused that earlier sentence about being a failure, Christy, is just plain wrong! That you carried the group to explore such marvelous art and then execute it so beautifully shows someone who risks and leads with inspiration. How wonderful these are! I'll definitely share with my colleagues! I gave the Guerrilla Art Kit to a student who loves art this year. It's fabulous, as I guess you know. Looking forward to seeing you in June!

  2. You are allowed to feel what you feel , but I agree with Linda that seeing what you have accomplished with this group of artist shows that you might reconsider your perspective. I wish to see both of you in June, but can't. Sigh.

  3. Oh, I love these examples of art that your club created to share. It makes me want to figure out ways our after school book club can share book love. The packing tape sculptures the students made remind me of a sculpture at our fire station. I'll try to take a pic of it to share when I see you at All Write next month. Now that is something worth counting down! Blessings as you enter the last crazy weeks of the school year.

  4. As one who has just come through a difficult year herself I understand how challenging life can be! In times like that you just have to take the next step and though struggling you inspired creativity through these public displays of art. Lovely!I have fourteen days ...still going one step at a time but now looking back at a hard path littered with lessons to grow from...ever onward!

  5. This is powerful. I look forward to hearing your thoughts as you have more time to reflect and consider all of the remarkable power behind art club. Hold on...this year will soon be "in the books."

  6. Christy, I know your writing suggests you've been in a funk, but I cannot tell you enough how much your posts always impress me and make me want to smile. You are always doing the most amazing things with your kiddos. You inspire me and make me a better teacher. Hope you are enjoying some deserved downtime. I hope we can catch up soon. Reading this makes me even more bummed I won't be at All Write. I also loved how I read about your graphic design type class - we have so much in common! I was just looking up graphics classes today.