On January 23rd, the Lunar New Year began (with fireworks if you were in the right part of town!), and with it started 2012, the Year of the Dragon. From the moment I found out the current creature on the Asian Zodiac, I knew dragons would be the next theme for all of my art classes.  What kid wouldn’t get excited about drawing or painting or collaging a dragon!?  My mind whirled with possibilities, and with dragons.  Over the course of the past two months, the dragon-y features of scales, teeth, claws, beards, and fire, have been making their way from the inventive minds of my art students onto paper. The gallery here is just a sampling of the artwork produced by kids between first and 6th grades.  Some of the work was done in my sons’ classrooms, while some of it was made by the kids who participate in a lunchtime art club at the elementary school, or at a class for home-schooled kids that I teach at the local art museum.  I love each drawing, painting, and puppet, each one so full of personality.

Here is a rare shot of me working with the kids on dragon puppets:

accordion folding

A few nights ago, the art club dragons were displayed together at the elementary school’s Open House, where they made a beautiful backdrop for the opening meeting.  Just hours earlier we abandoned plans to make a hanging art exhibit outside the cafeteria, in what is aptly called the “breezeway.”  I was up on a ladder clipping the long sheets of craft paper to a metal beam when the sheets I just clipped started flying away.  What seemed like a great idea in the planning phases didn’t factor in an afternoon windstorm!  No harm done in the end, just a quick location change midstream, with little time to do it in.

masks, leaves, and a few more dragons

The highlight of the evening was that my husband got to stand in for me, accepting a bouquet of roses on my behalf, from the Principal.  The school honored my work with the kids by naming me Volunteer of the Year, and though I wasn’t there to hear it (I was elsewhere teaching at the time), they thanked me for my contribution to the artistic lives of the students at the school.  It feels good to be appreciated, and I am grateful!

This week, our Spring Break, I’m going to take some time to stop and smell those roses!