1. Have students sign their names to a label and affix to the projects. I find that if the students write directly on to the project, they write very large. This allows them to re-do it if they aren't satisfied.
2. Have a comment box with index cards available so parents can leave positive messages for the artists.
3. Provide a few easy make-and-take art/craft activites for the younger students. They don't have to be elaborate- kids love making "stuff"!
4. Hang a project description beside each display so that parents can better understand the projects.
5. Take the time to mount the kids' projects on to a railroad board or nice background paper so they will have one nicely matted project for the year.
6. I start at the beginning of the year and save at least 4 pieces of artwork from each project we do. I keep track of which project I have kept for each student in my gradebook.
7. Hang at least one project for each student. I know- huge task! But, I was in a school where I overheard the following:
Parent: "Where is your artwork?"
Student: "Mine isn't good enough to hang."
Not happening in my school!
8. I put a sticker and a label on the back of each project I hang in the show. The label says "Artist of the Week!" with the date. Kids love stickers and they love being chosen "Artist of the Week".
9. Send a slip of paper home a few days before the art show to remind students and parents which projects they have displayed. I have found that I only get asked a handful of times where the kids' projects are since I have started doing this.
10. Announce that student artwork may be taken home at the end of the night and you will have far less to clean up. This year, I only had to remove 1/3 of the art that was displayed.
Ok, I know many of you hold annual art shows, so share all of your great ideas!