Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Starkville PTO Art Contest (Buzzy Art Contest)

The Starkville Public Schools Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) had some art/writing contest deal for grades kindergarden through high school Monday February 25th with an awards ceremony was at 5:30 pm at the Greensboro Center. I believe the contest was called the Buzzy Arts. Five categories: Graphic design, drawing/painting, photography, poetry, and creative writing. Really nice event and great idea. Joseph entered all five categories with some pretty nice entries. He ended up winning first place in the first four and 2nd in the creative writing. Pretty cool. But, unfortunately, many of the kids in the SHS art classes did not participate. So, that was disappointing. Regardless, if you don't enter, you don't win! In fact, SHS art students not entering local competitions is not unusual. For some reason, students taking art at Starkville High rarely submit their work to local art events, nor do they seem to take advantage of attending the many and varied art exhibitions in our area. Conversely, the elementary and junior high classes typically participate in these events, and their teachers actually expect them to do so. I have judged student art shows at our local Cotton District Arts Festival and found the same thing. Entries from all elementary and middle schools, and entries from all area high schools except for Starkville High. Occasionally, some students not taking art there enter and also occasionally a few of the kids in the photography classes will enter on their own, but that is it. So, they don't get to participate and the public does not get to see the wonderful artwork that they do. I just don't understand what is happening over there. The students produce some nice works and typically have several students do well at the Mississippi Scholastic Awards each year with several students also typically receiving art scholarships each year. But, the lack of participation in anything else, especially at the local level, is mind boggling! A large reason artists create art is for people to see it, and we should do everything we can to encourage this, rather than discourage this. Not having high school art classes come to local exhibitions is equally disturbing. Viewing art by different and varied artists is eye opening to say the least, and talking with those artists is a unique opportunity that should not be missed. I have had local shows in our area in which I was requested by art teachers from some of our county schools, and even other county schools, to give talks to their classes. How cool is that? But, never from SHS. So many missed opportunities!! And, we have so many great shows here. I simply do not understand this.  I wish somebody could explain this to me.  Mississippi loves to hold itself back whenever possible it seems, and here is yet another example. Kudos to the ones who rebel and enter contests, show their art, and view the art of others! After all, what is art anyway, if not some sort of rebellion? Fuck the status quo. Be an artist. Be yourself. 

Joseph's Graphic Design entry (or part of it), the front cover for a CD of his own music. 


HeywoodFloyd said...

Who owns the submissions? My sons' cinema teacher is very picky about what festivals/contests students can submit work to because some of them, the contests/festivals, claim ownership of the submissions.

Joe MacGown said...

good point, but in these cases, all art ownership was retained by the artists.

Joe MacGown said...

I have actually never heard of a situation where a contest or festival claimed ownership of a submission. Not saying it does not happen. They do sometimes use the artists' works in brochures, etc., which I think is good for the artists anyway. I think art teachers worry too much and want to control too much sometimes.

brushwork said...

Legally the artist retains their copyright until 75 yr. after their death. No one can take that away from you. A contest can say they have the right to use your image in brochures, posters, advertising, etc. in connection with that competition, or show but they can never own your copyright legally.

SAAC, CDAF, and AIPP have reached out to the SHS art program numerous times and they never respond. Most times I don't think the students have even been made aware of the opportunities by the teacher.

Joe MacGown said...

That has been my experience with the SHS art program too. And, students that I talked to were either not aware or said they were told not to participate. One student told me that he was told that if he were to have won an award it could jeopardize any possibility of future art scholarships. But, for some reason, millions of others students routinely participate in competitions annually. Of course, high school athletes are not allowed to accept money for athletic competitions, as it can disqualify them from future collegiate competition. But, these are NCAA rules for athletes only.

I know when I went to Starkville High, we were encouraged to go to every art show we could, even took field trips (as most schools still do), entered numerous and all local competitions, and did things for the public or to raise funds for the art program.

All I know is that it is a disservice to those students to isolate them at a time when they should be soaking up art.