10 Ways to Take Your Art Show Up a Notch

Thinking about how to shake up your school art show this year? Need some inspiration to help hit that Presenting standard? Take a look at this list of ten ways to take your art show from “ho-hum” to “holy cow!”

art show up a notch
1. Do a themed show, and make the theme memorable. Think “Dia de los Muertos,” or “Abstract 3D.”

2. Have students become docents and give tours. Train them, practice, and offer incentives.

3. Ask your local gallery or museum if you can hold the show in their space.

4. Include photos and videos of students working or giving artist statements. QR codes could help.

5. Invite a local teaching artist to facilitate an art-making activity with families.

6. Make it a juried show. You could secure some local celebrity judges or even have guests cast their votes.

7. Try an unconventional display method. What about strips of work hung from the ceiling, or boxes wrapped in black paper with artwork on all sides?

8. Hold your show in conjunction with another event like a literacy night or vocal concert. Collaborating with the teachers that organize those events can make cohesive experiences packed with even more attendees.

9. Make it a silent auction. Ask students to create and donate pieces to be sold, with earnings going toward the art department.

10. Go digital! Photograph the work in the show and create an online gallery to be posted on your district website or on a classroom blog.

What are some ways you are spicing up your visual arts events this year?

Have you held your show at the same time as another school event? How did it go? 


Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Sarah Dougherty

Sarah Dougherty, a visual arts curriculum coordinator, is a former AOEU Writer and elementary school art educator. She loves working with diverse populations to bring art into students’ homes, communities, and everyday lives.

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