Teacher News

Teacher News

New research reports decline in drawing frequency and quality by children; cites technology, reduced funding, lack of emphasis on art education as factors

Fewer art opportunities may have long-term consequences on future success

The positive correlation between art and its developmental, academic, and social benefits for children has been researched, documented, and acknowledged for decades. In a July 5, 2017, article published by The Atlantic, Amsterdam-based freelance journalist Tracy Brown Hamilton discusses both this connection and new research documenting a decline in the amount, quality, and complexity of children’s drawing over the past 20 years.

In “The Diminishing Role of Art in Children’s Lives,” Hamilton reports researchers’ findings that social shifts and technological advances are probable reasons for this decline among a test group of 11- and 12-year-old Dutch schoolchildren, saying these tendencies are also evident in the U.S., “with many classrooms relying on technology to teach art.”

Decreased funding for teaching the arts is also cited. As educators know, the U.S. government has proposed cuts of $9 billion in the federal education budget (including a $27 million cut in arts education), further threatening the frequency and quality of art education being taught in our schools.

“Extensive evidence suggests that exposure to art in school has long-term academic and social benefits for kids, especially those who are economically disadvantaged,” Hamilton concludes. “As the priority placed on the arts in public schools diminishes, and digital engagement overwhelms students’ experiences with hand-drawing, there could be more at stake than it appears.”

The Atlantic article, which also incorporates links to additional research and commentary about the benefits of arts education, is a compelling read and a valuable reference for art educators. Read the full article here.

Photo: Jewish and Arab preschoolers draw together on the first day of school at the first Bilingual School in Jerusalem. Ronen Zvulun/Reuters

Blick CEO Bob Buchsbaum accepts Americans for the Arts BCA Leadership Award at New York City Gala

Underscoring the importance of art in all its forms, Blick CEO Robert Buchsbaum spoke to a gathering of arts supporters on October 5, 2016, at the annual BCA 10 gala in New York City. Buchsbaum attended the event to accept a 2016 Leadership Award bestowed by the Business Committee for the Arts, a division of Americans for the Arts.

In his acceptance address, Buchsbaum shared remarks made by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney at a Blick-sponsored event the previous week. Speaking to an audience of students and art teachers, Kenney said that although as a young man he was an athlete and more interested in football, he learned courage, confidence, and creativity not from sports, but in a drama class. “Do art, do drama, do music,” Kenney told the group. “Take risks.”

Relaying the story, Buchsbaum said he was reminded by Kenney’s words “how lucky I am to be involved in a business that gets to provide, in large measure, that creativity.” Buchsbaum thanked the BCA and Americans for the Arts, plus his family and the thousands of Blick associates “who work very hard for the nearly million customers who come through our doors every year.”

Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, said, “I congratulate Robert Buchsbaum, whose long history of dedication, forward-thinking leadership, and support for the arts has been unwavering. He truly believes in the power and benefits of the arts in everyday society.”

See Buchsbaum’s acceptance speech here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6x0uXOcK3Js

Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Visit www.AmericansForTheArts.org for more information.

Founded in 1967 by David Rockefeller, the Business Committee for the Arts (BCA), a division of Americans for the Arts, encourages, inspires, and stimulates businesses to support the arts in the workplace, in education, and in the community. The Business Committee for the Arts merged with Americans for the Arts in 2008. Visit www.pARTnershipmovement.org for more information.

2017 Art Room Favorites Contest Winners Announced

Congratulations to Blick’s 2017 Art Room Favorites contest winners! Each school received a prize pack of 13 assorted products, each pack valued at $500. This is one of the many ways Blick partners with schools to infuse creativity into classrooms! The 2017 winners are:

  • Meade High School - Longmont, Colorado 
  • West High School - Sioux City, Iowa 
  • Valley View High School - Germantown, Ohio 
  • Glendale Union High School District - Glendale, AZ 
  • HLV School - Victor, Iowa

Blick’s 2018 Lesson Plan Brochure is Here!

Be sure to check out the new lesson plans in Blick’s 2018 Lesson Plan brochure. Designed for those who teach K-12 students, the brochure contains 15 original, innovative projects for all ages, skill levels, and budgets. To request a free copy, email info@dickblick.com, type “2018 Lesson Plan Brochure Request” in the subject line, and be sure to provide your name and mailing address in the body of the message. Or, to download free PDFs of the lesson plans, click here

2018 Blick NAEA Convention Grant Winners Announced

Blick continues to support art education across the country by sending two teachers to the National Art Education Association (NAEA) Conference every year. Last fall, more than 2,000 entries were accepted at the Blick booth during state Art Education Association conferences. Congratulations to this year’s winners, who were chosen in a random drawing. Each received free registration, airfare, four nights of lodging, and daily expenses for the 2018 National Art Education Association Conference, March 22 - 24, 2018 in Seattle, WA — a $2,000 value. The recipients are:

  • Sara Gant, Northside High School — Jacksonville, North Carolina
  • Peggy Leonard, Lakewood Elementary School — Ann Arbor, Michigan

Stop by the Blick exhibit at your state Art Education Association conference this fall and enter for a chance to win one of our two 2019 NAEA Convention grants. Winners will attend the NAEA convention in New York City.

Blick is a Diamond Sponsor of the 2018 NAEA Convention

Blick Art Materials is pleased to be a Diamond Sponsor of the 2018 NAEA Convention on March 22-24, 2018, in Seattle, Washington. We welcome attendees to visit our exhibit space at the Washington State Convention Center to receive a free gift and create inspiring hands-on projects. Completed artwork of our new 2018 lesson plans will be on display.

As a Diamond Sponsor, Blick is proud to continue its support of NAEA beyond the convention and also to support state art education organizations by attending conferences, advertising in organization publications, and providing door prizes, product samples, and workshops.

"With Art I Can Connect to..." Mixed Media Contest Entries Invited

Blick’s 4th Annual Mixed Media Contest invites students in grades K 12 to create a work of art and an artist’s statement that completes the sentence, “With Art I Can Connect to …”

Entries are due by April 13, 2018. Find the complete contest rules here and in Blick's 2018 Materials for Art Education catalog.

Selected finalist artworks will be included in a complimentary Art Advocacy Poster Set available to attendees of NAEA affiliated conferences, and as a downloadable digital slideshow.

View our gallery of 2017 Gold and Silver Medalists here.

The Council for Art Education Recognizes 2016/2017 Youth Art Month award winners

The Council for Art Education’s Board of Directors has honored the following individuals for their contributions to 2016/2017 Youth Art Month programs:

Claire Flanagan Memorial (Grand) Award
Wisconsin: Debra West, Chairperson

Award of Excellence
New Jersey: Kristy Lopez and Karaen Mannino, Co-Chairpersons
New York: Donnalyn Shuster, Julia Lang-Shapiro, and Heather McCutcheon, Co-Chairpersons
Virginia: Jessica Beach, Chairperson; Regional Representatives Lee Darter, Jauan Brooks, Kelly Bisogno and Angela Salerno

Award of Merit
Georgia: Alexandrea Boyington, Chairperson
Hawaii: April Jones, Flag and Scrapbook Coordinator
Louisiana: Stephanie Bailey, Report Chairperson
Texas: Jen Holsinger-Raybourn, Chairperson
Utah: Elizabeth Sampson, Chairperson

Special Recognition
Alabama: Julie Harrison, Chairperson
Arkansas: Amber Lemser, Chairperson
Illinois: Angie Golden, Youth Art Month Coordinator
Kansas: Lynn Felts, Chairperson; Megan Wendleton, Scrapbook
Michigan: Carolyn Steenland, Chairperson
Missouri: Deb Straatman, Chairperson
Ohio: Kelly Burichin, Robin Klass, Dawn Norris, Co-Chairpersons
Oklahoma: Ruth Crittendon, Holly Proctor, Glenda Skinner-Noble, Co-Chairpersons
Oregon: Erin Price, Chairperson
Rhode Island: Susan Kolenda, Chairperson

To be eligible for this honor, individuals submit documentation of their Youth Art Month state programs and activities, noting Observances, Funding, Participation, Awareness and Community Support, Special Materials, and Proclamations. Recognition will take place during the 2018 National Art Education Association (NAEA) Convention, March 22-24 in Seattle, Washington.

Sponsored nationally by The Council for Art Education, Youth Art Month is an annual observance, typically in March, designed to emphasize the value of art education for all youth and to encourage support for quality school art programs. Youth Art Month provides a forum for acknowledging the imagination, innovation, and creative skills that a visual arts experience can nurture. During Youth Art Month, students, teachers and communities direct attention to the value of a visual arts education that develops divergent and critical thinking, multicultural awareness, and technical, communication, and expressive skills.

To find out more about Youth Art Month or to participate in Youth Art Month activities, contact your state chairperson, state art education association, or The Council for Art Education at www.councilforarteducation.org.

The Council for Art Education (CFAE) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) association created in 1984 through The Art & Creative Materials Institute, Inc. (ACMI). ACMI seeks to promote safety in art and creative products through its certification program, and is a major sponsor of CFAE.

For more information contact Becky Finch, youthartmonthcfae@gmail.com.


Nearly 40,000 votes cast for student artwork displayed online and at Tollway oases

The Illinois Tollway has announced that Luis Chavez, a junior at Bolingbrook High School in Bolingbrook, Illinois, is the grand prize winner of the 2017 Illinois Tollway Map Cover Art Contest: Enhancing Drivers Experience via Innovation and Technology.

The contest is sponsored by the Illinois Tollway, Blick Art Materials, and MB Real Estate Services Inc. (MBRE).

Students selected as runners-up in the contest were:

  • First runner-up – Alyssa Elborne, Bolingbrook High School
  • Second runner-up – Vanessa Arenas, Bolingbrook High School
  • Third runner-up – Manuella Rodela, Bolingbrook High School

“I’d like to thank my teacher, Mr. Sullivan for giving me the opportunity and to my family and friends for supporting me,” said Luis Chavez. “This has really been a fun and exciting contest and experience for me.”

“We are proud to display Luis Chavez’ winning artwork on the cover of the 2017 map to remind customers of the Tollway’s investments in technology and innovation,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Greg Bedalov. “We thank the students and their teachers for participating and also members of the public who voted in record numbers to choose our four finalists.”

“Blick Art Materials congratulates the grand prize winner and finalists in the Tollway art contest,” said Blick Art Materials Chief Executive Bob Buchsbaum. “We are impressed with the level of creativity shown in the students’ visions of the future and are proud to co-sponsor this worthy endeavor.”

Awards presented to the finalists include:

  • Grand Prize Winner: $400 in gift certificates from Blick Art Materials and $200 in gift certificates from MBRE to use at oasis retail shops and restaurants.
  • Runners-up: $200 in gift certificates from Blick Art Materials and $100 in gift certificates from MBRE.

All students who participated in the contest received a certificate of appreciation from the Tollway.

The Illinois Tollway is building state-of-the-art roadways to improve travel, reduce congestion and better serve its 1.6 million daily drivers. In 2017, the Tollway will roll out the first SmartRoad on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) incorporating active traffic management, integrating transit and delivering a 21st century corridor. SmartRoad will provide real-time travel information via dynamic electronic signage, integrate Flex Lanes for Pace buses to provide reliable service and include flexible technologies so new smart features can be added as they come online in the years ahead.

Recognizing that high school students throughout the region are the next generation of drivers, the Illinois Tollway invited students in the 12 counties served by the Tollway to submit original works of art that illustrate what a SmartRoad can offer drivers as part of the 2017 Map Cover Art Contest.

Nearly 40,000 votes by members of the general public were cast online to identify four finalists, with the overall winner and runners-up selected by a panel of judges including members of the Illinois Tollway Board of Directors and representatives from MBRE.

In all, the Tollway received more than 90 entries from high schools throughout the region and 10 semi-finalists were selected for public voting. The artwork of the 10 semi-finalists, including the winning entries, is currently on display at each of six Illinois Tollway oases.

Artwork created by the grand prize winner will be featured on the cover of the Tollway’s 2017 map, which is distributed at no cost to more than 75,000 customers. Artwork created by the winner and runners-up will be featured in the Tollway’s 2016 annual report.

“With so many innovative designs submitted by talented young artists this year, MBRE is very excited to co-sponsor the 2017 Tollway’s student art contest,” said Alma Becerra, general manager of MBRE. “Congratulations to the winner and to all who participated this year.”

Blick offers 'Future Orders' option for educators and schools
A great way to get the supplies you need, when you need them!

Blick’s “Future Order” program makes life easier for educators and schools. "Future Orders" is an ordering and payment option that encourages educators to order the supplies in advance of the next semester. Just imagine — no scrambling at the beginning of a new semester to make sure you have all the supplies you need!

Blick's Future Orders program offers two primary advantages:

  1. Product availability is much better when you order in advance.
  2. Because no payment is due until your order ships, your future payment obligations align with the upcoming school year.

Here's how future ordering works:

  1. Put together your supply list before the end of the current semester.
  2. Include the date you'd like your order to ship — this is your "future ship date." If ordering online, select I would like this order to be billed and shipped to me at a future date at the Shipping & Delivery screen.
  3. Blick will pack and hold your order until that date — helping you beat the new semester rush!
  4. You won't receive an invoice until your order ships.

To order, choose the method that's easiest for you:

  • Shop online at DickBlick.com
  • Fax your order to 800-621-8293.
  • Email your order to orders@DickBlick.com.
  • Call us at 800-447-8192. We're ready to take your order 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Q & A

Q. How much clay should I order?

A. For ceramic and air dry clays, a pound of clay is roughly the same size as a pound of butter (four sticks). So consider how many sticks of butter are needed to complete a project.

What's the difference between mm and mil?  

A. A millimeter (mm) is a metric measurement. There are approximately 26 mm in one inch. Mil is also part of the English system of measurement, and is equal to one thousandth of an inch. It can be written as 1 mil or .001", and is much smaller than a millimeter. Mil is often used to measure the thickness of materials such as plastic film and metal foil.

Dick Blick Art Materials · P.O. Box 1267 · Galesburg, IL 61402-1267 · Toll-free Phone (800) 828-4548 International Phone +1-309-343-6181 ext. 5402 · Fax (800) 621-8293

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