Be Visual



Be Visual

In the 21st century, everything around us is VISUAL. From the clothes we wear, to the app we use on the smartphone we bought because of its function, but most important, its design. User interfaces for daily tasks are moving from the written to the visual. The way something looks has now become as important as its functionality. Our children consume knowledge from a multitude of sources mostly through screens — game screens, iPod screens, computer screens, flat panel television screens, data projection screens, and many more. Gone are the days of producing imagery on the fly without a graphic designer or someone with some visual art knowledge. Consumers demand websites that are slick, clean and sophisticated to drive people to their content and achieve their business goals. You have to Be Visual in the world today.

Did you know that . . .


We live in a visual age? Most children and youth spend 10 hours per day in front of screens composed of pictures and words, often two types of screens at once.

The arts provide jobs? 1.25 million Americans currently work in the visual arts. Jobs for artists and designers are predicted to increase by 43% by 2016.

Art education equips students? Art teaches students to form mental images, which can be used to solve problems — an ability that chemists, engineers, and architects use to create models and that inventors use to think up new ideas.

Art education requires students to use their eyes and hands to give form to ideas generated in the brain — a discipline that Nobel Prize winner Eric Kandel proved boosts brain power? Research also indicates that high school art programs engage students and keep in school those at-risk of dropping out.

Check out this great flyer — The Visual ARTS: So much MORE than what you see.

Now more than ever . . .


. . . the children of Texas need to be strong, educated, visual learners to achieve success and access knowledge in the 21st century. The Texas Art Education Association promotes quality visual arts education by advocating it as an integral part of a balanced curriculum in Texas schools. We encourage children, youth, and adults to BE VISUAL and learn about art.

Ways to Be Visual in YOUR Community!


Be Visual ideas generated at conference from and for our members to use in enhancing their visual art program and engaging YOUR community in visual art are now posted below — thanks to all those members who contributed your GREAT thoughts! Don't stop now — contribute your creative idea or find out what is happening with this grassroots movement to get art out front in center and Support Texas Art Education! Contribute at our idea page!

Junior High LIVE Art Auction — Students spend an entire Saturday art camp / workshop making art on a 12"x12" piece of panel.  Host a community auction that same evening.  "We raised $2000 in two hours."

Project heart — Have your K-12 visual art department work together on a canned food drive for your local food pantry or individual families. Deliver the canned goods in decorated baskets, boxes or containers with a heart motif.

99 Red Balloons — Have students create artwork with the school address on each piece.  Attached them to balloons and release all of them and wait for responses.

Art Postcard Exchange — Start an art postcard exchange using Edmodo to find another school / district or state for exchanging.

QR Codes — Record student artist statements using a free online recording service. Create a QR code for each student's statement and post on their nametag with their work. Watch for the great community reactions to hearing from the students just like in a museum setting.

Cultural Wealth — Draw on your community's cultural wealth by inviting parents, grandparents, artists, etc. into your artroom setting for a variety of events, lessons, etc. Make connections to marginalized populations within our schools and larger communities.

Voicethread — Share an art portfolio using Voicethreadthat features art work from all levels with student art statements shared via a voice recording.  A wonderful way to share with words.

Art Up your Mascot — Similar to the cow parade, take your school or district mascot and have a contest on who will get to paint / design these large sculptures for the community. (Example — ours is a lion and we will buy a concrete lion sculpture to embellish and install someplace in our community.)

Get it in the community through Technology — Use the internet to get your student's work out into the community. Employ providers like Eduglogster or Educreations for presentations, Edumodo for social media, and Artsonia for advocacy and fundraising.

Paint with Parents — Have a paint with parents night and create a parent /child workshop to engage your community and bring them into the school setting.

Gallery Night — In conjunction with Youth Art Month, have a Gallery Night where you hang work from all your art students and invite the community, parents, school board, etc.  It is a wonderful event if you can partner with your colleagues in music, wellness, or the library and present a music performance, book fair, or other presentation in conjunction. This can happen at all levels in various settings.

Partners — Partner with your local parks and recreation department to produce an art installation in a local park.

Murals — Take on a space in the community and create a mural. Look around for businesses, local arts councils and community leaders that might sponsor materials. Take it into the service learning realm of instruction.

Nursing Homes — Have your students create an art lesson with simple materials and schedule a time to let them conduct an "art workshop" in a local nursing home, senior citizens center or adult day center. Make multi-generational connections.

Take it to the Capitol — Give your legislators student artwork to display in their offices. My students have had their work in the Texas and US Capitols.

Public Library — Partner with your public library and display work. Partner with other art professionals in your area and create a rotation of student art work that fills the library year-round. Move your student work OUTSIDE school walls into the community.

Pinwheels for Peace — Create a public art installation using the Pinwheels for peace model. Look on the internet for Pinwheels for Peace resources.

City Hall — Arrange for student work to be display in your local city hall or city council chambers. Move your student work OUTSIDE school walls into the community.

Faculty Art Show — Host a faculty art show of either all the visual art educators in your district or region. You can also host a campus faculty art show and include those "creatives" outside the art department — many "academic" teachers make art and appreciate what we do — give them an opportunity to shine and make other art advocates!

5x5 Show — Connect with your local art education association and host a faculty 5x5 Show. Host a "purchasing" event and use the proceeds to fund student scholarships to art school, etc.

Locker Leonardos — Exhibit artwork above school lockers with banner saying "Artwork that should make the Mona Lisa smile!"

Collaborative — Create an art collaborative with several schools for displaying work around the community. Move your student work OUTSIDE school walls into the community. Remember there is strength in numbers.

Color Me Empowered! — Get at-risk kids empowered to create public art to improve their schools and neighborhoods. Check out https://cmedfw.org/ for more information.

Hospitals — Approach your community hospital with open wall space about hanging student work.

Local Events — Get your students out to local festivals and events and see how they can be of service. Face painting and more are ways to connect to the community. Think about hosting a children's make and take booth to highlight the arts in your community. Think OUTREACH!

Art & Literacy Night — Incorporate a make and take station with literacy — connect to books and writers/illustrators.

Veterans — Contribute art to veterans signed with thank you notes and messages from your students. Healing through art and discussion of contributions will follow.

Art Day — Have an art day on your campus. Invite local museums, artists, etc. and create stations for the school to rotate through. Think make and take along with information and demonstration. Create community connections.

Guest Artists — Invite guest artists to demonstrate to your students. Invite other classes and administrators to join you.

Art Journal — Create a traveling art journal and have it move through the community and beyond. Let your local newspaper know what is happening. Display the art journal when it returns at a local venue.

Empty Bowls — An Empty Bowls event to support your local food pantry while giving students a service learning opportunity is a GREAT way to BE VISUAL! Have students create bowls. Find local businesses to help provide a simple meal of soup and bread and host an Empty Bowl event. Donate your proceeds to your local food pantry.

Flag Design — Participating in the TAEA Youth Art Month Flag contest is also a great way to advocate for art education and to BE VISUAL! Learn more on the Youth Art Month page.

Art Walks — Art walks where you have your students do en plein air drawings or paintings. Be visible in your community!

Do you have an idea to help grow our Be Visual movement in Texas? Contribute at our idea page!