It was Art Fest down at Not Bad President Elementary School tonight!
Every year the folks down at NBPE gather up a year's worth of art and cover the walls with it. All of us parents are invited down to take a look at it, and the halls are just packed with proud family members wandering aimlessly through the halls searching for the efforts of their sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, grandchildren and neighbors. It's kind of like being in the world's largest train station at rush hour, with hordes of people milling about in a state of mild urgency, all looking up at a 45-degree angle, only instead of looking at "Departure" boards they're looking at collages, paintings, wire art and pencil sketches.
There is also a line of bins in the multipurpose room, each one neatly labeled with the name of a teacher and stuffed with portfolios (portfolii?). These are construction paper envelopes about as large as a New York City kitchen table and filled with all the other artwork that didn't make it onto the walls. There's a lot of art. We are encouraged to take it home, lest the school slowly sink into the earth under the cumulative weight of all that talent.
And what talent!
The highlight of the evening for the kids, though - aside from abandoning their family as soon as their artwork has been viewed and running off with their friends - is the raffle. The underlying purpose of this event is a fundraiser for the PTA. Every class is assigned a basket and a theme, and you donate something for your class' basket. And then you buy tickets to put into the appropriate bucket next to the basket you want (Tabitha wanted the Scrapbooking basket; Lauren wanted the one labeled "Sports"). And at the end of the evening someone pulls names from the buckets and tries to shout over the general hubbub to let people know who won. The audio quality of this effort only further enhances the "train station at rush hour" effect, so it's all good.
We didn't win any baskets this year.
But that's okay. Last year the girls won a "Stamping" basket, which has nothing to do with dancing or temper tantrums and everything to do with vast quantities of ink, paper and rubber stamps in cute designs. That's why Tabitha wanted the Scrapbooking basket this year, in fact, so she could continue those projects.
But you can't win them all, and sometimes you're lucky just to donate to the cause.