How to Create a Project
Executing an engaging project with an interesting message is undoubtedly a rewarding, but difficult task. Here are some general guidelines and tips that have helped the Palo Alto High School Chapter come up with project ideas.
1. Compile Ideas
To include ideas from the entire club body, or school body, create a Google Form where students can offer ideas and issues that they are passionate about. Some of the members may be reluctant to give their ideas at first, so continue to encourage them to share their ideas and create an environment where all ideas are welcome. The more, the better. Remember, these ideas can be based on any issue but make sure that students are actually giving possible project ideas as opposed to just issues or problems in society (ex. Cutting up and spray painting water bottles to make a poster about the California drought vs. Drought)
Goal: Try to get every single member to give at least one project idea. That way, you'll have a wide variety of projects to choose from.
2. Vote on a Project Idea
Once you have all your project ideas, hold a mini election day where you present all the project ideas in a concise but interesting manner. At the end of the meeting, let your club members vote on which project they would like to create. If there is a close tie between a few different projects, you can decide as a club to do all of the projects at different points in the year. After you pick your two points, start working out the details. Where do you want to display your art? What do you want it to look like? What color is it? How big should it be? What audience does this appeal to? These should be answered by the club collectively. Not just by the board.
Goal: Vote on two project ideas so that you don't have to waste time after completing the first one to hold another vote. Also this will give the board time to obtain all the materials.
3. Collect Materials
Collecting materials should largely be the board's responsibility. We know that this can be difficult financially so try to be resourceful and find alternative ways to obtain the materials you will be using. However, because Works of Art does require money to buy materials, it may be a good idea to consider fundraising options to support your club. Board members should be collecting materials between the meeting where you vote and the meeting where you start constructing your project.
Goal: Try to use cheaper materials on your first project. For example you could create an interactive poster with post-its. It should be low-cost, just have your members be creative with what you have. Try not to spend over ten dollars on this first project.
4. Work on the Project
The board should give logistic instructions. For example, "We decided the sculpture needs to fit in a 2x2 foot box based on our discussion last meeting. So, the diameter should be no larger than 10 inches." Anything integral to the most basic necessities of the artwork's viability is okay to give as instruction. Things like, "I don't like this color, make it blue" or " I don't like the placement of this flower, we're moving it here" is not acceptable for a board member to say. Board members can express concerns and make suggestions but they should not be hands-on involved in the creative process in a way that impedes other members from exercising their creativity. As a board member you will get other opportunities to be creative, so let the general members shine too.
Goal: Try to get everyone doing something, no one should be excluded or feeling like they have nothing to contribute.
5. Display the Project at a Public Place
Write an explanation for your artwork and print it out to mount next to your artwork. This should convey the message that the club wanted to express. How does this artwork express it? Tell us of any interesting methods you used to make this project a success. For example, "Our club wanted to expose how children are influenced by gender roles at an early age through the use of 'gender specific' toys like Barbies and toy soldiers. We held a toy drive in our community to collect these items not only to be resourceful, but also to involve the community to create a tangible connection between our club and the audience." Make sure you contact the venue of your artwork beforehand and get their permission. Furthermore, the chosen location could provide publicity or other opportunities for your club if they are interested enough in your activities.
Goal: Promote your piece through social media and send us a picture of your artwork every step of the way so we can celebrate your achievements as a WofA family!