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In our wildest dreams.

Frequently, my art students compete for scholarships, and although many of them are talented beyond my expectations, they seem unable to compete with students on a national level. I thought if I could find some way to strengthen their abilities and their skills, they might be able to stand up to the competition. No doubt, there are many ways to accomplish this goal, and it's a good idea to try different approaches. This year at Lebanon High School, we decided to give students in our program a chance to publish.

We applied for, and obtained a five thousand dollar grant to produce a publication featuring the students' artwork. With only this amount to spend, we needed to get maximum quality for our dollar. Our first priority was to identify our needs specifically. We wanted full color and we needed at least twenty pages to showcase the artwork without it getting too small. We wanted quality and creativity to be the main focal points, and we needed one thousand copies for distribution. We wanted more than what most printing companies could produce for what we had to spend. It was obvious we had to improvise. By cutting a few corners, such as doing our own paste-up and photographing our own art, we were able to contract the project within our budget.

When school began in September, the students began to produce art. They knew it was a chance to be published, and they were excited. Each student produced many interesting pieces over the course of the following five months.

Once all of our work was completed and ready to photograph, we selected a team of five editors to decide which artworks should be included in the publication. The chosen pieces were prepared for the photographer. Five rolls of film and three days later, the proofs were in and the editors went back to work, this time with help from their classmates. The twenty-six pieces went into the paste-up stage.

A team of gifted writers came in from the language arts department to help with the copy. We needed to accent the students' work, and the writing students also wanted to be published - a great arrangement. Once the writers had finished, and paste-up was complete, the editors went back to work once again to make sure each layout was perfect. Welcome to the world of publishing - many students who were involved with paste-up had to be brought back to do redesigns.

On March first, we finished the entire process, and mailed the manuscript to the printer. The students took their appropriate scats on pins and needles. For six weeks we waited, hoping the final product would look as good as we hoped it would.

On April twenty-seventh, our nervous suspense came to an end. Six boxes arrived at our art department. The productivity of an entire year was about to be unveiled. We called the local media and invited them to witness what was to be a most gratifying experience.

As the ceremonial scissors slashed the ribbon, a loud roar filled the rooms; lightning struck, and no one could speak. The books were open, the art was out. This was probably one of the most exciting things that my students have ever done. They were published artists!

And did the students fulfill our goal, and gain the experience we had hoped for? They certainly did. The students learned to generate graphics suitable for publication. They photographed their work, they edited it and they did paste-up They learned about publishing from ground zero. An entire year of learning, and a published book ... this could have happened only in our wildest dreams.

Alva Hazel teaches art at Lebanon High School, Lebanon, Missouri.
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Title Annotation:publishing student art
Author:Hazell, Alva
Publication:School Arts
Date:Mar 1, 1993
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