Say Yes to the Student-Made Dress

Art Teachers Who Wear Their Students’ Creations: Part 2

These art teachers know sure how to dress for the occasion! Jenny Hopps teaches 6th grade and high school students at Miller City-New Cleveland School in Miller City, OH. Jenna Beyersdoerfer has been an art teacher for 13 years and works in the Ross Local School District in Hamilton, OH. Read more below about how they incorporated a wearable art project into their class curriculum! 

Jenny Hopps

“Towards the end of last school year I accepted a new position in a new district. It was not an easy decision and lots of pros and cons lists were made! I brought a white dress to school and had my high school students draw on it with sharpies. Then I’d drive the dress to the elementary and have my K-6 students take time putting their own touch on it too. They could draw anything they wanted to remind me of their unique selves. I wanted to take a piece of each and every one of them with me to my new district.

I never did get to wear the dress at my previous school because it didn’t get finished until the last day of school. I’ve worn it to my new school though, which has generated lots of talk! I recently wore it to our county art show where I ran into many former students who were finally able to see the dress on me. They were thrilled with the results!

Honestly, I have been so lucky not to have the challenges of many art teachers. I am afraid however that we are a dying breed. In my area, many districts do not have elementary art teachers. They’ve either never had one or their art teacher retires and they dissolve the position. I wish many administrators and school board members would consider art just as important as everything else.

Thankfully, I’ve worked for three amazing districts that have been supportive of my ideas. I truly do love my job and everything about it….well, everything except filling glue bottles. I love having a creative outlet, being there for the students, being a listening ear, and dreaming up big ideas. ”

Jenna Beyersdoerfer

“Last year there was an art teacher who had her students draw on a dress and I loved it! Parents and friends kept tagging me in the Facebook post saying, ‘this is something I can see you doing.’ I chose to have the students draw flowers on my dress. I cut out a few circles and asked them to keep their flowers the size of the circles or smaller so we could fit everyone.

My students were so excited and couldn’t wait until the art show to see me wear it! Parents kept telling me that they had heard about my dress and were excited to see it as well. I’ve worn the dress for grandparents day, art shows, and awards days. Everyone smiles when they see if or if it comes up in conversation.

I love being an art educator when the students are engaged and excited. The challenges I find with art education is often being the only art teacher in a building and advocating for my subject! We are often thought of as a lesser subject and we truly are a cross-curricular subject that should be collaborated with.”

 

Thanks again to Jenny and Jenna for sharing their stories with us! If you or anyone you know has created wearable art in their classroom, please reach out to us at info@arttoremember.com. We’d love to hear your story and share your insight!