Heck yes, prepare yourself for a photo spam sandwich! Now, just a disclaimer, the room is an absolute wreck. Judy, from whom I inherited the room, is an amazingly creative person, and one of the best art teachers my district has seen. She is my mentor, and I love her dearly. That being said… there’s a TON of stuff in this room for me to go through. After the janitors waxed the floor, they were unsure where to put the furniture. Since I haven’t gone through a lot of the stuff that’s in there, it’s sort of still all over the place. So, here we go!
A janitor came in while I was taking this. He was probably pretty confused.
So here’s my gigantic room! It looks way bigger in this panorama, which is kinda cool, but you can see all of the stuff that’s just everywhere. I have two doors off to the left of the image, on either side of what I’ll probably end up calling the Graphic Design Studio.
I spent a little bit of time today working on this space. Not pictured is my laptop playing Law & Order while I clean.
To the right of that is a little nook where my new Smart Board is going to be. It was in a really awkward spot last year, and because I was getting a new projector anyway I asked if they could move it entirely. Surprisingly, they said yes! Here’s a close up of what it looks like right now.
Right now, I’m using this area to store all of the garbage i’m getting rid of.
The bookshelves to the right of this are what I’ve been able to focus most of my energy on so far. The rest is so overwhelming, I decided to start with one or two projects to slowly eat away at the stuff piled everywhere. The bookshelf to the right is basically mine… lots of books on specific artists and periods. The flap at the top hides some of my own artwork, and teaching texts. The sorter bookcase on the left is full of “inspiration” books (images of animals, calendars, etc), and How To Draw books. I’ll probably keep a bunch of paper over there, too, and it’ll be the free drawing center.
Mostly organized… ish.
I forgot to take a picture of the sink area, but if we keep continuing around the room, we come to my supply closet. I haven’t touched anything in there yet, so it’s a HUGE mess. She has all sorts of stuff in there, sort of all willy-nilly (do you hyphenate willy nilly?). I’m kind of scared to get rid of things in there because you never know what you’ll need, right? But EVERY shelf is packed full, and most of the floor is covered. She even has a shoe organizer on the back of the door that’s full of… things… This will probably be the last bit that I do.
It’s a little scary in there right now.
Check out all of the stuff on the tables… all of that needs to find a home. Or a place in the trash. Those windows will be great once I clear off the radiator, too!
This is the space in between the closets.
Directly across from the supply closet is the kiln room. I have only a little experience with a kiln, but I’m super thankful to have regular access to one. I think I might be one of only two elementary art rooms in my district with a kiln.
Slightly less terrifying, but could still use some love.
To the right of the kiln room, I have a lovely bank of windows that is 100% completely and totally inaccessible due to the piles and piles of posters and prints of artwork she has amassed. Honestly, this is the area that scares me the most. The sheer number of physical objects in that small space gets me a little panicky to be honest, and I hope that I have the strength emotionally to pare it down to what I need. I have to keep reminding myself that at this point, for this room, space is more important than stuff. I can always get new stuff.
So. Much. Full. Storage.
Because of the previous placement of the Smart Board (directly in front of the other door), this was the primary door for the studio in years past. I always hated that because it’s pretty much dead space, and when the kids are asked to line up there, they line up out of sight from the rest of the room. I’m pretty much planning on only using this door if we’re heading outside. That’s what the clipboards and stools are on the left… for any artmaking we do outdoors.
The second entrance to my room leads to the end of the hallway, right next to an exterior door.
Finally, the last part of the school that I’m in charge of… the garden! I’m pretty worried about this space. It’s WAY bigger than I was able to capture here, and I don’t really have much of a green thumb. It’s my understanding that I’m in charge of the artwork and that parent volunteers will take care of the gardening part, which I am TOTALLY cool with. I’m hoping to do some moss graffiti in the spring with the 4th or 5th graders, but I have to see if my principal and/or janitor are cool with us “defacing” the building in the name of art and ecology!
All of the artwork out there is student-generated!
So that’s pretty much it. Hopefully I’ll be able to update as different sections of the room get cleared out. I have a few friends and my mom that I’ve roped into helping me out, which is greatly appreciated and desperately needed, and I have three weeks (minus 4 days for orientation) to get it student-ready. I suspect it’ll be down to the last few days before it looks respectable, but I’m excited to see how it all turns out.
Any suggestions for letting things go? Or even general cleaning/organizing tips? I’ll take whatever I can get!