I think I am a supportive parent and I love to encourage my children to explore the arts whether it be music, dance, drama or visual arts, but sometimes I have to admit I find that I am drowning in my children’s “artwork”.
I love that my kids like to create these visual masterpieces but not everything can be hung on the wall. I am always impressed when I walk into a home and there is gallery wall of artwork or some parents have dedicated frames to put their Picasso’s art into and admire. I do have a few select pieces that hang on the wall but honestly if I kept every piece of “art” I think I would be invited to be on the show Hoarders.
My son went to an arts camp this summer and I was glad I had a minivan with all the “art” I had to bring home. I walked by a mom who had twins and just smiled and laughed at her, because she had to bring home twice as much.
Sometimes I even feel like a Mommy ninja, as I have to sneak some of the art into the recycling bin when no one is looking or after they go to sleep, once in a while I will get caught and my kids get quite angry when they find a masterpiece in the garbage. I have to explain, “I have no idea how that got there”.
I have started a system with the art that now comes into my house. Each of my boys has a corkboard with their name on it I even added a piece of fabric to liven it up. I go through each piece and if I feel like there has been lots of effort put into the art I will hang it on the kids art board. I know that may sound a little harsh but really the one stroke painting from preschool just doesn’t make the cut. I also will put items on their board that is something special – first time they wrote their name, drew a self portrait, made a picture of their brother and of course any holiday related artwork can be put up during that holiday. The other stuff gets recycled usually when no one is looking.
Every once in a while I go through the art on the board and if it something I want to keep for good it gets moved to the ikea boxes downstairs. Once again each child has a box, now I would like to think one day I will take a bunch of the art out of the box and scan each piece of art and create a book or maybe create a scrapbook full of the master pieces, or send the art away to get a book made, but for now I feel pretty good keeping it and treasuring it as I know it is something the boys will love to look back on someday. For now I will continue to support my artists, but also keep the hoarding to a minimum.