Campaign Sign Self Portraits

While I drove to work last month, I saw hundreds if not THOUSANDS, of campaign signs littering the sides of many roads. I could not help but think, what happens to all those signs after the election? The more I thought about it, the more I wanted them. No, not to hoard them for some undisclosed reason (although I have been know to “collect” a few things to my husband’s disapproval) but I thought they would make an excellent painting surface for my art students.

The morning after the election, while most people woke to see the electoral outcomes, I rushed through our morning routine to get to each polling precinct on my way to school. All I could think about was, SIGNS, SIGNS and SIGNS! I was lucky enough to run into several people picking up signs on behalf of different candidates, and they happily placed signs in my car instead of theirs.


There are few things in life that make an art teacher happier than FREE supplies!

The Mayor of Palm Bay, William Capote, was kind enough to donate his campaign signs. His donation made it possible for each of the 3rd and 4th graders to have their own “canvas” to create their self portrait.

Let the art making begin…

To prep each sign, I used gesso. Each sign was painted twice then given to students to begin the drawing process.

One of the goals of this project was to teach students to look more critically at the world around them. Many items that are thrown out can be used to create beautiful works of art. Teaching students how to successfully use recycled materials in the art room is important for numerous reasons. One of the most important reasons is that teaching applications for recycled materials empowers students. By showing students art can be created using materials they have access to on a daily basis; suddenly the world becomes a giant art store, full of possibilities, instead of limitations. Another reason recycled art lessons are important is that it creates environmental awareness and fosters an atmosphere where students are more responsible consumers. There are so many contemporary artists creating beautiful art that communicate powerful messages today, these artists show how powerful any material can be.

Learning to draw a proportionate face on a campaign sign…

Background painting….

Creating skin tones….

Drum roll…

From start to finish this project took 5 weeks to complete, the final results are amazing! A HUGE thank you to Mayor Capote for making this project possible. Our 1st Outdoor Art Show will take place on January 24, all portraits will be on display!


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