Monday, January 30, 2012

How To Operate An Art Gallery Successfully?

Art is amongst one of the old forms of expression on the planet judging by the numerous rock drawings in various parts of the world. People have for long appreciated art and it remains an important part of their lives. It has since become a serious business raking in millions of pounds each year and has also seen schools that are wholly dedicated to it opened. This is a look at how to operate a gallery successfully.

Select a favorable location. Visitors would shun going to a location where their safety is not guaranteed. They likewise loathe galleries that are situated far away from train or bus stations. Look for a quiet neighborhood and where they would find an easy time should they decide to visit; a building that would be accessible easily even to people with disabilities.

So that you can exhibit as many paintings and other artifacts as possible, it is important to ensure that the gallery is spacious and has enough lighting. You want to have each painting being visible by the attendees. Because the temperatures may be extreme on either side of the spectrum, it would be prudent to put in place measures like heating system or air conditioners.

Another approach to help you, is to exhibit a large variety of paintings so that you attract big crowds. Include limited editions too and have the big names in the industry come to talk to the attendees. You can begin by inviting the young or budding artists from the area to come and exhibit their works.

Choose a team of gallery assistants wisely, who will conduct the visitors through the exhibition. Look for people who understand the field well; who can communicate to the many types of visitors and handle them well. It might help if they were artists themselves and therefore can answer all the queries regarding the various pieces.

Popularize the gallery well. To do this, you can make use of the media to advertise. Choose the most appropriate method to get the message to your target audience. If you are working on a tight budget you may consider methods such as posters and leaflets. What this means is that you creatively make posters with your message and hand them out on the streets. These prints if used well can get you even more visitors.

It would be helpful to link up with an institution that teaches the subject. The students can then bring their work to you to display for them and the school would in turn help in bringing you more visitors. Because it is an investment like any other, you would get a certain percentage for every painting they sell.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

How To Create A Customized Gift?

Many people have so many material possessions these days that although another generic gift may be appreciated for the thought behind it, it may not be actually used or enjoyed by the recipient. Those who want to ensure that the gift they give to a loved one doesn't end up forgotten in a drawer or closet can find innovative ways of creating a customized gift for that person.

The gift-giving process should be fulfilling for the giver in order for the gift to be truly a product of the heart. This may take some thought on the part of the giver, but that just makes it all the more special. Great gift-giving involves celebrating the uniqueness of the recipient, and everyone has something about them that can inspire just the right gift.

People often believe that they don't have the gift-giving skills necessary to even think of a customized gift, let alone create one. The best way to come up with ideas is to give careful consideration to the person's likes and interests. Avid rose gardeners, for instance, might have no need for new plants or cultivating supplies, but may appreciate a homemade cologne made with the petals of their favorite roses. Other flowers can be used as well provided they have a pleasant fragrance. This is relatively simple to do, and there are many online and hard-copy resources that can assist the novice fragrance maker in making a quality product.

Those who would prefer to create something less complicated than fragrance from a loved one's garden plants can easily make rose water. Rose water can be used as an astringent, skin toner and even as a culinary ingredient. All that it requires is three quarts of fresh rose petals, crushed ice and water. Rose water has a heavenly taste and aroma and can be used to make exquisite pastries, cakes and puddings.

Another garden-inspired gift is a detailed scrapbook or picture CD that features the recipient's garden in various stages of development and different seasons. Plant-lovers may also appreciate a paid membership to their local gardening club or native plant society.

There are those with no arts-and-crafts abilities at all, but that doesn't mean that they can't use their imaginations to give quality gifts with a personal touch. An ideal gift for a baby shower, for instance, could be a weekend trip to a mountain cabin or fishing resort for the future mother and father before the arrival of the infant. The purchase of the services of a professional grocery shopper may be something that many new parents would find helpful. A young person who is struggling financially may be in need of vehicle repairs or appliance maintenance.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Teen Tips For Mainstream Teachers

The number of ESL students is highly disproportionate to the amount of ESL and/or Bilingual teachers in the US today. Without the number of necessary trained ESL/Bilingual teachers, and lack of first language support, it is imperative that mainstream teachers play a major role in contributing to the success of the ESL student. ESL students can and will be successful given that all teachers provide the necessary platform and ongoing continuum of support. This support must come from both an ESL pedagogical view, as well as, an emotional, social, and developmental lens.

The 10 tips and strategies below are intended to help mainstream teachers meet the needs of our wonderful, diverse population. The first 5 tips focus on social, developmental and emotional needs, while the last 5 focus on ESL pedagogy, methods and strategies. Using these tips together will provide a balanced approach, as they are both integral to English acquisition.

Social, Emotional and Developmental Needs:

1. Cultural Awareness: All teachers should take a moment to self-reflect about their own understandings and questions in regard to cultural differences. Take the time to learn about different cultures, gestures, and traditions and celebrate these differences with all of the students in the classroom. Encourage all students to share their culture with classmates.

2. Empathize: Try to imagine how overwhelming it must feel to leave your home country and family members while trying to assimilate, learn, and socialize in a foreign language. Be aware that ESL students will be in culture shock and feel highly alienated for some time. Garner patience and understand that it will take time for ESL students to talk, as a silent period is highly expected. Smile and show support to your best ability.

3. Provide A Comfort Zone: Assess where the ESL student's abilities are in relation to basic survival skills and needs. Assign a friendly and welcoming buddy to assist with common school locations, requirements, and routines. If possible, keep an extra eye out during busy transition times to assure the student gets to the correct location. If possible, find someone in the school, another classmate, parent or volunteer that may speak the student's language. Connecting the student with someone who speaks his/her native language will provide a great deal of comfort.

4. Spotlight Respect For All Cultures: Reaffirm the message about being supportive of one another, kind, understanding and patient. Encourage everyone to openly talk about their personal cultures, traditions, and languages. Have parties celebrating the different cultures in the class, sharing music, historical family photos, dances, games, food and traditions. Hold discussions about the history of America, immigration, and the value of diversity and differences. Encourage students to share their own stories of immigration, passed down from generation to generation.

5. Community: If parents and/or guardians do not speak English, request an interpreter if possible for all school communication, including parties, conferences and special events. Invite parents to all school community functions to encourage and foster a sense of belonging. If possible, introduce other students and/or families who speak the same language as the ESL student. Sharing cultural commonalities will provide strong bonds for students, parents, and teachers.

6. Assess Student Informally: Assess ESL students on an informal basis when they first arrive to class, and ongoing during the school year. It is imperative to primarily check for understanding in regard to basic and social needs. Pay attention from the sideline to see if they know numbers, letters, and/or short English phrases. Continuously check for comprehension and growth informally, make notes, and never be afraid to raise the bar and challenge a bit.

7. Don't Discourage Native Language Use: With all good intentions, this is a common mistake teachers can make. ESL students who have a stronger foundation of their native language will have a shorter route to acquiring English. Don't discourage native language use, as this will result in negative feelings about the student's language, culture, and may cause delay in English language acquisition. Provide free time for the ESL student to read and write in their native language.

8. Use Manipulatives, Visuals, Games, Music and Hands-On Activities in the Classroom: According to William Glaser, we learn 80% of what we experience, and 95% of what we teach others. ESL students do exceptionally well when this theory is followed. Involve them in projects that will encourage them to talk as much as possible with their classmates. Some ideas for projects are the following: cooking (following easy directions), art (drawing, painting, sculpture), musical activities (music provides an amazing platform for learning), and acting (for example, charades).

9. Provide Various Opportunities For Talking and Consider Seat Placement: It is very important to consider seat placement in the classroom for the ESL student. All too often, ESL students are seated in the back of the classroom, which leads to a great lack of contribution, listening, and participation. Try and seat the ESL student close to the front, especially with other students who are inviting and enjoy conversation. Provide the most opportunities as possible for talking and listening to others in the class via group work. You will be surprised how much shorter the silent period will end.

10. Communicate with the ESL teacher: Maintain communication with the ESL teacher as much as possible. The sooner both teachers are working together, the quicker the student will learn English. Be open to the ESL teacher's suggestions, let him/her share in the modification of classwork, and invite the ESL teacher into your classroom. If there is a concern, a question, or if you simply need some advice, build this bridge together, as both teachers are there to support and help the ESL student succeed.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

How Finding Real Deal Graphic Design Services?

These days there are a lot of sources out there for graphic design services online. Perhaps too many. This article covers some useful need-to-knows about graphic design services and what to look for when ordering a logo design, brochure design or any of the countless reasons to order a graphic design service for your company or organization's imaging needs.

Graphic design services these days (like any services these days) have been on a downward slide for some time now (in this Designer's opinion). Take logos for example. I can't tell you how many logos I see out there featuring a swoosh or swipe looking graphic that shoots out as though orbiting the text that makes up the logo. I would like to tell you that the Designers who created the thousands of swoosh logos out there, utilized this staple of design because it was the best solution for their client. I can just hear them stating how this simple element is really a complex and developed "less is more" approach to their client's design and worth every drop of the hundreds of dollars they are charging for it. I would like to tell you that but unfortunately that is just not the case.

I'm not saying that if you have a swoosh in your logo then you got scammed by a false Graphic Designer looking to make a quick buck on a simple design that catches your eye. In fact I have even used a swoosh or two in my designs (though usually at my client's request and certainly not as the only element in the design). What I am saying is that when you look at how many logos out there feature this graphic swoosh element it becomes quite obvious that a great deal of graphic design sources these days are just trying to get their orders filled as quickly as possible without actually putting thought into the purpose of the design and the needs of the client. It is sad but true that most companies of any kind in this day and age are focusing more on looking like a company rather than actually being a company. How many times have you ordered something only to find out later it was just a gimmick designed to get the sale.

So how do you know if you are hiring a real Graphic Designer focused on doing real design work and not just one of the many impostors out there trying to look like they are putting the time and thought into your design that you are paying them good money for? A good place to start is the facts.

When you are online looking for a Graphic Designer, do a little reading. They should have an About Page, a resume or some form of credentials available on their website. If they don't then its time to leave that website. I do not recommend testimonials because these days there is no way to verify where these wonderful comments came from. Stick to the facts and information that can be verified if need be. If you are paying hundreds of dollars or more for design services then you had better see some years of experience on that Designer's resume. Where did they get their education and did they actually even major in Graphic Design? What does their job history look like. Have they really been a Graphic Designer at every job in their resume? It is worth it to do a little research because chances are you are going to need more design work done in the future and wouldn't it be great to have a Designer you can depend on?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Planning the Perfect Wedding

Every year, thousands of couples plan for the most romantic day of their lives. There is so much time and effort that goes into planning a wedding that many people equate the process to that of a job that involves a high level of security clearance or that of a politician. Many couples want to have a perfect wedding experience and part of what makes the occasion so special is the venue where they decide to host the ceremony. Choosing the right venue is one of the most challenging decisions that a bride and groom will face, besides selecting the perfect wedding colors and dress.

It takes a lot of time and thought, when it comes to choosing the perfect place to exchange your nuptials. You need to take into consideration the amount of guests you will have, the theme for the wedding, and what type of atmosphere you want to have. It is important that you start making up your mind early about the theme and how many guests you want to attend. Venues tend to get booked very early in advance because of their popularity and their offerings.

You should start off by making a list of places that you want to hold your wedding at. These places can include botanical gardens, zoos, churches, special event halls, and exhibit centers. You may even want to consider stadiums and concert halls. No matter where you are thinking of having your special day take place, you need to have more than four choices in mind, just in case some of them are overbooked for your day.

Many popular venues recommend that you contact them at least six months to a year before the event. This is because they need ample time to make arrangements and make time for your event. In many cases, popular places tend to be booked several years in advance for those who are looking to have their ceremony at the same location that you are. Keep in mind, you are not the first nor last person who is getting married at these places, so if you find that one place in particular that you were really anxious about having your ceremony at is tentatively booked on your special date, it doesn't hurt to be extra polite and cordial, while you request that you be put on a waiting list in case a spot should open up for your special day. This does not mean to hold your breath and count on space becoming available. You should move on to the next few selections on your list until you find a venue that you like well enough and that is able to accommodate your special day.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Knowledge Wildlife Viewing and Photography in Alaska

The North American continent is one of the premier wildlife viewing and photography spots in the world. It covers 10 time zones and is home to majestic mountains, stunning glaciers, lush temperate and coastal rain forests and countless miles of beaches, fjords and inlets. In addition to its scenic beauty, there are approximately 1,000 species of mammals and birds each, native to the land. The opportunities for wildlife and landscape photography are so diverse it is impossible to capture everything on a single trip, or even a single life span. For this article, I will limit my discussion to one particular place in North America - the State of Alaska, because one can see all three species of Ursi, namely Black, Grizzly and Polar Bears, majestic Golden and Bald Eagles, plus many different species of birds (including hummingbirds) and exciting whale species, like the Blue, Humpback, Bowhead, Orca, Beluga and many other cetaceans and pinnipeds.

I have been photographing wildlife in Alaska for some years now and have encountered many visitors from Australasia and Europe, especially the United Kingdom. My recommendation is to prioritize the species one would like to see before focusing on capturing their images. Black and Grizzly bears can be found from Ketchikan in the south, all the way up to the Brooks Range and other mountains in the southern Arctic region. Some great spots to see and photograph them are in the Tongass National Forest, near towns like Ketchikan, Wrangell, Hoonah and Haines. Kodiak Island and the Katmai National Park are prime locations to see the Kodiak brown bears. Polar bears are usually found near towns like Barrow, Wainwright and Kaktovik, deep in the Arctic Circle. Southeast Alaska is also a great spot for whale watching, especially the waters around Juneau, Seward, Kodiak, the Inside Passage and Icy Straits. Bald and Golden eagles are quite prevalent with the former rather ubiquitous around towns close to the water. The town of Haines boasts the largest concentration of Bald eagles in the world during the month of November due to the late run of salmon in the Chilkat River. The Alaska Bald Eagle Festival is held every year in town and attracts thousands of photographers from around the world.

The Northern part of Alaska, deep inside the Arctic Circle, is a favorite spot for birders and photographers. Although the number of species are not huge, millions of waterfowls and shore birds feed and nest around numerous lakes and puddles across the Arctic tundra. Snowy Owls and Arctic Foxes are often seen hunting on the frozen ground. For those who want to photograph the Aurora Borealis, early to mid Autumn is the best time. Fairbanks is probably the most popular spot for photographers chasing the Aurora but on clear, dark nights, one can see the Aurora from many parts of Northern Alaska. Late Spring to mid Summer, around the whaling season, is a good time to visit Barrow. The Northern most town in the US, named after Sir John Barrow, the second Secretary of the Admiralty. Polar Bears can be seen scavenging the remains of whales after the butchering. The Inupiat Eskimos are permitted to hunt a small number of whales every year for subsistence living.

The state of Alaska is big - over 663,000 square miles. It is about twice the size of Texas, over three times the size of California and about seven times the size of the United Kingdom. Although Alaska is home to lots of glaciers and snow, the summer months can be pleasantly warm, by Alaskan standards, of course. Protected by the Chugach Mountains and the Alaska Range and warmed by Pacific Ocean currents, Anchorage, the largest city in the state, has a temperate maritime climate. Summer temperatures can reach into the high 70s. Low humidity also contributes to Anchorage's comfortable climate. However, temperatures can vary greatly depending on the region one may visit. Therefore, careful clothing selection is important to anticipate the unexpected. The best advice is to dress in layers, whether one is hiking in the wilderness or just walking around town and always have a waterproof parka available at all times.