This time of year, whether you have kids in school, are in school yourself, or just live near one, it’s hard to avoid the back to school vibe. Suddenly, students are everywhere and school supplies are in the news, in commercials, and in the stores again.
One of the most controversial aspects of schooling in recent years has been the relevance and support of arts education in schools. Throughout history, learning basic art techniques has been more or less considered an essential part of a good education. Whenever funding for these programs is cut, an organization appears to raise awareness and money to reverse the trend.
A big part of arts education in the schools (and at home) is providing the supplies with which young minds and hands can create art from their imaginations and from life. Many of these tools have changed over time, but apparently some have not.
Nowadays you would think that young students are more likely to be doing all their schoolwork and artwork on a computer, so I was happy to read that Crayola crayons are still going strong after more than 100 years of production and they even include most of the same colors I recognize from my own childhood. Clearly, there is still a need and desire for this most basic of art supplies.
According to Wikipedia, “As the size of Crayola crayon packs increased from the original 1903 crayon packs, the variety of colors available has also increased — reaching 120 colors by 1998. Since 1998, new colors have been added, but always replacing existing colors. In all, 13 colors have been retired, bringing the total number of regular colors produced since 1958 to 133.” Looking at the list of current colors brings back memories. What were your favorites?
Brian Sylvester is a guest blogger on WallSpin, and an artist on Zatista.