“This is the first year I am attempting this with my school and the students are being chosen via a lottery system for behavior in class. Our first meeting was to brainstorm and the students are excited. One student said he would be allowed to stay after school for a project like this. They seem very excited and have been asking me questions, coming up with ideas, and want to know when we will begin in earnest!

“This is the first year I am attempting this with my school and the students are being chosen via a lottery system for behavior in class. Our first meeting was to brainstorm and the students are excited. One student said he would be allowed to stay after school for a project like this. They seem very excited and have been asking me questions, coming up with ideas, and want to know when we will begin in earnest!

“On another matter with the Doodad, our students are bringing in life science, math, and engineering as well as art. We were looking at books with moving parts and they are fascinated by it and are trying to figure out how to make there sculpture ‘hands on’ with real life lessons and still relate it to the animal from literature theme from a rainforest book. It is exciting for me as a teacher to see the wheels turning as they are thinking it through.” Lori Erskine-Dodds, Art Instructor, Cahoon ES Magnet School of Animal Science, Gifted Talent Development Academy

“It is so incredible to see young students working together and problem solving. In an age where technology has eliminated so much of the process, it is very important that we provide opportunities for our students to practice problem solving. I had ages varying from 6 years old to eleven working on one project together. There were times of great stress, discovery, collaboration, and genius, but the best part was how much we learned about each other and ourselves in the process. Although the prize was not even a reason we entered Doodad, it was very rewarding to show my students that there is a place for art in their lives other than just as a hobby. I am already excited about what the Doodad for next year will be!” Amy Weiss, Art Teacher, Boyette Springs Elementary
“The History Center is proud and honored to host the 2014 Doodad Competition this May. Last year’s show was an impressive display of creativity and ingenuity, and our visitors were delighted to see how the students transformed cigar boxes into pieces of art. We can’t wait to see what kinds of sculptures they are going to come up with this year!” Julie Henry Matus, Curator of Education, Tampa Bay History Center
“Making sculptures out of cigar boxes and recycled materials was an exercise in exploring just how far our art club could go within elementary school imaginations! We even had the resources of a relative of one of the original cigar manufacturers who shared with us a portfolio of old newspaper articles and photos, so that we had an interactive history lesson along with our many workshops to put together our entries. Using team ingenuity, they skillfully fit the boxes together to visualize what we were learning! The art club had to have auditions this year there were so many applicants wanting to work on the Doodad project.” Patricia Yanulis, Art Specialist Art K-12, Reading K-12, English 6-12, Seffner Elementary School
“The Doodad sculpture contest has become one of our school’s favorite endeavors. The students have a great time using real-life, creative thinking to first design and then create several collaborative sculptures. As problems come up, the students work collaboratively in small groups to solve them. Last year when we completed the last sculpture I heard several students say, ‘Aww Doodad is over.’” Karen A. Barmore, MS, NBCT2001-11, Art Specialist, Gorrie Elementary
“This project has been a wonderful experience for my sculpture students at Robinson High School, both IB and Traditional. Students have been challenged to see the world differently while transforming the boxes (cigar) into more than what meets the eye. It has been a wonderful opportunity to educate my students about topics such as Tampa History, negative affects of smoking, conceptual art, and a myriad of artists who work with this type of medium.

Last year my IB student, Andrea Sziksay, won the “Best Overall” out of High Schools when she transformed three cigar Boxes into a depiction of the Holocaust. it was a powerful sculpture, one where she used her artist’s eye and creativity, along with a personally relevant concept to educate and impact viewers in meaningful ways.

 This year many more students are using saws, drills, and nails (to name a few materials and tools) to create amazing sculptures. The kids are thrilled to receive the beautiful boxes and I am thankful, as a teacher, to have this project to engage my students.” Mary Wilson, Visual Arts Teacher, Robinson High School

“Adults can benefit from viewing the wisdom of youth through their unfiltered views of the world and society.” Pat Frank, Clerk of Circuit Court, Hillsborough County
“As a Doodads judge, I found it inspiring to gather with other professionals in varied disciplines. Not only did this extend the reach of competition judging, it provided unique opportunities to bring our critical eyes from different perspectives. This made for lively and meaningful discussions of the artistic submissions and their approaches at various ages and levels. I believe it expanded our own horizons as judges. Doodads competition is an effective process that exposes judges, and then the wider public, to the creative talent of our K-12 youth.” Yann Weymouth, AIA, Leed AP, Doodads Judge
“Last year was my first year in Hillsborough county, in the state of Florida, and in the art room. I walked into a title one, Renaissance school in inner city Tampa, not knowing what to expect. I had no idea I would teach children that were so poor that they would walk to school with holes in the soles of their shoes, stuffing food in their pockets so they could feed their family on the weekends, and that were sleeping on the floor of overcrowded apartments. I had no idea the ways that they act out in order to get attention from adults. I had no idea how much love they needed and how much I had to give to them.

“When given the opportunity to participate in the Doodad competition, I knew it was an opportunity that my kids deserved to have. These kids, at an ERT school, that were expected to sit still and read and write so much of their day, barely could contain the excitement they had to come to my art room the mere 30 minutes a week (25 minutes on Mondays) that they time allowed. The art room for them was a place to escape, to have a release, and most of all a place to be loved unconditionally. The extra time that the Doodad competition created after school extended that love. Kids were taking their lunch time to come to the art room to work on their piece. They would work extra hard in their classrooms to earn time to come to the art room to work on their piece. They collaborated, they imagined, the giggled and they felt successful. It was magic to watch.

“When our sculpture won an award, we were over the moon excited for our kids. For our kids awards and success are not always easy to come by. Parents, some who were never seen at school, were getting involved with their success. They sent their children to the award ceremony wearing the best clothes they could afford for their children. The pride was evident. As for those kids (almost 30), many of which had never seen the skyscrapers in downtown Tampa, minutes away from their home, were exposed to the city for the first time as our administrators, volunteer teachers and myself took them all to the ceremony. The ooh’s and ahh’s that came from the children that had never stepped foot out of their neighborhood were beautiful to hear. It added another layer to the truth that those kids live every day, and a life many of us take for granted.

“For me, and my kids, Doodad was more than a sculpture competition. It was more than a challenge. It was more than the materials that it took and it was more than just the work we put in. It was success. It was success for me, a first year art teacher who felt like she was failing forward one step at a time. It was success for my kids who got the chance to be on TV, visit the city and win an award when compared to other kids their age. It was success for a community that was not accustomed to feeling it. Doodad was something that myself, and those children, will never forget.

“I cannot thank you all enough for the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful experience.” Lindsay Valentine, Art Teacher, Lamb Elementary

“I really enjoyed the whole experience. Being the one who came up with the idea for one of the winning sculptures I liked seeing how my image came to life and started to take form.” Lilly Verrill, student

“Lilly came up with the idea for the cigar truck as a fifthgrader at Seffner Elementary.  Personally, I saw the whole experience as a wonderful view into the life of an artist. Artist need to often work within the confines of a particular inspiration, follow a deadline and provide significant effort to complete a project. They also need to transport their work and compete against other artists to win honors and possibly get paid! This competition provided an opportunity to experience each of those steps, which was a remarkable achievement for my fifth grader.  Thanks for the opportunity” Denise Verrill, parent

“As a teacher I enjoy the Doodad competition more than anything else all year. I use this challenge with my 3rd grade after school Art Club. It gives them the opportunity to dream amazing solutions to the challenge, things that might sound impossible or outlandish. Together we come up with ways that we can actually make their ideas functional. This amount of creativity and ownership makes the kids feel so proud and excited about the project.

“I get to show them how to use things that we don’t normally use in the classroom. Once I teach them a strategy or a building technique they are off and running on their own. The pleasure of watching them work together as a team to construct something with newly acquired skills is a true joy. I have actually videotaped several of my Art Club sessions this school year simply because the kids are so amazing to watch in action.

“But the fun doesn’t end with building the sculpture. My students love going to the Tampa Bay History Center to see the exhibit. They find just as much joy in building the sculpture as they do in appreciating what other students have built. They get inspired by seeing such great ideas, and like any true artist, they can’t wait to make more art. I am gifted with all kinds of creations following the Doodad competition. Students suddenly begin to find art in the most unusual of places and love bringing what they have made to school to share with me and the other students.

“This competition offers students an unlimited opportunity to be creative and successful which gives them so much pride. It doesn’t matter if you win an award because the process is the prize.” Adrienne VanderPloeg, Art Teacher, DeSoto Elementary

“Students were excited to work with a new medium- wood. We put a surreal twist on some of them, and another one was turned into a bi-plane.”  Jody Chandler, Visual Arts Teacher, Orange Grove Middle Magnet School of the Arts
“When you attend a “Special Day School,” it can limit your participation in many of the intramural activities other students experience. Our participation in the Doodad Sculpture over the past two years has been an affirmation and inspiration to our students at Dorothy Thomas Center. Our entry into the first contest, a stained glass mosaic of students’ hands reaching for Faith, Hope, Love and Joy, won first place in one category! The money awarded effectively doubled our budget that year, and our globe is still an object of pride and beauty.

 Last year, a team of three high school students, a shop teacher, and an art specialist, went on a grand explore of Hillsborough County landmarks, learning about our particular “melting pot” and recording the journey with photographs. These were presented on a cigar box sculpture-in-the-round, including Ybor City, Lake Park (and a wild alligator!), USF, Sulphur Springs, the Buccaneers, Gasparilla, UT (at night, as viewed from Curtis Hixon Park), Lowry Park Zoo, and, of course, CIGARS! Our students explored history, learned about our town, and became shutterbugs all in the span of seven hours!

 While we did not win this time, we felt our sculpture provided more information about our area, and was as visually interesting, if much smaller, than the winner!-) In other words, both years, our students compared their efforts to those of other “regular” students, and came away feeling very proud and effective as artists, storytellers, and craftsmen. I highly recommend the process for this competition.” Susan Anderson, Art Teacher, Dorothy Thomas Exceptional Center

“I am the art specialist at Dorothy Thomas School, a center for students with emotional and behavioral disorders. It is not unusual for them to be amazingly creative, with a lot to express, and art gives them a socially acceptable way to share their thoughts, ideas and feelings. We created a streetlight globe for the first DooDad Sculpture Contest, and our students were amazed to learn that, when their artwork went up against sculptures from across the county, we were able to win an award! It was incredibly affirming to be awarded the award for our stained glass mosaic, and we were able to use the money for other enriching fieldtrips, supplies, and equipment in use still today!

 “The second year, in conjunction with a high school shop class, we created a ten-cigar box sculpture that revealed many of the special features of our home county. We took a seven-hour tour, from Lettuce Lake Park (and a wild alligator photo!) to the Bayshore and the Gasparilla Ship with the lit city skyline and colorful bridges in the background. We visited Ybor City with the train station, saw a cigar being rolled, the water tower of Sulphur Springs, and USF. The 3 students took pictures of the Buccaneers’ administrative office’s fabulous football entry and flag, the University of Tampa, and oranges piled high in a fruit stand. Two of our students also created personal memory boxes with the cigar box format. It was a delight they still remember, and a marathon!

 “We look forward to this year, and the chance to share our art outside of the ESE arena. Thank you for the opportunity!” Susan Anderson, Dorothy Thomas Special Day School