When you exhibit your students' artwork, they know that someone cares about them and their work. I still remember the first time my work was exhibited (junior high, courthouse, Shreveport, Louisiana). Exhibiting student work is a great advocacy tool, as well, showing to all viewers what is happening in your art room.
The elementary art teachers in my district make a great effort to show our students' artwork as much as possible. Last week we had a show in conjunction with the Denton Jazz Fest and yesterday I hung 25 pieces of my students' work for a show sponsored by the Denton Senior Center. Two other schools are showing as well and the Senior Center printed invitations for us to give to our students and will provide a reception for us. It is Thursday, May 6, from 4:00-6:00 pm. You are all invited!
One of the advantages of teaching elementary students is that I can try out all kinds of things with my students. These artworks are from the lesson "Inventing Insects" (Unit 2, Lesson 1) in Davis Publications' kindergarten big book for "Explorations in Art," authored by Cathy Weisman Topal. Students invent an insect as they paint one shape at a time, starting with the three body parts of the head, thorax, and abdomen.
Students invent a new species of insect based on insect characteristics: 3 body parts, 6 legs, 2 or 4 wings, antennae, proboscis, etc.
In a related lesson, students apply the same insect characteristics to a collage.
Artworks are by my kindergarten students London, Michael, and Nathan.
My fifth grade students made portrait busts after learning the difference between Ionic, Doric, and Corinthian columns and reviewing works from diverse artists, including Michaelangelo and Jeff Koons. Students had the choice of making a self-portrait bust or one of a contemporary or historic figure. We ended up with Mona Lisa, Abraham Lincoln, and Obama as notable examples. The boy who made this one of Obama is Deven Patel.
At NAEA this year, I was fortunate to attend Amalia Mesa Bain's presentation on the Mexican Days of the Dead. We had featured her in SchoolArts in "A Curandera of Art," because she was one of the featured speakers for NAEA in Baltimore.
The Mexican Days of the Dead, November 1st and 2nd, are the most important celebration of the year in Mexico, a time of homecoming and remembering loved ones who have died. Amalia had set up an ofrenda for us much as one would be found in a home and explained why each element was there - paper picado (paper banners), candles, sugar skulls, water, flowers, bread, and photographs. She asked each of us to share something about someone we loved who had died, which made the experience very moving.
You can learn more about this important celebration on my school website.
A local gallery, Oxide, is presenting an exhibit of artwork by art teachers on May 4 here in Denton. Art teachers from around north Texas were invited to enter work. My photograph of a paper umbrella in Japan will be in the show.
Oxide hosts new shows each month but this exhibit is the first directed at art teachers. We appreciate this opportunity to shine in our community.
Though I didn’t get outside very much at NAEA, I was determined to go to the Visionary Art Museum on the inner harbor in Baltimore. I was not disappointed! It showcases the artworks of Outsider or self-trained artists. Most works are imaginatively made of recycled, everyday materials. The gallery cards were helpfully informative, telling the story of each piece and/or the artist. The bus shown here is parked right outside the entrance. Check out the museums’s website for current exhibits and teacher materials.
The highlights of NAEA Baltimore for me were meeting Amalia Mesa Bains and attending her Day of the Dead workshop; meeting with the SchoolArts advisory board members and contributing editors; getting to meet and talk to so many SchoolArts authors; participating in “What’s Worth Teaching in Art,” a pecha kucha presentation with six teachers; meeting the Art: 21 folks; and working with the wonderful, dedicated, hardworking staff of Davis Publications (the publisher of SchoolArts).
I also gave the presentations “Design Thinking,” “Bridging the Curriculum through Art,” (with Pam Stephens), and “Get Published” (with Ken Vieth, Nicole Brisco, and Pam Stephens).
The national conference recharges my batteries every time. If you have never been to an NAEA national conference, please consider it as it will change your life. Next year the conference will be in Seattle, followed by New York City, and then Fort Worth, Texas (in my backyard, so to speak). I hope to see you there!
One of the great things about being at NAEA is being able to connect with lots of SchoolArts authors, at the Davis Publications booth, at presentations, and even in the hallways. I gave three presentations today, one with Pam Stephens on our book, Bridging the Curriculum through Art, and our Take 5 interdisciplinary prints. Pam is a SchoolArts advisory board member, author, and longtime colleague and friend.
After that, Pam and I were joined by Ken Vieth, another SchoolArts advisory board member and Davis Publications author, for "Get Published," for which we had a full house. And finally, I gave a presentation on "Design Thinking," apparently one of the few presentations on that subject at the conference.
There were so many other great presentations I wish I could have attended, but just couldn't make because of my schedule. The level of energy and excitement here is so rejuvenating. Once you go to a national conference, you will always want to come back. I highly recommend it!
Through Fast Company Magazine, I found an interesting video produced by Smart Design on how tablet computers will change magazines and how magazines can best adapt to a new format, based on what readers want and the possibilities connectivity brings. All readers (and publishers) of magazines should watch it.
If you are going to NAEA in Baltimore, please join us on Thursday for two advocacy presentations given by SchoolArts authors and editors. Both will be at the Baltimore Conference Center.
Boost your advocacy efforts and communicate the importance of student learning in the visual arts by turning your most engaging lessons and ideas into published articles for art education. Writing and photography guidelines will be given.
Nancy Walkup, Pam Stephens, Ken Vieth
2:00 - 2:50 PM|Meeting Room 321/Center
Learn about design thinking, a process for practical, creative resolution of problems or issues based around the building up of ideas about the design of objects, information, environments, and experiences.
The May/June issue of SchoolArts is now online. The theme this month is Exploration. My Editor's Letter details an effective art education advocacy effort the elementary art teachers in my district made to all our principals. You can also connect to the videos and PowerPoints we shared. Hopefully it will inspire you to similar efforts.
During Davis Publications' recent 2010 Virtual Retreat for Art Supervisors, participating school districts were challenged to create an art education advocacy video. One of the purposes of the Retreat was to help all stakeholders be more vocal and effective as advocates for art education. Wyatt Wade, President of Davis Publications, announced the winners of the video competition today. Please take a few minutes to watch the videos and join us in congratulating the winners.
Susan Castleman and the Pinellas County Florida Visual Arts Department with their submission, "Imagine This."
Debi Barrett Hayes, her staff, and students from Florida State University School, Tallahassee Florida, have won second place with their submission, "It's Native."
Game designer Jesse Schell predicts that games could become a medium for everyday life, that we could go through our days collecting experience points and more. You can hear his thoughts (scary or thrilling, depending on your point of view) on TED. Thanks to Robb Sandagata for pointing this out.
I just came across this site, Domes for Haiti, which is posted by a group trying to create and provide geometric domes for hurricane resistance housing for children in Haiti (the Buckminster Fuller Institute is one of their supporters).
Their mission: "We’d like to send some tangible help to the People of Haiti to help rebuild their devastated country. In Creole, there is a word; “Konbit”. It represents a traditional form of cooperative communal labor similar to a barn raising where many people gather together to help one person or one family with a task that would be too great for themselves to handle alone. We offer this to the American business community as an opportunity to practice Konbit on a global scale. " (The movie director Jonathan Demme produced an album of Haitian music some time ago called Konbit.)
Domes for Haiti is looking for donations of tools and building and packaging supplies.
Another professional development offering for art teachers this summer is one of three scheduled at The Ohio State University. Stories: Narrative Inquiry in Art Education, will be led July 5-9 by by Terry Barrett, Professor, University of North Texas and Professor Emeritus, The Ohio State University.
In this one-week intensive workshop, participants will explore narratives or stories, related to art, self, and community. They will read about narrative research methodology and apply it by writing narratives for art education. Participants will receive readings prior to the week and will have time after the week to complete projects. The workshop is open to graduate students of all art disciplines and to teachers.
For more information, direct inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are a number of summer institutes offered this coming summer as NAEA 2010 Co-sponsored Academies. It isn't too late to sign up! Here is one offered in New York City. Applications for it are due by April 20.
Connecting Collections: Integrating Modern and Contemporary Art into the Classroom
July 12-16, 2010 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Daily
A joint project of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art
Through independent and guided exploration of the collections, participants will:
• Deepen their understanding of contemporary and modern art
• Learn object-based teaching strategies and receive feedback from museum educators
• Work with small groups of peers to develop a unit plan integrating art into curriculum
• Develop engaging approaches for using works of art in the classroom
• Focus on the development of visual literacy skills
• Develop questioning techniques appropriate to works of art
• Receive curriculum materials and learn about museum resources
• Meet colleagues from around the country
• Explore exhibitions independently
Tuition is $400 and includes all instruction, curriculum materials, and lunch each day. Participants are responsible for their own lodging and transportation to each location. Graduate credit is NOT available for this program.
Registration for this program is by written application only and is limited to 40 participants.
Applications must be received by April 20, 2010.
For additional information, please contact (212) 570-3985 or e-mail email@example.com
Today on CBS Sunday Morning, there was a feature on The Easter Egg Archive. In the context of software, an Easter Egg is a hidden feature or novelty that the programmers have put in their software. In general, it is any hidden, entertaining thing that a creator hides in their creation only for their own personal reasons. According to the site, a true Easter Egg must be undocumented, reproducible, put there by the creators for personal reasons, not malicious, and entertaining. You can search among 107 Art-related eggs or under other categories.
2010 Art Education Summer Study Institute: An Invitation to The Dinner Party will be offered through the collaboration of the Department of Art Education and Crafts at Kutztown University and Through the Flower, a nonprofit Feminist art organization founded by artist Judy Chicago. The institute is slated for July 11-16, 2010, in Kutztown, Pennsylvania and Brooklyn, New York.
Thirty years after its completion, The Dinner Party found a home at the Brooklyn Museum in the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art. It is with this recognition of the monumental nature of The Dinner Party and its place in history that educators are offered an opportunity to consider the artwork in all its complexity, as a catalyst for investigating the history of women in the Western world, gender issues, feminism, and feminist pedagogy.
During this five-day institute, participants will explore strategies designed to deepen understanding of this iconic artwork while developing new ideas, activities, and lessons with a focus in K-12 art teaching. As a special highlight, participants will join Judy Chicago for a private viewing of The Dinner Party on site at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at The Brooklyn Museum.
When I was a child, our grandmother would always make us a chocolate potato sheet cake for Easter. Since she also decorated each piece with a Peep marshmallow candy, I always think of her whenever I see a Peep, so I really enjoy seeing the creative uses of Peeps during the Easter season.
One of the best sources to see Peeps transformed into art online is through the Washington Post' Peeple's Show of 38 unbelievable dioramas. The top winner is based on the Pixar flick "Up." Michael Chirlin and Veronica Ettle of Arlington, Virginia, constructed a miniature Victorian house from plywood and Popsicle sticks, and placed it atop salvaged mattress springs to give it an airborne quality. The attention to detail (and the time it must have taken) is unbelieveable. There are entertaining videos about the entries on the Washington Post website, well worth sharing with your students.