Drawing with Camera-Like Precision

August 22, 2014

Twins reproduce Edward Steichen photogragh

Identical twins Ryan and Trevor Oakes have come up with a method for “tracing camera-obscura renderings”  onto a concave grid. The article in The New York Times Magazine from August 15 provides the information and a video with the twins discussing their work. It is very cool and I highly recommend that you check it out by clicking here.

Thanks to Anne Kofler for sending me the information.



Waterville Creates!

August 21, 2014

Executive Director Full time position

Waterville Regional Arts and Community Center (WRACC) d/b/a/ Waterville Creates! seeks an Executive Director for Waterville Creates!, a creative economic development collaborative and the programmatic arm of WRACC. Competitive salary, commensurate with experience.

Waterville Creates! is a collaborative consortium established to work directly with community arts, creative and cultural institutions to enhance and strengthen the economic vitality of the Waterville area. At the heart of this initiative is the promotion of the Waterville area as an arts and culture destination for Maine residents and visitors to the state. Through increased collaboration and with its primary arts and cultural entities, Maine Film Center, Waterville Opera House, Waterville Public Library, Colby College Museum of Art, and Waterville Main Street serving as anchoring institutions, Waterville Creates!  will be the primary and coordinating entity for arts and cultural programmatic collaborations within the community.

The ideal candidate will be an experienced executive director with excellent project management, budget forecasting, financial management and development skills. This position requires strong community development, communication, engagement, management and consensus building skills with a solid working knowledge of the Waterville community a plus. Experience with multiple facilities is favored. Experience in the arts or cultural sector is preferred.

* Bachelor’s Degree required; Masters of Art or Business administration preferred
* 3-5 years of responsible administrative experience, with a minimum three years in an executive management position

Please send cover letter, resume and list of three professional references to: WRACC Executive Director, c/o Unity Foundation, P.O. Box 815, Unity, ME 04988 OR via email to: lroming@unityfdn.org No phone calls.

For the full description, follow this link: http://unityfdn.org/Waterville-arts


The Arts as Inspiration

August 21, 2014

Barbara Harris Conference Center, Greenfield, NH

October 31 -November 2

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What is a Teaching Artist?

August 20, 2014

MACs Commitment

The Maine Arts Commission (MAC) is committed to providing professional development opportunities for teaching artists and the creation of a Teaching Artist roster. Efforts to address these areas of need are underway and will grow over time. Professional development is being offered for the MAC’s Creative Aging program and for PK-12 learners in a variety of educational settings.

Some of the Maine Arts Ed blog readers might be wondering what a Teaching Artist actually is?!

Teaching Artists are professional artists who are dedicated to lifelong learning and arts education, have made it an integral part of their professional practice, and who have cultivated skills as educators in concert with their skills as artists.


Dancer/Teaching Artist John Morris and Easton K-12 Music Educator Pam Kinsey

Teaching Artists were invited to participate in the Summit on Arts Education at USM, Portland, July 29-August 1. Five Teaching Artists participated, not only did it benefit them but it was wonderful for the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative community of PK-12 arts educators who attended as well. We welcome TA since they really get to the heart of the “art”! The new Maine Arts Assessment webpage located at http://www.maineartsassessment.com has a page dedicated to these teaching artists at http://www.maineartsassessment.com/#!teaching-artists/c8po.

  • Randy Fein
  • Stephanie McGary
  • John Morris
  • Shirleyanne Ratajczak
  • Vanessa Romanoff

Veteran Teaching Artist Nancy Salmon, who some of you might remember from the MAC Partners in Arts and Learning program, is working closely with MAC to support the Teaching Artists. Nancy presented a workshop at the Summit called What is the Role of the Teaching Artist? Participants left with a better understanding of the role and of course learned through engaging their minds and bodies. The Teaching Artists will join the MAAI Teacher Leaders in October and share their follow-on projects from the Summit.

The Teaching Artist roster is being re-established and later on this week the application will be available to apply to be a member of the roster.

The Creative Aging program is overseen by MAC staff member Kathleen Mundell. Two Teaching Artist workshops have taken place and applications were accepted for the roster this past month. To learn more about the Creative Aging program please click here.

If you have any questions about either program, Creative Aging or PK-12 Teaching Artists, please contact us. Kathleen Mundell or Argy Nestor.



August 19, 2014

Teacher Dreams?

I still have teacher dreams and it has been 8 years this month since I’ve been out of the classroom. Funny how they still hang on. I’m starting to hear the stories – back to school or getting ready to go back to school. No matter where you are in your “school thinking” I came across this recently and I got to thinking about this in terms of education. I never wanted to “throw out the baby with the bath water” however, we owe it to students to be life long learning. After all the needs of the world are changing. A quality education in Dance, Music, Theatre, and Visual Art are needed more now than ever but what should they look like.

I apologize that I don’t have the origin. You might find it speaks to or makes you take a pause as you head back to school!



The Art of Giving Gala

August 18, 2014

Last week in Portland

IMG-20140814-00079 To mark the diamond anniversary of Down East Magazine, they commissioned six commemorative covers from six of Maine’s top artists. The art was raffled off last Thursday at a gala event in Portland. Down East is donated $10,000 to 6 charities of the artists’ choosing. Five hundred tickets were sold, 6 lucky people went home with wonderful artwork, and 6 charities benefited from all the generosity.

It was a great evening with delicious food, wonderful company, and great art to look at before they were given away. The artists included the following and their chosen charities are listed with them.


  • Eric Hopkins – North Haven EMS
  • Alex Katz – Colby College Museum of Art
  • MECA Emerging Artist Renee Bouchard – Maine College of Art
  • Angela Adams – The Locker Project, a Community Partner of The Good Shepherd Food Bank
  • William Wegman – Maine Organic Farmers and Growers Association
  • Barbara Ernst Prey – Bowdoin College Museum of Art

Eric Hopkins

The evening’s festivities were inside the working buildings of the Portland Company Marine Complex where we were surrounded by three dimensional art structures created by Cindy Thompson at Transformit. The mood was further be set by Laurie Andrews Design, and Headlight Audio Visual.

Music included 60 years of hits performed by the Larry Williams Band of Tony Boffa Music followed by a special performance by Gunther Brown.

Several businesses provided delicious food and drink. It was a delight to see Eric Hopkins. Many of you remember him from the statewide arts education conference in 2007 that we held at the Samoset in Rockport. Eric provided an inspirational keynote that day. And, it was a treat to meet William Wegman and one of his Weimaraner’s that was featured in the magazine. The Wegman dogs have been the inspiration for nearly 20 children’s books. Some of you may have seen his dog photos on the Maine Turnpike rest area in Kennebunkport.



A Collaboration Between the Arts

August 17, 2014

Research supports middle school work

“The arts significantly boost student achievement, reduce discipline problems, and increase the odds students will go on to graduate from college. As First Lady Michelle Obama sums up, both she and the President believe ‘strongly that arts education is essential for building innovative thinkers who will be our nation’s leaders for tomorrow.’”
-Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education

The total school experience is vital to the overall education of all children.  Students go to school to learn; they do not go to school to merely take “math class” or to simply go to “language arts class.”  And, if we, as educators, are going to ask our students to work cooperatively and collaboratively, than it would stand to reason we (teachers) should model that behavior.  So, Mrs. Jacobs and I set out with an idea in mind- we wanted to combine the arts to demonstrate that there is no doubt that language arts can enhance art class just as art class can invigorate a piece of writing from language arts class.

Originally, I asked for Mrs. Jacobs help with illustrating our picture books.  But, that project had to be put on hold due to logistical issues beyond our control.  From our dialogue about that project, we set our sights on another idea.  For the year end project, I ask my language arts students to create an autobiography that I keep and give back to them upon completing 8th grade.  This is a lengthy assignment that includes approximately twenty tasks.  So, the prospect of connecting the art class curriculum to the autobiography project while utilizing literacy skills to create a more robust project seemed like a natural opportunity to combine the arts.

I have seen the main entrance come alive with 6th graders’ collages for the last two years, so that piqued my thought process.  If the collages are all about the student’s interests, then what if I have my LA students write an “I Am” poem that could be their first assignment for the autobiography project?  The brainstorming they do in art class can be a precursor to their brainstorming in LA.  The collage they created in art could have the entire poem, parts of the poem or just a few lines of the poem on it.  Dual purposes that serve the needs of both curricula!  Yes!!  Perfect.  So, as the “hand collage/ I am poem” process unfolded, I mentioned the need for a cover for the autobiography.  Mrs. Jacobs suggested they use the self-portrait that they’ll create later in the quarter for their cover.  Beautiful idea!  Again, one class complimenting the other without the feeling of one being more important than the other.

The glaringly important piece to this project is that it is truly a collaboration.  It is not merely a unified art assisting with a project in language arts class or a “special” helping to meet the needs of a classroom teacher.  Mrs. Jacobs and I are both very passionate about our respective classes; however, we realized through our professional dialogue that needs of both of our classes could be met through communication, clear expectations and and an openly passionate desire to see students create the best products possible.  The process of creating this project was not easy, but it was fulfilling.  Our willingness to take a risk, to try to model the concepts of collegiality and collaboration and to instill in our students that what they create matters in two different classes is what made this venture so successful.  Opportunities like this project are out there, but it’s up to us, as teachers, to make it happen!

This post is provided by art teacher Abby Jacobs, Westbrook Middle School and Mike Burke, 6th grade language arts and social studies.


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