Archive for the ‘Visual Arts’ Category

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The Ant Girls

April 17, 2014

UMaine, Lewiston

The University of Maine, Lewiston campus is the site for an art exhibit called Ant Farm. The Ant Girls are artists Dorothy Schwartz, Rebecca Goodale, Vivien Russe and Colleen Kinsella. These 4 Maine based artists have been collaborating to merge art and science through the visual exploration of leafcutter ants. The Atrium Art Gallery, 51 Westminster St., Lewiston is the exhibit location and will remain until June 6. The show is a great example of the connection of art and science and would be an excellent exhibit for students to visit.

If your school has limited funding for field trips please note that the Maine Arts Commission Ticket to Ride funding is still available and this is a perfect opportunity for your school to apply for the funding. Information and details are located at https://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/Ticket-to-Ride.

I am delighted to think that Ticket to Ride funds can be used for this–it is such a creative explosion of science and art put together by 4 artists working in different mediums plus a soundtrack! ~Carolyn Wollen

Artist Dorothy (Deedee) Schwartz passed away in March but her husband, musician Elliott performed at the Ant Farm opening this past week with musicians Caleb Mulkerin and Colleen Kinsella. Elliott and Caleb composed the piece “Ant Girls” for the show.

You can read the Ant Girls blog to learn more. Included are more photos of the exhibit, and listen to the sound tracks of the piece that Elliott and Caleb composed at http://antgirlsmaine.blogspot.com/.

 

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I am delighted to think that Ticket to Ride funds can be used for this–it is such a creative explosion of science and art put together by 4 artists working in different mediums plus a soundtrack!

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Lisa’s Room

April 16, 2014

Madison Elementary School

Not to long ago I had the privilege of visiting Lisa Ingraham’s art classroom at Madison Elementary School. Lisa teaches K-5 students and her room certainly reflects her love of teaching but more importantly it is arranged for student success. The colors, organization, age appropriate visuals, and every detail is about the age of her students. Her lessons were spot-on incorporating literacy in multiple ways that enhance the visual art curriculum.

IMG_4012Not only was her classroom amazing but the school was alive with artwork. Every hallway, outside of every classroom she had shown evidence of a standards-based art environment. With each display, an explanation of the lesson.

IMG_4040IMG_4041Debi Lynne Baker and I were visiting to video tape Lisa in action for one of the 8 videos that the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative is creating as a resource for educators. It was a pleasure to meet and speak with Lisa’s colleagues as they articulated what Lisa does in her standards-based classroom and why her students are fortunate to have her as a teacher. Not only are her students fortunate but we heard multiple times how fortunate the community is as well.

IMG_4077One favorite part of the visit for me was learning about the book called “Mouse Paints”. If you teach early elementary school and color mixing it is a book that I highly recommend. As a follow-up to our visit Lisa was asked to present to the school board. Her information was very well received!

Lisa became involved in the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative during phase 3 and has served as a Teacher Leader. She is also the secretary of the Maine Art Education Association. Last Saturday she facilitated a round table discussion on Teacher Effectiveness and Evaluation. MAEA is writing a position paper on the topic so the information that art teachers shared was very helpful in that endeavor.

IMG_4028Thank you to Lisa for the opportunity and for the important work you do each day providing a quality arts education for the students of Madison Elementary School.

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MAEA Awards

April 14, 2014

Several recognized!

What a pleasure it was to attend the awards presentation for the Maine Art Education Association. Last year the program changed considerably and the new tradition continues by celebrating the accomplishments and teaching excellence of several art educators with different roles. When I attend these type of events my heart swells with pride just thinking about the impact that arts educators have on the development of young people!

Below are the awards that were presented for 2014.

  • National Board Certification Recognition: Genevieve M. Keller, Windsor Elementary School, RSU 12
  • Pre-Service Student: Jennifer Kowtko, Maine College of Art
  • Elementary Art Educator of the Year: Brian D. McPherson, Woodside Elementary School, Topsham
  • Middle Level Art Educator of the Year: Janie Snider, Hancock Grammar School, RSU 24
  • Secondary Art Educator of the Year: Jennifer Merry, Thornton Academy, Saco
  • Maine Art Educator of the year, Allison Price, Brunswick High School
Brian, Allison (with Janie), Genevieve, Jennifer K, Jennifer M.

Brian, Allison (with Janie), Genevieve, Jennifer K, Jennifer M.

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High School Scholarship

April 12, 2014

Maine Art Education Association

The deadline for the high school scholarship application is May 1. Each year these awards are made after using a rubric to  Screen shot 2014-04-11 at 9.36.39 PMscore electronic artwork. Yarmouth art educator and MAEA board member serves as the Recognitions Chair. If you have questions please contact her at holly_houston@yarmouthschools.org. The information is below and the application and rubric are located at http://www.aeforme.org/MAEA/Recognitions.html.

Who may enter?

You must be:

  1. A high school senior attending a school in Maine
  2. Currently enrolled in a visual arts class
  3. Nominated by a teacher who is a current member of the Maine Art Education Association
  4. Pursuing a degree in Fine Arts or Design fields

How much is the scholarship and how is it awarded?

$500-$1,500 will be awarded directly to the student upon receipt of proof of the successful completion of the first semester of post-secondary school. The scholarship shall be forfeited if the above criteria are not met within the first year after graduating from his or her Maine High School.

How many scholarships are awarded?

Typically, one award will be presented annually. However, if the scholarship fund allows, a second award may be issued to a second qualified candidate.

What are the requirements?

  1. Personal Information Form including:
  • Contact information
  • Where you plan to go to school (2 or 4 year college or university)
  • Current GPA (un-weighted)
  • A list of high school arts classes and name of art teacher(s)
  • A list of activities, leadership, awards, and honors
  • A list of, community service and employment
  • A letter of recommendation from your nominator (current MAEA member.) Must include: Evidence strength in academics and character and Evidence of accomplishments
  • 2. An artist statement (no more than 500 words) that addresses: Your artwork: motivation, process and product and Why you wish to pursue a college degree in art
  • A disk of images including: (The disk becomes property of MAEA and will not be returned. Artist retains all copyrights to imagery.)
  • 10 jpeg images: 72dpi-2mb – labeled by title (at least two from direct observation)
  • A .doc or .rtf file with the name/title, media, and dimensions of the original work                                                        Important to note! By submitting an application you agree that images of your artwork may be used in MAEA publications, announcements, and websites.

When is the application due?

The application must be postmarked by May 1st. Metered mail is NOT eligible (meters can be turned back)

How will my entry be judged?

The MAEA High School Scholarship Rubrics can be found on the MAEA website: www.mainearted.org

How and when will I know if I was selected?

You will be notified by mail no later than June 1st.

The recipient(s) of the scholarship will be posted on the MAEA website on June 1st.

Where do I send my application?

holly_houston@yarmouthschools.org (Write: MEAE Scholarship in the subject line!) Once your information has been received you will get an email confirmation. Assume that if you do not receive confirmation, your application has not been received!

Or mail to MAEA High School Scholarship, PO Box 10462, Portland, ME 04104

Questions?
Contact Holly Houston at holly_houston@yarmouthschools.org.

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Arts Day at Gorham Middle School

March 30, 2014

646 middle school students

On Wednesday, April 2nd, instead of going to regular classes, all of our 646 middle school students will be rotating through various sessions in Art, Music, Dance and Theater for Arts Day. Last year we had a Music and Dance Day and it was so successful with the students, staff, and community that we decided to do it again and incorporate all the Arts!

Many local artists are generously volunteering their time or greatly reducing their normal fees to join us for this great event. Also many of our talented staff members who also have hobbies or second careers in the arts will be running workshops.  Students will sign up for their choice of workshops and the whole school will have the opportunity to hear our Gorham High School Concert Band perform in our auditorium.

Last year, we hosted the Maine Marimba Ensemble, the Jerks of Grass played in our auditorium, we had a local musician from York come in to talk about his brief experience on the X-Factor and what it’s like to try to make it big in the music industry, some DJs from Q97.9 came in and gave a presentation, we had a Zumba workshop and a Hip Hop dance workshop, a music therapist, a steel drum workshop and Annagret Baier’s African drumming session which was by far the most popular!

Here is the line up for the student offerings for April 2:

ART
PETER RIMKUNAS Illustrator, Video Game Designer, Animator are just some of the art forms that Peter uses. This presentation includes the artist’s background and examples of his creations.

TESSA O’BRIEN Tessa is a painter and artist who designs on a large scale. She has painted many signs and murals for restaurants in Portland and she has also designed, constructed and painted huge art installations for big music events like Bonnaroo and Phish festivals. In this workshop, Tessa will share some of her artwork and help students create a lettering project.

DARALYN MCCOLL Learn what it takes to be a designer! You will hear a brief description of the background of an artist and see many examples of her art made with different materials. Find out how you can be paid to create art for a company or own your own design company. Daralyn uses digital programs to create a variety of work and will have you help with making your own creation.

“STICKS AND STOP MOTION ANIMATION” – MRS. DAWSON Bring your laptop for this fun and interactive animation session in the DEC

“COTTAGE INDUSTRIES” – MR. CARPENTER! Selling your arts and crafts. Mr. Carpenter will talk about and demonstrate his own Cottage Industries including jewelry making, crochet, card making and painting.

“MAKING SOMETHING FROM NOTHING” – MRS. HANLEY / SPINDLEWORKS SCREEN PRINTING! Screen print preemie baby onesies with Ms. Holden to donate to the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital. This is a great chance to learn how the screen printing process is done. Class limited to 6 students.

THEATER
LIGHTS UP IMPROV WORKSHOP! Maine’s David LaGraffe from Lights Up Improv and Portland Players is coming all the way to GMS to offer us this Theater Improv Workshop! You will spend time working with partners and in groups being silly and creating fun scenes. This is a great opportunity to work with a really fun and talented actor! Definitely not to be missed

DANCE
CONTRADANCE – KIM ROBERTS WITH CARTER & SARAH LOGAN OF THE JERKS OF GRASS Contradance is a folk dance that has become tradition in New England. Similar to square dancing, dancers are partnered up and listen to directions that are called out during the music. During the dance you have to mix up and switch partners when the caller calls it so you have to really listen and stay on your toes. Think Cha Cha Slide meets folk country.

HIP HOP DANCE – DANCE STUDIO OF MAINE Join some of the fabulous instructor’s from Gorham’s own Dance Studio of Maine and learn some hip hop dance moves you can show off at the next GMS Dance!

MUSIC
AFRICAN DRUMMING – ANNEGRET BAIER Work with renowned drummer Annegret Baier playing various drums and rhythm instruments to learn African songs and rhythms. This session was our most popular session last year!

MARIMBA PLAYING WORKSHOP Learn how to play marimba just like the Maine Marimba Ensemble with Matt Wasowski from the Gorham School of Music. Class size limited to 10.

BLUES SONGWRITING WORKSHOP Learn how to write your own Blues song with Jim Svendsen from the Gorham School of Music. Choose a topic, write the lyrics and perform your song for the class.

GORHAM HIGH SCHOOL ACOUSTIC COFFEEHOUSE & POETRY SLAM Matt Murray is bringing Gorham High School singers, songwriters, guitarists and poets to GMS to perform their own original works. You will definitely recognize some of these artists!! ! POP KARAOKE! Just how it sounds! Join Mr. P. in the 8th grade wing for a karaoke singing extravaganza. Limited to 30 students.

GUITAR & SONGWRITER’S WORKSHOP! Learn and review some basic guitar chords and chord progressions and learn how to go about writing your own songs with GMS’s own singer/songwriter, Mr. Lambert.

A CAPELLA WORKSHOP Join Señora Krohn to learn how to sing in an a capella group. Sra. Krohn has lots of experience singing in a capella groups as you all saw in the Talent Show this year. She may even break out a little beat boxing if you’re lucky!!

Thank you to Gorham Middle School General Music Teacher and Choral & Steel Band Director Tracy Williamson for sharing this information for the Maine Arts Education blog and thanks Gorham Middle School staff for providing this opportunity for your students!

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MLTI Student Photos

March 27, 2014

Congratulations Maine Students

AUGUSTA – Twenty-two young Maine artists will soon have an audience of tens of thousands of their fellow students and teachers for their artwork.

A painting, drawing or photograph from each of the 22 artists representing a dozen schools has been selected to be displayed during the 2014-15 academic year on devices provided to schools by the Maine Department of Education through the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI).

Through MLTI, the State provides either an Apple iPad, MacBook Air or an HP ProBook laptop to all seventh and eighth graders and teachers in grades 7-12. High schools also have the option to participate by leasing competitively priced devices through the program for their students.

The more than 70,000 devices in schools through the initiative will feature the student artwork on their screensavers starting next fall. For MLTI devices without a screensaver setting, the images will be made available as a download, allowing students and teachers to set the image as their background.

More than 250 Maine students submitted images to be considered in this year’s contest, and an independent panel of three judges selected the winners.

The artwork challenge is an annual opportunity that has attracted entries from more than 1,200 students, grades K-12, during its six-year history. The students whose artwork was selected are also invited to attend the 2014 MLTI Student Conference free of charge.

Additionally, the winning artwork will be displayed at the Maine DOE’s offices in Augusta and on the Department’s MLTI website. Students will receive a letter of congratulations and certificate of accomplishment from Education Commissioner Jim Rier.

“I am incredibly impressed with the talent and creativity reflected in all of the entries received, especially those submitted by our 22 winners,” said Commissioner Rier. “Maine has long been celebrated for the art created by its citizens or inspired by its beauty, and these winning works show us that the next generation of Maine artists being developed in our schools today are continuing that rich tradition.”

The selected students are listed below. Their artwork is additionally available for viewing at http://www.maine.gov/mlti/about/photos.shtml.

Taylor Barnes, Houlton Jr Sr High School, Grade 10, Sunset
Audrey Beal, Mount Desert Island High School, Grade 12, Bridge
Luke Krebs, Mount Desert Island High School, Grade 12, Tundra
Matthew Lambert, Mount Desert Island High School, Grade 10, Striations
Jane Parlee, Mount Desert Island High School, Grade 11, Owls
Dominick Bernard, Deering High School, Grade 10, Eye in Triangle
Julie McGarvey, Deering High School, Grade 10, Henna on the Hand
Elana Bolles, Yarmouth High School, Grade 11, Holograms
Fiona Clarke, Yarmouth High School, Grade 11, Street in Rome
Alex Trippe, Yarmouth High School, Grade 12, Quilted Beetle
Gaelon Kolczynski, Yarmouth High School, Grade 11, Tree
Claire Donaghue, Mt Blue High School, Grade 12, Exploration
Kyaira Grondin, Frank Harrison Middle School, Grade 7, Silent Moment
Molly Harris, Bangor High School, Grade 11, Blue Sky
Abbey Kidder, Bangor High School, Grade 12, Stairs
Liam Reading, Bangor High School, Grade 11, Landscape
Maya Silver, Bangor High School, Grade 12, Wolf
Kegan MacLean, Ella Lewis School, Grade 6, Moose
Kyle Manzo, Stearns Jr Sr High School, Grade 11, Call of the Wild
Julia Sagaser, Waterville Senior High School, Grade 11, Vulture of Destruction
Gabriel Tilton, Freeport High School, Grade 12, Eye on Katahdin
Kate Trebilcock, Mt Ararat Middle School, Grade 8, Bird

For more information about the Maine Learning Technology Initiative, visit www.maine.gov/mlti.

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Essence of the North

March 25, 2014

Northern pARTners-Aroostook County Regional Art Educators

The pARTners are hosting the Essence of the North Student Art Exhibition at the Aroostook Centre Mall in Presque Isle, Maine in recognition of Youth Art Month. The exhibition will be one of the stops on the First Friday of the Month Art Walk on March 7th sponsored by the Presque Isle Chamber of Commerce. The exhibition will be on display from March 1 through April 5. There will be an Artists’ Reception on Friday, March 14, at the site of the exhibition from 7-7:30 PM. There will be collaborative weaving for attendees to add to and a scavenger hunt which will involve identifying various objects from within the art work. Districts participating are from Houlton, Hodgdon, Mars Hill, Easton, Fort Fairfield, Presque Isle, Washburn, Caribou, Limestone, Connor Township, and Frenchville/St. Agatha.

Presque Isle elementary school art teacher Ruth McAtee says of the exhibit:

“We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to show work from around the county at one location while the Jr. Biathlon and other events at the mall makes this year unique…..Our students get a varied range of audience and the mall gets an attraction for its guests, employees and shoppers.  It is interesting how many mall walkers and employees frequently visit the gallery. This year we have a collaborative weaving and scavenger hunt on the reception night.”

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Workshop at MECA

March 23, 2014

Maine College of Art, Portland

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Catherine Ring: Art Advocate of the Year

March 19, 2014

Maine Art Education Association names art advocate

On Saturday, March 8 at the opening of the 20th annual Youth Art Month exhibit at the Portland Museum of Art, Catherine Ring shared the following message as she accepted the Advocate of the Year award. Catherine truly “walks the walk” of an advocate – She helped establish the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI), serves as a member of the leadership team for the MAAI, and is the executive director of the New England Institute for Teacher Education. CONGRATULATIONS Catherine!

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Catherine receiving her award from MAEA president Heidi O’Donnell

Hello, I want to tell you some stories that really made me mad. But it’s not a bad thing. Because if you are an advocate, you can turn something you’re mad about into something good. And because I’m an advocate of the arts, I like to think I can turn MAD into MADD, which stands for Music Art Dance and Drama. All of the arts.

The first is a true story that happened to me when I was in kindergarten. The teacher rolled out some big paper on the floor and had all of us get down on the floor with some crayons and draw a picture of ourselves and our houses. I drew a picture of myself with wild purple curly hair and my house was a log cabin. The teacher came over and yelled at me and said, “No! Not like that. Do it like this!” and she moved me next to another girl, who drew a picture of herself with yellow hair, and a regular house with little curtains in the windows. I remember that day, because something in me told me that this wasn’t right. Why couldn’t I live in a log cabin and have purple hair? Why did I have to do it just like the teacher said? Just like the other little girl? I was mad. I think it was that day that I decided that I would be an art teacher when I grew up.

When that little voice inside me told me that the teacher was wrong, it made me mad. When I did eventually become an art teacher, I was determined to make sure my students grew to love art and I would encourage them to be as creative as possible. That voice in my head led to action and I turned something I was mad about into something good.

Here are some other things that make me mad:
Not every kid thinks they are creative. We’ve all heard people say, ! • “Oh, I can’t draw. I’m not an artist. I can’t sing. I’m not creative.” Where did they get this idea? Aren’t all children born creative? There are many of us who believe they are. In fact, Sir Ken Robinson, who has written many books on the subject and who has spoken to audiences all around the world, believes all children are born creative, and that schools are killing creativity. He believes that we don’t grow into creativity, we are educated out of it. If that is true, that makes me mad.

If you are in a school that inspires your creativity, be very glad. But here are some realities in Maine:

  • Not every student in Maine gets Art.
  • Students don’t all get taught by qualified arts teachers.
  • Art and Music are often the first things that get cut out of school budgets.

Even though the research shows, irrefutably, that students with lots of exposure to the arts do better in all subject areas. Even though the research shows that test scores go up. Even though we know that the arts teach kids to be creative and critical thinkers, to be problem solvers and collaborators, to communicate and innovate. These are exactly the skills that are being sought after in the 21st century. So why would school leaders cut music or art? This doesn’t make sense. This makes me mad.

Catherine RingSo what do we do? How can we make a difference in our schools? How can we make people understand and support the arts in our schools? How do we help them understand that the arts are not something that’s just nice to have, or a frill, or just for fun? That the arts are absolutely essential for every child? In fact, that they are just as important as reading or math? How do we turn something that makes us mad into something good? We can get MADD.

There are a lot of things being done in Maine right now, I’m happy to say. We still have a lot of work to do, but music and art and drama and dance teachers all across Maine are making a difference through the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative. The arts teachers are making a difference in their communities through workshops in their school districts, and communities. They are making a difference by talking to their principals and parents and school boards. Arts teachers are making a difference. They are using their voices to express what they know is right, and change is beginning to happen.

So what can you do? How can you use your voice to make a difference? How can you be an advocate for more good quality arts education in our state? In every school? For every child? How do we go from being mad to being MADD? Well, here’s one way.

Because I am the Advocate of the Year, I am being asked to talk to a lot of people about how they can make a difference. I’ll be going to the state house and many other places throughout the year to advocate for the arts. I will also be writing for newsletters and other publications. But I could really use your help.

I created a new email account. maddaboutart@gmail.com. If you agree that the arts are essential for every child, in every school, please email me at this address and let me know. So, again, here’s the question:

Why is it important to have the arts in every school?
If you are a student, please write your name, your age and what school you go to. If you are an adult or a student, please send me your stories that I can then share with others. I will take all of your answers and stories to the Statehouse, and to schools and organizations around Maine. I will write about the importance of the arts in education in publications throughout the year. Our voices together will be stronger. Together we can make a difference. Let’s help everyone get MADD about art!

“We don’t need to save the arts. Instead we can save the world with the arts.”
~ John Maeda, President, Rhode Island School of Design

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Brian’s Room

March 17, 2014

Standards-based classroom videos

IMG_4009It was great to have a chance to visit art teacher and Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) Teacher Leader Brian McPherson’s classroom at the Woodside Elementary School in Topsham. Debi Lynne Baker and I traveled there recently to video tape Brian “in action”. The school is very welcoming with artwork everywhere.

Our day was filled with interviews with Brian and parents and colleagues, including principal Richard Dedek. The highlight was talking with students and visiting Brian’s classes. One class was drawing vessels using giant Chinese containers for models.

At the conclusion of the day there was a reception for students and families celebrating Chinese New Year and most importantly to view the clay relief sculptures based on Chinese architecture. Kudos to the students and Brian for a wonderful exhibit. Marvelous!

Debi Lynne is busy editing the hours of video footage to create another video showing standards-based arts education as a part of the resources provided by MAAI. All the videos that are available are posted on the Maine ARTSEducation YouTube channel. To learn more and view the videos please go to https://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/MAAI-VIDEOS.

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