Posts Tagged ‘maine art education association’


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.


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 The information is below and the application and rubric are located at

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:

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? (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

Contact Holly Houston at


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!


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. 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


Youth Art Month: Portland Museum of Art

February 24, 2014

20th anniversary celebration

Screen shot 2014-02-14 at 8.27.39 PM

Jasmine Berube, Grade 8, Preface, watercolor, crayon, and Sharpie, Bonny Eagle Middle School

Portland, Maine: In celebration of National Youth Art Month during the month of March, the Portland Museum of Art (PMA), in collaboration with the Maine Art Education Association, has organized an exhibition of artwork created by Maine art students. This year celebrates the 34th anniversary of Youth Art Month exhibitions in Maine and the 20th annual exhibition at the museum. The PMA’s exhibition, on view from March 8 through April 6, will showcase more than 100 works of art by students throughout the state, from elementary school through high school. All participating students will receive certificates of recognition. An exhibition celebration will be held at the PMA on Saturday, March 8 from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

National Youth Art Month is an annual observance each March to emphasize the value of art education and to encourage public support for quality school art programs. Art education provides students with important critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, in addition to fostering self-esteem, self-discipline, and an appreciation for the work of others. The Youth Art Month exhibition celebrates and validates student achievement in the visual arts, and the Portland Museum of Art is proud to honor the talent and dedication of these young artists and their teachers. Youth Art Month has been observed nationally since 1961, and on the state level, sponsored by the Maine Art Education Association since 1980.


“After Hours”

February 9, 2014

Maine Art Education Association exhibit artist panel discussion at Saco Museum, Saco, Maine

Screen shot 2014-02-08 at 6.24.46 PMJoin us for a panel discussion, Saturday, February 15, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. with several of the artists exhibiting in our current “After Hours” Maine Art Educators exhibition. The artists/educators participating are: Charlie Johnson, Deb Bickford, Manon Lewis, Robin Brooks and Meryl Ruth.

Allison Price, organizer of this year’s “After Hours” show, will moderate a lively discussion between our panelists and the audience:

  • Describe some of your earliest memories of making Art.
  • When/How did you know you wanted to become an artist, and teacher?
  • What is the relationship between your own studio work and the work you do with your students in the classroom?
  • Where do you find inspiration for your Art?

All are welcome to attend this engaging and informative artist conversation.

Saco Museum, 371 Main Street, downtown Saco. All programs and events are free and open to the public. For more information, please call 207) 283-3861.





September 20, 2013

Maine Art Education Conference

Another successful conference was held at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts last weekend by the Maine Art Education Association. The workshops were intense and included the following choices:

  • Creative and Useful Bookmaking: Sally Allen
  • Alabaster Carving: Anne Alexander
  • Encaustic Painting: Diane Bowie Zaitlin
  • Animal sculptures with clay using enclosed forms and additions / Tim Christensen
  • Plein Air Painting / Cooper Dragonette
  • Responding to ­ Photography in Europe/ Brenton Hamilton
  • Knifemaking / Tim McCreight

After a little bit of rain on Friday, the sky cleared and the moon shined beautifully that evening. As traditional, slides of the artists’ work and stories were shared on both evenings. The annual silent auction brought in over $1000.00 for the student scholarship fund. Teachers took the time to visit other studios which provided viewing the processes, learning from others, and meeting art educators. And, of course, the beautiful Haystack environment provided a unique experience. Just being there seems to bring out the creative juices that art teachers have. The food was excellent (although I miss the spanakopita that used to be served on Saturday night)!

A great big thank you to those who attended and especially to the planners of the annual conference Reagan Russell and Lynn Wildnauer!


I participated in the Bookmaking session and learned how to make several books including a stab book – one that I have been interested in for a long time. I am looking forward to filling the contents. I have to say that the most fascinating session for me of the weekend was the knifemaking workshop. It was amazing to stop by and see the progress and what each teacher was creating.

If you are not a member of the Maine Art Education Association I urge you to submit your membership request asap. Heidi O’Donnell, the new president, and other new slate of officers are committed to providing a top quality professional organization for Maine art educators. To join the organization please contact membership chair Jodi Thomas at Jodi or president Heidi O’Donnell at


Maine Arts Assessment Initiative members Leah Olson, Suzanne Goulet, Argy Nestor, Catherine Ring, Pam Ouellette


Maine Art Education Association

July 12, 2013

Team East

Thank you to the new president, Heidi O’Donnell, of the Maine Art Education Association for contributing this blog post on her recent trip to Team East.


MAEA president, Heidi O’Donnell, past president Sandy Brennan, Treasurer Suzanne Goulet

The Eastern Region Leadership Retreat was recently held in New Bedford, MA and I was able to enjoy the experience with Sandy Brennan and Suzanne Goulet. Vibrant discussions around community building, advocacy, research and knowledge, learning, and organizational vibrancy intermingled with local gallery tours, a private viewing of the New Bedford Art Museum, wine and chocolate tasting, a dinner train event, and a guided downtown walk lead by docents affiliated with the New Bedford Whaling Museum made this a most enjoyable experience!

We were able to connect with other leaders, share highlights and frustrations, discuss important topics such as teacher evaluations, supporting state association members, document reviews, and general association issues. The National Art Education Association has decided that the Regional retreats will be held only in odd numbered years and that National Leadership Retreats will be held in even numbered years. Next year we will be traveling to Santa Fe, New Mexico (July 24-27)!

Please contact me at if you are interested in joining us and learning more about being involved with the Maine Art Education Association. If Santa Fe doesn’t work for you, I am excited to announce that in 2015, Maine will host Team East! We will be looking for members to help with the planning of this exciting event! Again, please contact me if you are interested about Team East or any other topics related to Maine’s visual art professional organization.


MEA Art Exhibit

June 8, 2013

Maine Education Association art exhibit

The Maine Art Education Association (MAEA) and the Maine Education Association (MEA) partner by having a student art exhibit at the MEA building in Augusta. The work is beautifully exhibited and on display for the next several months. This partnership has been underway for several years thanks to the work of MAEA board member and Lewiston Middle School art teacher Kay Allison.

Below is a photograph with Mount Desert Island art teacher (and Maine Arts Assessment teacher leader) Charlie Johnson’s grade 10 student Kathleen Murphy and members of her family. Left to right is Kathleen’s cousin, Kathleen, grandmother, mother, and cousin.

MEAyam1Stop by the MEA building when you are in Augusta to see the marvelous exhibit!


MAEA Fall Conference

June 2, 2013

Haystack registration is open

Screen shot 2013-06-01 at 10.47.25 AMIf you are planning on attending the fall Maine Art Education Association fall conference, it is time to register! Please go to to register and for more information. The conference is being held at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Stonington on September 13, 14, 15th.

Workshop Choices
1. Creative and Useful Bookmakin with Sally Allen
2. Alabaster Carving with Anne Alexander
3. Encaustic Painting with Diane Bowie Zaitlin
4. Animal sculptures with clay using enclosed forms and additions  with Tim Christensen
5. Plein Air Painting with Cooper Dragonette
6. Responding to ­ Photography in Europe with Brenton Hamilton
7. Knifemaking with Tim McCreight

Conference Fees
Conference including room and meals: $250.00
Conference including only meals (day participants):$200.00
New 2013-14 MAEA membership is required for registration.  Online registrants will be able to make a single payment.

  • On Campus (+ Student Membership) $270
  • Off Campus  (+ Student Membership) $220
  • On Campus (+Full Membership) $280
  • Off Campus  (+Full Membership) $230
  • On Campus (+Retired Membership) $260
  • Off Campus  (+Retired Membership) $210

For more information and details on the MAEA fall workshop please go to


Honoring Cathy M. Grisby

April 20, 2013

Maine Elementary Art Educator of the Year

At a ceremony held recently at the University of Maine Museum of Art Cathy Grisby was honored for her years of dedication and received the Elementary Art Educator of the Year award presented by the Maine Art Education Association. Cathy was nominated by colleague Ann Diskin and included the following in Cathy’s nomination:

Cathy being introduced by her colleague Ann Diskin

Cathy being introduced by her colleague Ann Diskin

“…Cathy has been teaching elementary art for 28 years in SAD #61 in the towns of Bridgton and Sebago. She believes that every child is creative and every student can be successful in art. Parent volunteer, Jenni Silverblade says this of Cathy, “She knows how to teach so that each student’s unique ability comes out to the fullest. She has a discerning eye as to what a child can do to turn a piece of art around if it starts falling apart or if the student becomes discouraged.”

Mrs. Grigsby always puts in the extra effort whether it is helping to develop district-wide arts assessments, teaching gifted classes after school, making sets for the plays, exhibiting student work in the community, creating permanent art installations of student work, and just being a positive presence in the school. She has also been a tireless advocate for the arts in her community in her work with helping to found the Bridgton Arts Guild and Gallery 302. In addition, Cathy’s influence reaches other art teachers on a national level through the more than 10 published articles she has written for “Arts and Activities” and “School Arts” magazine over the years.”

Perhaps the most important measure of Cathy’s success is her student’s declarations of art being their favorite subject and their pride at seeing their work on display.“

Screen shot 2013-04-12 at 1.39.50 PM

When Cathy’s school learned that she was being recognized for the award she showed up one morning to a room full of balloons and congratulatory cards from her students. Not to many days later the staff celebrated her recognition at a staff meeting! Yay for Cathy!


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