Archive for July, 2016

h1

In Today’s News

July 31, 2016

Bates Dance Festival

Dance Review: Artistic and athletic, Kate Weare Company wears it well. CLICK HERE for the article from the Portland Press Herald.

h1

Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts

July 30, 2016

Art teachers soaking it in

IMG_3045

Teaching Artist Malley Weber

I had the privilege of visiting the Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts earlier this week and it was such a treat. A dozen art teachers creating individually and at the same time collaboratively – sharing their knowledge and soaking up the wisdom of each other. In my undergraduate program I had a ceramics focus so the smell of the clay environment, the feel of the clay in my hands, coupled with the buzz of teachers, enlightened all my senses. And right before my eyes was the center of Watershed’s philosophy, a belief that the unexpected sparks creativity and that new people, ideas and spaces nurture the evolution of artistic practice.

How fortunate for the art educators (mostly from Maine) to take the opportunity to nourish their minds and their souls. The teachers had their own studio space where they were continuing to develop their skills and ideas. It was great to see and speak to the teachers about their work. Visiting also was Beth Lambert, Maine Department of Education Visual and Performing Arts Specialist. Participating in the week were Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leaders Jeff Orth and Gloria Hewett. And this years recipient of the Monhegan Artists’ Residency and colleague of mine from MSAD #40, Krisanne Baker.

Jeff Orth, Beth Lambert, and Gloria Hewett

Jeff Orth, Beth Lambert, and Gloria Hewett

While visiting, Maine Arts Commission Teaching Artist member Malley Weber shared her present research project – creating ceramic water filters. Malley was intrigued by the idea and has been communicating with and learning from Potters for Peace.

Potters for Peace has provided information has helped in her research.  Since 1998, representatives of Potters for Peace have traveled the world assisting with the establishment of small factories or workshops that produce a low-cost ceramic water filter that can bring clean, potable water to those who need it most. They don’t actually make, store or distribute ceramic water filters or operate filter production facilities. They assist local partners to set up their own filter production and distribution facilities. Much of their work has been in Central America with woman potters.

Malley is experimenting with Watershed clay to find the right recipe to create the filters for the local water supply. The lesson is designed for students to:

  • understand the global issues around water and the importance of clean water for everyone,
  • to experiment with filtering bacteria from water by making their own ceramic water filters,
  • to create a well designed and functional receptacle and lid using elements of art and principles of design that will hold the filter, store and deliver water to a glass by either pouring spout or spigot, and
  • to observe and draw conclusions based on their experiment.

DSC_0447What an incredible idea that is all about the connections between art and science! Malley’s lesson was filled with the language of both disciplines.

One of the founders of Watershed is my dear friend George Mason. It has been a while since I visited the Newcastle facility that was established in 1986. Such a treat! You can read their story at http://www.watershedceramics.org/about/our-story/. Be sure and check out the opportunities they provide under the watchful eye and commitment of Executive Director Fran Rudoff. Classes are invited during parts of the year and there are community events that are always wonderful!

Thanks to Fran for inviting me to visit and to Malley for sharing her experience!

h1

In Today’s News

July 29, 2016

Portland students the big winners

An anonymous donor is giving $450,000 to provide three more years of arts funding to the Portland School District, bringing his total contributions to more than $1 million in seven years. Read more by CLICKING HERE.

Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 12.26.19 PM

h1

Outside Classroom

July 28, 2016

Kate Smith doing much more

Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 8.12.54 PMCentral School in South Berwick’s music educator is Kate Smith. She not only is totally committed to teaching music but she totally understands the value of getting students outdoors to learn, interact with, and being creative in the environment. CLICK HERE to learn about the outdoor classroom at Kate’s school.

Please email me about other kinds of work that you do at your school so we can learn about it!

Kate is the 2014 York county Maine Teacher of the Year and a member of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Leadership team.

h1

CSA II: Community Supporting Arts

July 27, 2016

Call for Artists and CSA Farmers

Deadline to submit applications: September 1, 2016 at 11pm.

Where: 160 Water Street, Hallowell, ME 04347

Contact: Allison McKeen, PR & Documentation, 207-622-2813, kvaa@harlowgallery.org
———————————————————————–

CSA 2012: Artist Kate Emily Barnes was paired with Grassland Organic Farm in Skowhegan

CSA 2012: Artist Kate Emily Barnes was paired with Grassland Organic Farm in Skowhegan

HALLOWELL, ME – In 2012 the Harlow Gallery, located at 160 Water Street in Hallowell, organized the first Community Supporting Arts (CSA) project to connect Maine’s artist and farming communities, two vibrant and idealistic groups that are key to our state’s unique sense of place. The CSA project was a huge success and the Harlow Gallery is thrilled to be bringing it back in 2017.

For more information about CSA 2012 visit http://harlowgallery.org/csa-community-supporting-arts-overview/

The Harlow Gallery is seeking 10 Maine artists to participate in CSA II  to be paired with 10 Maine farms. Each artist will seek inspiration in his or her counterpart’s life, work, landscape, ideals and challenges over the course of the 2017 growing season and create work based on their experiences and observations.  Partnering farmers will be those operating CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) farms. A CSA farm offers shares at the beginning of the growing season and then provides fresh, seasonal food on a regular basis to each shareholding household throughout the growing season. Community Supported Agriculture is a grassroots response to the growing social and environmental problems of our modern industrial food system.

To submit your application or learn more please visit: http://harlowgallery.org/call-for-artists-and-farmers-csa-2/

h1

Arts Education and Malawi

July 26, 2016

Learning in an African country

IMG_2515

11 of the 12 terrific teachers who participated

I just returned from an 18-day trip to Malawi. I traveled to Africa with the Go! Malawi program where I collaborated with Maine educator Lindsay Pinchbeck to work with 12 teachers from  Mpamilia, Pondani and, Katete Primary Schools incorporating arts education into their curriculum. Lindsay is the founder and director of Sweetland School in Hope – an arts integration school for learners, grades K-5. The founder of Go! Malawi, Janet Littlefield, is a former student of mine who went to Malawi in the 1980’s while in the Peace Corps. My experience was amazing and we learned much more than the teachers we were working with did. As many said to me before I left – this experience could change your life. Not only do I return a slightly difference person but with a new perspective on the day to day life that I live here in America.

IMG_2382

Making hand prints while exploring ‘hopes and dreams’ – day 1 with the teachers

In a series of blog posts I will do my best to tell the story of those we met – teachers, children, Go! Malawi staff, and about the environment. We were in a location that felt like the top of the world. I watched the sunrise  each morning from the front porch of the building we slept in called “the castle”. It was an amazing site and several times I could see the curvature of the globe.

Along with Lindsay there were three other volunteers and Janet’s husband Bill. One volunteer was a 15-year old Hebron Academy student from China named Jasmine. She is an incredible photographer and is documenting some stories and photos of the Ntchisi HIV committee members. Laurie, a therapist from western Maine found joy in reading to young children and hopes to help establish a library. Meredith, a history teacher from Hebron Academy connected with teenagers while doing a photography project with them. They all made an important difference!

IMG_2858

End of year ceremony at the Mpamilia Primary School

Between Lindsay and I we took over 3000 photos. I will include some in the blog posts since the images alone tell a story. The landscape (including the sky at all times of the day) and people are beautiful to capture – I hope you will be able to gather that from the images. It is winter in Malawi and we were there during the last two weeks of school.

The work that Lindsay and I started in the workshop with teachers will continue from a distance by sending packages every other month and in other ways. If you’d like to contribute arts supplies, books or other items please email me at argy.nestor@maine.gov. Their classrooms have virtually no supplies or materials so anything you can send would be appreciated. As you unwrap your new materials when back at school or studio please consider contributing older ones. Thank you!

If you are interested in traveling to Malawi to work with teachers, perhaps next summer, please email me. It is a wonderful opportunity!

IMG_2312

Amazing sunset!

h1

In Today’s News

July 25, 2016

MAC offers Teaching Artist opportunity

Read about it by CLICKING HERE.

%d bloggers like this: