Archive for the ‘Visual Arts’ Category

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Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts

July 30, 2016

Art teachers soaking it in

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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!

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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
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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/

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Teaching Artist Opportunity

July 6, 2016

MALI Summer Institute

Calling Teaching Artists – You’re Invited!

Summer professional development

Wednesday, August 10, 8:00 to 4:00

USM, Portland

Cost: $20 to reserve your spot and cover lunch

Teaching Artist Tim Christensen works with a student at Camden-Rockport Middle School

Teaching Artist Tim Christensen works with a student at Camden-Rockport Middle School

The Maine Arts Commission invites you to an all day professional development workshop that will include structured networking with more than 50 PK-12 Visual and Performing Arts teachers from throughout Maine!

This year’s Teaching Artist professional development day is designed to focus in depth on the role of the teaching artist in the K-12 classroom, and the relationship between the K-12 arts educator and the teaching artist.

The day includes workshops designed specifically for Teaching Artists focusing on topics including: how to get funding, best practices for Teaching Artists, standards, assessment, advocacy, and more.

The goal? More high quality K-12 Artist in Residence programs in the state of Maine!

What will you get when you attend the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Summer Institute?

  • Opportunities to connect with and engage collaboratively with PK-12 visual and performing arts teachers from Maine schools
  • An exciting, teacher – driven environment for teaching artists who are interested in professional development with peers
  • Sessions that are planned to fit your needs as a teaching artist
  • Morning coffee/tea, a yummy lunch and afternoon snacks

To register please CLICK HERE.

Presented by Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) of the Maine Arts Commission. To learn more about the MALI please go to http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/MAAI#.

If you have any questions please contact Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education, Maine Arts Commission, argy.nestor@maine.gov or John Morris at JohnMorris08@gmail.com.

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MALI Summer Conference – Success!

June 29, 2016

Opportunity!

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Yesterday at Wishcamper, USM in Portland, 68 arts educators convened for the Maine Arts Commission Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Summer Conference. The day was filled with listening, speaking, demonstrating, networking, and learning, learning, learning. The feedback provided by participants shows an appreciation for the opportunity and all 14 workshops scored very high!

IMG_2291One educator said: “It is so nice to be able to talk with other arts educators about their views”. Yes, these were all arts educators conversing with other arts educators – the same tribe, our peeps, educators who share a basic understanding about what we contribute in the world. Another participate was grateful to know that “Others are going through the same frustrations as I am”. 

The Maine Arts Assessment website is filled with a variety of resources. One person said: “The MALI website is FULL of resources to help me with all I do in my music classroom and also with communication with colleagues and administrators”.

In the Creativity workshop participants learned about one of the resources in the MALI Resource Bank. It is a good one to use with your colleagues (arts and non-arts). One participant in the session’s feedback was: “Great conversations about creativity. This is something I normally don’t get to do.”

IMG_2293One of my favorite feedback comments of the day is not about assessment or standards or arts skills but about a broader critical piece of what we do: “I learned about helping children to become fearless about making a mistake – mistakes are okay.”

WHO ATTENDED?

  • PK-12 Arts educators
  • Higher ed instructors
  • Maine and NH arts educators
  • Dance, Music, and Visual Arts educators
  • Teaching Artists
  • Science, Media Arts, and Technology teachers
  • Pre-service teachers, new to teaching teachers, and  veteran teachers

WHAT ELSE DID THEY LEARN?

  • Students can create an ensemble at all levels that are student led.
  • Allowing students to take ownership in their concerts.
  • Starting students transposing is not impossible.
  • That engaging students in ownership of curriculum and content design can help teach competencies and keep them engaged in other curriculum goals.
  • More evidence for choice and student advocacy – yahoo!
  • Practical applications of the Studio Habits…tying them to the Guiding Principles.
  • Crating crosswalks between MLR, NCAS and HOM is a great advocacy tool.
  • To focus on speaking about the arts using academic language

IMG_2290WHAT QUESTIONS DID PARTICIPANTS HAVE AT THE END OF EACH WORKSHOP?

  • Why does it seem like great initiatives already being used by art educators are consistently overlooked by admin even when the information is shared by teachers?
  • How does this work when students use these techniques on their own artwork?
  • How do I ensure that every student has access to technology and able to access the assignments this way?
  • Can we eliminate grade levels in proficiency based education?
  • Why can’t administrators answer questions about applying competency grading to ensembles?
  • How can using Google Classroom be used in advocacy for the arts efforts?
  • What more creative ways are there to meet with classes?- I have 750+ students in my 3rd-5th school with block scheduling for math and reading – very little flexible time.

GREAT BIG THANKS TO THE WORKSHOP PRESENTERS – MALI TEACHER LEADERS, LEADERSHIP TEAM MEMBERS plus 1!

  • IMG_2284Theresa Cerceo
  • Jake Sturtevant
  • Jan Gill
  • Danette Kerrigan
  • Sue Beaulier
  • Jen Etter
  • Rob Westerberg
  • Iva Damon
  • Elise Bothel
  • Patti Gordan
  • Holly Leighton
  • Nancy Kinkade
  • Mandi Mitchell
  • Samantha Armstrong
  • John Morris

HEARTFELT APPRECIATION TO THE MALI LEADERSHIP TEAM FOR HELP IN PLANNING

  • Catherine Ring
  • Rob Westerberg
  • Kate Smith
  • Theresa Cerceo
  • John Morris
  • Barb Vinal
  • Pamela Kinsey
  • Beth Lambert
  • Jeff Beaudry

IMG_2287If you couldn’t join us yesterday some of the workshop leaders provided their resources and they are posted online on the Maine Arts Assessment site. You can access them by CLICKING HERE.

MALI has another opportunity for Teaching Artists coming up in August – watch for the blog post that will provide details and registration information. During the 2016-17 school year there will be multiple professional development opportunities as well.

If you have any questions about MALI or any other Maine Arts Commission program please contact me at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

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Starry Night

June 23, 2016

Turkish technique

Garip Ay, an artist from Turkey uses an old technique known as decorative paper art and described as ‘painting on water’. It looks very much like what I know to be called ‘marble paper’. Garip recreates Vang Gogh’s Starry Night in the video below. I suggest that you watch the video and if interested go to this LINK to find all kinds of  information on marble paper. I used to make marble paper with my middle school students and use the paper for book covers. It’s magical!

 

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Top Notch Teacher

June 22, 2016

Jimi Herd

This NPR website highlights the work of outstanding teachers. This link is about Jimi Herd who teaches art at Swift Creek Elementary in Midlothian, VA. The story is told in an illustration with little text. To view the story please CLICK HERE.

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In Today’s News

June 13, 2016

More than 40 years teaching

Art teacher Mary Dyer is retiring from Winthrop High School. Read about her in the Kennebec Journal.

http://www.centralmaine.com/2016/05/27/two-teachers-retiring-after-long-careers-at-winthrop-high-school/

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