Archive for the ‘Visual Arts’ Category

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Introducing Jenn DePrizio

May 25, 2015

Director of Learning and Interpretation – Portland Museum of Art

jdeprizioheadshot1Recently, I had the opportunity to have a wonderful conversation with Jenn DePrizio, the Director of Learning and Interpretation at the Portland Museum of Art. This blog post provides you the chance to learn about Jenn and some of the work she is doing at the museum.

Please tell the Maine Arts Education blog readers about your background.

As an undergraduate studying art history, I didn’t even know museum education was a career option. I knew that I loved that learning about art of the past. I started in the classics department, but after a debacle in Greek class, I became an art history major. Art could convey ideas, beliefs, and political propaganda. Works of art can be both windows, offering a view beyond one’s self, and mirrors, providing a reflection of one’s self. Through my study of art history, I learned about not only the past, times and places different than my own, but also about myself and how I fit into the world. I thought, “This is so cool. How can I share this with others?” And then I learned from an intern supervisor, who is now my best friend, that I could make a career out of that desire! So off I went to George Washington University and got a Masters of Arts in Teaching in Museum Education. Before coming to the PMA, I worked at the Vermont Historical Society, Worcester Art Museum, J. Paul Getty Museum, and most recently Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. At each of these museums my main focus was on gallery teaching and creating engaging gallery experiences for visitors of all ages. I look forward to finding ways to continue this work in Portland, making the PMA a place of discovery, innovation and excitement in terms of gallery learning.

Why did you want to leave Massachusetts and move to Maine?

I have always loved Maine as a visitor and in particular Portland. For me, quality of life is an important factor in making decisions about my professional life. My husband and I were looking for a place to raise our young daughter. We wanted to live in a place that combined all the benefits of a city (including good restaurants and bars—for a number of years before having my daughter I wrote a cocktail blog), with a relaxed atmosphere and connection to nature. This past weekend as we enjoyed our lobster rolls and haddock sandwiches out at the Five Island Lobster Co., we were reassured that we made the right choice in moving to Maine.

Describe your responsibilities as the Director of Learning and Interpretation at the Portland Museum of Art.

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 5.43.31 PMAs the Director of Learning and Interpretation at the PMA, I am responsible for developing enriching and engaging opportunities for visitors of all ages to engage with authentic works of art. A big part of that work since I have come on board at the PMA has been exploring who the museum’s audiences are currently and thinking deeply about who are the audiences that we are not reaching. Hanging over my desk, I have written a quote by David Carr that reads, “Museums aren’t for everyone. But they should be for anyone.” How can we make the museum accessible to anyone who may be inclined to want to explore art and creativity with us?

One of the greatest challenges for museum’s today is meeting the changing needs and expectation of today’s audience, while remaining true to one’s intellectual integrity and institution’s mission. Many museum-goers are savvy cultural consumers who expect to benefit from the museum’s expertise. They also want to be actively engaged and to be given the freedom to chose and organize their own experience. There are also a great number of Americans who do not approach museums with the same comfort level and sense that museums as vital places of learning and engagement. For many, museums are intimidating and a visit can be daunting, overwhelming and frustrating if they are not provided with basic orientation and safe entry points to begin to look closely and make meaning of the works of art. It is my responsibility to work collaboratively with my colleagues across the museum to ensure that the needs of both these types of visitors are considered and planned for.

What are the goals of art education programs at the Portland Museum of Art?

I am fortunate to have a dedicated and thoughtful team at the PMA to work with on a daily basis. Together we strive to encourage curiosity and wonder for visitors to the PMA. By offering audiences of all ages opportunities to connect with authentic works of art through programs that offer open-ended experiences, intellectual rigor and exploration of the creative process, we hope that we can impact the lives of PMA audiences. A successful art education program may look a little different depending on the audience and the activity. But if I were to imagine an ideal scene in the galleries that signaled success, here is what I would see and hear: Visitors would be looking closely at works of art. There would be times of quiet contemplation and moments of boisterous conversation. Visitors would share observations, possible interpretations, while the docent or staff would find ways to build on those ideas. Perhaps most important of all, visitors would wonder aloud, they would ask questions, they would speculate. Through that curiosity their connection to the work of art and the world around them would expand.

I believe that art museums can change people’s lives. As museum educators, my team and I have a chance to contribute to the vitality of our community by connecting art of the past and the work of living artists with contemporary issues relevant to our visitors. In working with varied audiences—school children and teachers, teens, families, adults, docents, museum members, tourists—we then craft programs that meet the individual needs of each.

Since many of your readers are classroom teachers, I can talk a bit more about our goals related to K-12 students and teachers. Currently, we serve about 7,000 students through our school tour program, but we could be serving many more. I hope that teachers know that visits to the PMA are free for them and their students.

Moving forward we will be building programs that promote the primacy of the in-gallery experience. What is unique about the experience that students can have at the PMA? By looking at and talking about works of art, students can develop their looking and critical thinking skills. Having seen the positive impact firsthand, I am huge proponent of Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) and am exploring ways we strengthen our programs using this teaching approach. Because VTS is grounded in research and developmental theory, it is rare as a pedagogy in that it begins with the learner and the questions they have, not the information that we, as adults, think is relevant to the students. The students guide the discussion to what they are wondering about, and the teacher is there to help them get to where they want to go. And the listening skills, the empathy and respect for others that VTS teaches connects back to the idea I was talking about earlier—the work of the L&I department at the PMA can impact the lives of our visitors in profound ways.

If you were given $500,000 to do whatever you please, what would it be?

While there are so many ideas I have, the first thing I would do with such a trove of money would be to make the museum free to all visitors. For many the financial barrier is a serious one, and to truly impact our community we need to eliminate as many barriers as we can. Art should be accessible to everyone. In the words of William Morris, “I do not want art for a few, any more than education for a few, or freedom for a few.”

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MYEA

May 14, 2015

Mark your Calendars and Start Saving Student Art Work!

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 3.52.41 PMThe Maine Arts Commission, in partnership with the First Lady of Maine Ann LePage, will be issuing a call for student art for inclusion in the 2016 Annual Maine Youth Excellence in Art exhibition at the State Capitol Complex in Augusta.

The request to participate will start on September 8th 2015, with the cutoff date of October 16th 2015. Art teachers from public, private and parochial schools in Maine will be invited to submit one piece of two-dimensional artwork that represents artistic excellence from a K-12 student.

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Congrats Student Artists!

May 2, 2015

Congressional Art Awards

The Congressional Art Competition began in 1982 to provide an opportunity for Members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of their young constituents. Since then, over 700,000 high school students have competed for the honor of having their work shown in the U.S. Capitol.

The competition is open to all high school students. The overall winner of each participating district will have the opportunity to have their work displayed in the Cannon Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol for the entire year, beginning in June. In addition, winners will be flown to Washington, D.C. for the official opening of the show in June.

Congratulations to the following students who are being honored this year, 2015

  DISTRICT ONE

   DISTRICT TWO

   WINNER
    WINNER
 
   Self Portrait  acrylic     The Widow  white charcoal
   Djordje Jevtic
   Grade 12, Scarborough High School
   Art Teacher: Erin Landry-Fowler 
    Liam Reading

    Grade 12, Bangor High School
    Art Teacher: Kal Elmore
   FIRST RUNNER UP     FIRST RUNNER UP
 
   Self Portrait  graphite     Airport  ink pen
   Anna Kinee
   Grade 12, Brunswick High School

   Art Teacher: Allison Price

    Youjin Choi
    Grade 11, Foxcroft Academy

    Art Teacher: Jane Blay

    SECOND RUNNER UP     SECOND RUNNER UP
   
    After the Music is Over  charcoal     Mirror’s Reflection  charcoal
    Olivia Potter

    Grade 10, Morse High School

    Art Teacher: Heather Monsen

    Maxwell Clarrage
    Grade 11, Lewiston High School

    Art Teacher: Nathaniel Meyer

    HONORABLE MENTION     HONORABLE MENTION
   
    Living in a Bottle  photography     Inside the Yellow Room  gouache
    Kailey Coleman

    Grade 12, Noble High School

    Art Teacher: Ginny Vakalis

    Jingfei Zhou

    Grade 12, Gould Academy

    Art Teacher: Lauren Head

    HONORABLE MENTION     HONORABLE MENTION
   
    Lips  acrylic     Pores  photography
    Haleigh McKechnie

    Grade 12, Thornton Academy

    Art Teacher: Jennifer Merry

    Riley Hemmings

    Grade 11, Hebron Academy

    Art Teacher: Jeanine Eschenbach

    HONORABLE MENTION     HONORABLE MENTION
   
    The Bermuda Triangle  digital      Menenius  digital 
    Lily Munro

    Grade 10, Brunswick High School

    Art Teacher: Colleen Kearney-Graffam

    Meghan McDunnah

    Grade 12, Mount Desert Island High School

    Art Teacher: Charlie Johnson

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree and Congressman Bruce Poliquin  are delighted to announce the winners of the 2015 Congressional Arts Awards in Maine’s Congressional districts.

Pingree congratulates Djordje Jevtic, an exchange student from Belgrade, Serbia, who is attending Scarborough High School, for his winning artwork, “Self Portrait,” a distinctive work in acrylic.

“I’m always amazed by the quality of work that Maine students submit to this competition,” said Pingree. “I’m excited that Djordje’s work will represent our state at the Capitol—it shows a lot of talent. Winning the competition should be a great memory of Maine for him to bring back home,” “My thanks and congratulations go to all the students who participated this year, the art teachers who inspire them, and the Maine Arts Commission for coordinating this wonderful event. ”

Poliquin acknowledged Liam Reading, a senior at Bangor High School, as this year’s winner for Maine’s Second District for his white charcoal piece, “The Widow.”

“I continue to be amazed by the extraordinary talent and work of our Maine high school students,” said Poliquin. “Congratulations to Liam, and everyone who entered the competition, for sharing their artistic gifts.”

For information about the Congressional Art Competition please contact Julie Horn at the Maine Arts Commission, at 207-287-2790 or julie.horn@maine.gov

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Art Portfolios as A.P. Test

April 25, 2015

Studio art growing

Studio art is one of the fastest growing of the Advanced Placement disciplines. But how do you score a piece of art? The reviews are in.

Below is the beginning section of an article written by Daniel Grant for the New York Times, October 2014.

Here is an unhappy thought: “Monet wouldn’t have done well in A.P. studio art. I’m sure of that.” The reason, continued Lauren Sleat, who teaches the course at Westminster Schools in Atlanta, is that there isn’t much breadth to his work. That is, he did the same thing again and again.

But he would have done well in terms of concentration, what the College Board describes as “the thoughtful investigation of a specific visual idea … through a number of conceptually related works.”

If you want to learn more you can read the entire article by clicking here.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/02/education/edlife/art-portfolio-as-ap-test.html?emc=eta1&_r=0

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Maine Youth Excellence in Art

April 24, 2015

Congratulations students and teachers

IMG_2286Students whose art work is part of the Maine Youth Excellence in Art exhibit, sponsored by the Maine Art Commission, were recognized today at a ceremony with First Lady Ann LePage. Julie Horn from the Maine Arts Commission opened the program by gathering students for a photograph on the steps in the Hall of Flags of the State House. Julie Richard, Maine Arts Commission Executive Director and Charles Stanhope, Chair of the Commission joined the First Lady in congratulating the students, parents, and art teachers.

IMG_2300Students and their teachers are listed below. The exhibit is throughout the State House complex and will remain until May 15. Please stop by and enjoy the outstanding exhibit.

  • Samantha Arenault, Chewonki Semester School, Art teacher Sue West
  • Ruth Brosey, Wayne Elementary School, Art teacher Betsy Allen-McPhedran
  • Emerson Brown, David J. Lyons Washburn District Elementary, Art teacher Beth Ann Walker
  • Emily Butler, David J. Lyons Washburn District Elementary, Art teacher Beth Ann Walker
  • Hayden Camfferman, Mt. Blue Middle School, Art teacher Danielle Guerrette
  • Adam Christianson, Swans Island School, Art teacher Chandra Cousins-Raymond
  • Eli Clein, Bangor High School, Art teacher Kal Elmore
  • Caitlyn Duffy, Gorham High School, Art teacher Sarah Dolley
  • Sophia Esch, Kennebunkport Consolidated School, Art teacher Audrey Grumbling
  • Kate Friberg, Cape Elizabeth Middle School, Art teacher Marguerite Lawler-Rohner
  • Whitney Frost, Poland Regional High School, Art teacher Tom Chaisson
  • Emily Johnson, Madison Junior High School, Art teacher Lee Harper
  • Olivia Joyce, Swans Island School, Art Teacher Chandra Cousins-Raymond
  • Ashely Kilgore, Lake Region High School, Art teacher Carmel Collins
  • D’Andre Marable, Windsor Elementary School, Art teacher Genevieve Keller
  • Deanna Marston, Mountain Valley High School, Art teacher Steven McGinty
  • Samantha McGreevy, Granite Street Elementary School, Art teacher Deborah Grabber
  • Gavyn Moreshead, SeDoMoCha Middle School, Art teacher Bobbi Tardif
  • Christian Munn, Bucksport High School, Art teacher Holly Bertrand
  • Rowan Osmer, Fruit Street Elementary School, Art teacher Wendy Libby
  • Tiana Poirier, Waterville Senior High School, Art teacher Suzanne Goulet
  • Isaiah Sawyer, Trenton Elementary School, Art teacher Connie Barnes
  • Samantha White, David J. Lyons Washburn District Elementary, Art teacher Beth Ann Walker
  • Ellea Wilson, Monmouth Middle School, Art teacher Mary Pennington
  • Claire Wyman, Appleton Village School, Art teacher Anthony Lufkin

IMG_2293

IMG_2304There were several legislators in attendance including Senator Brian Langley (in the bottom photo) who represents Senate District 7 and serves as Chair of the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee.

A GREAT BIG THANK YOU to Julie Horn who is responsible for the MYEA program and the other MAC staff who take care of the many details!

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Technology Resources

April 22, 2015

NAEA webinar

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 4.47.20 PMI attended an online professional development recently that was presented by the National Art Education Association. It really exemplifies the power of learning in the online environment. The webinar was titled Where the Wild Things Are and facilitated by two art educators who are well versed in multiple tools to assist in teaching. Chris Guenter who you can follow on Twitter @cguenter and Theresa McGeen who you can follow on Twitter @theresamcgee.

The most amazing part was the website that they put together to house all of the tools they shared plus a ton of other resources located at http://cguenter.weebly.com/free-online-art-tools.html. And, all of the tools are FREE. Don’t miss checking it out!

The Powerpoint presentation and recorded webinar will be posted to the National Art Education Association website at: http://www.arteducators.org/.

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Essence of the North

April 18, 2015

Northern pARTners art Exhibit

IMG_2792The art teachers from Aroostook county held their annual art exhibit at the Aroostook mall with hundreds of community members attending the opening.

Aroostook county art teachers

Aroostook county art teachers

The mall graciously shares an empty store front each year and the space was packed.  Friends and families of the students were absorbed in gazing at the awesome art works created by students in grades PreK-12.

artworkPaintings, prints, drawings, and shadow box sculptures were some of the various media on display. Art teacher Beth Walker typed up a scavenger hunt that required the students to study the exhibits from each school looking for at least two detailed images in each district’s exhibit.

artwork2Aroostook County art teachers from Hodgedon, Mars Hill, Caribou/Limestone, Presque Isle/Mapleton, Connor, Washburn, Fortfairfield, St. Agatha, Ashland, and Van Buren collaborate to set up and take down the exhibit.

artwork1The Aroostook Centre Mall was very accommodating and excited about showcasing the county’s student art work.  Much thanks goes to the mall and mall manager, Patti Crooks for allowing us do this annual exhibit during Youth Art Month.

 

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