Archive for the ‘Visual Arts’ Category

h1

Festival of World Cultures

October 19, 2018

Street painting

Measuring, calculating, figuring, drawing, watching the weather, problem solving, thinking and creating! This is a great example of how “art” encompasses so much more than “art”. Not to mention it speaks to human emotion! Check out the street painting by Edgar Muller who created “The Crevasse” on a huge concrete pier at the Festival of World Culture in 2008.  Share with your students! The Crevasse – 3D Art. When I was teaching my students created “street art” after watching a video of street artists in Italy. They were amazed and inspired and I was also – every time I watched the video.

h1

New Experiences – Raegan’s Story

October 15, 2018

“Winging It” by Raegan Russell

Raegan Russell is a visual art educator at Berwick Academy who was on sabbatical last year. I hope her story inspires you (and perhaps your students) to think about challenging yourself in a new and different way. This is her story…  

This post was written by Raegan Russell for the Berwick Today Magazine, Summer 2018 issue

“View from my window this morning. I’m off to my service site and have butterflies in my stomach. In addition to teaching the young women some printmaking, I’ll be learning their crafts, taking care of babies, pigs, and frogs, gardening, repairing buildings, and whatever else they ask…”

So began the first days of my sabbatical, for which I traveled in Southeast Asia for service, exploration, and art-making. Early on, I joked to my students and colleagues that I was taking a gap year, a semester abroad, or some version of the Eat, Pray, Love journey. For two months, I lived out of a backpack, stayed in hostels or homestays, and sought out local restaurants, cheap digs, and real communities. I traveled to Thailand, where I worked with women and children in crisis outside of Chiang Mai, then on to the temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, and later explored the bustling cities and stunning beauty of both the landscape and the people of Vietnam. The trip was an adventure for me, and even though I consider myself a well-seasoned traveler, I knew that it would throw me out of my comfort zone and challenge me.

“Highlights from this weekend’s trek to Ba Panden village in the hills north of Chiang Mai. Eva and I hiked 9km up to the village of the Lahu people. I swam in a cool waterfall, rode a raft down river, hiked through bamboo forests and rubber trees, and was kept up all night by a pack of crowing roosters…”

Throughout my trip, I had my sketchbook by my side. I drew the ancient Bodhi trees in Chiang Mai, the temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, and the motorbikes of Hanoi. As I was drawing Ta Prohm, a beautiful temple nearly overtaken by lush trees and moss, a tourist questioned me about why I didn’t just take a picture of it. I answered truthfully that “this is how I notice and experience things. I will remember the heat, the smells, the beauty, and even the discomfort of sitting here on this hard rock when I look back at this drawing.” The sketchbook drawings from my trip became the springboard for the work that I have taken on since I have been home and in my studio in South Berwick. As an educator who has always balanced teaching with studio practice, this sabbatical has given me the rare gift of time to develop new work. The subject matter of my new paintings has pulled closer to home, and the vibe of the work is exploratory and a truthful expression of how I experience the world.

“Yesterday, I made my way to Wat U Mong, where I found the oldest (?) Bodhi tree in Chiang Mai. It took some getting to, but I was able to paint for several hours directly from the tree. This was an experience I will not forget.”

Nearly two days after I took off from JFK on a cold evening in January that made me rethink my choice to travel light (with only a light down jacket that could roll up into the size of a softball), I landed in Thailand. I had specifically sought out a service opportunity that focused on women’s empowerment, and found the perfect project in the northern hills near Chiang Mai.

After a three-day orientation on Thai language and culture, I began my service project at the Wildflower Home, a shelter for single women and their children directed by two intrepid and compassionate women, sisters Anurak and Siripon. My mornings were spent minding the children in the daycare and teaching the mothers printmaking and artists’ books in the afternoons. The artists’ books were a hit, as many of the mothers transformed them into baby books and journals, quickly discovering that they could sell them with the many other handcrafts and goods they make.

All of this work was accomplished without a shared language between us; I learned a little Thai and they learned a little English. We became friends and laughed together while working. They welcomed me into their lives in ways that I never expected. Dao, a mother who headed the kitchen duties, taught me how to make Khao Soi, the region’s sublime dish of coconut milk, chili, and curry noodles over the wood fire stove in the home’s kitchen. The older children knew me as the art-auntie and would join in on our printmaking projects. As I left work every day, Fa, a young mother who has a beautiful daughter SaiSai, would shout to me: “Good-bye! See you tomorrow!” as I rode from the home on the back of Dao’s motorbike to catch the bus back to Chiang Mai.

“Sketchbook Sunday: a collection of sketchbook pages from over the last few months. My sketchbook has been a place for reflection, taking time to understand the world around me, and for gathering resources for work ahead. My sketchbook has always been by my side. It’s feeling kind of precious these days.”

I am lucky to have been able to maintain an art practice beside my work as a teacher. It has taken effort on my part, but it has been made possible with Berwick’s support and professional development opportunities; 20 years of conferences, workshops, and studio sessions have not only recharged me, they have broadened my perspective and provided me with a rich community of artists and art educators as friends and supporters.

My sabbatical has given me the opportunity to push pause in an extended fashion and appreciate the things that are important. I am grateful for this gift, and the adventure is far from over. I am excited to be planning a trip to Thailand over March Break 2019, where I will take students to engage in service projects like mine in Chiang Mai.

Closer to home, I was awarded a fellowship to paint on Monhegan Island in July. I dusted off the red backpack and packed up my paints to head to another place I had never been, where I let new experiences wash over me like the waves that wash over the dark grey rocks at the water’s edge.

Watch for a future blog post describing Raegan’s fellowship opportunity on Monhegan Island. 

www.raeganrussell.com/

page3image256
page4image256
h1

Ceramic Educators Workshop

October 13, 2018

November 30

Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts is hosting a workshop for Maine K-12 ceramic art educators on November 30th from 9 am to 3 pm at Hallowell Clay Works. This workshop offers a great opportunity to fine tune your wheel throwing and glazing skills. Follow THIS LINK for the details on the workshop and sign up.

There is room for 16 participants so the recommendation is to register early, as these workshops tend to fill fast! While the workshop focuses on the fundamentals, it will not be appropriate for novices. Experience working on the wheel is required. Questions? Contact Claire Brassil at cbrassil@watershedceramics.org. Claire is the Outreach and Communications Director for Watershed.
h1

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

October 10, 2018

Looking for student artwork

We are happy to announce the opening of the 2019 Maine Region Scholastic Art Award Competition and the 2019 Congressional Art Competition! Students are invited to submit artwork to participate in these juried competitions.

Since 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have recognized the vision, ingenuity, and talent of our nation’s youth, and provided opportunities for creative teens to be celebrated. Each year, increasing numbers of teens participate in the program, and become a part of our community—young artists and writers, filmmakers and photographers, poets and sculptors, video game artists and science fiction writers—along with countless educators who support and encourage the creative process.

The Congressional Art Competition takes place each spring, when the Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide high school visual art competition to recognize and encourage artistic talent in the nation and in each congressional district. Since this competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated.

The Maine Arts Commission has collaborated with the Maine College of Art for several years on these programs. MECA is pleased to be hosting both Scholastics and the Congressional Art Awards this year. For complete details on student eligibility, competition categories, jury criteria, important dates and deadlines, and more, please visit meca.edu/maine-region-art-awards/or artandwriting.org

h1

Janie’s School on Dot Day

October 8, 2018

What did you do?

Janie Snider is an elementary visual art educator at Hancock Grammar School where she teaches students in grades 6-8.

I’m guessing that some or many of you and your students celebrated Dot Day in some way. Janie celebrated in a big way that impacted the entire school community. Student learning connected to analogous colors and also to kindness and being positive. Every student and staff member painted a dot, about 270 of them. Afterwards they were displayed in the school’s lobby for all to see and appreciate.

Janie is a Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leader and this is her 25th year teaching. Janie has one of nine videos on standards-based education. This school-wide project is a great example of how Janie leads in her school. She said: “The Dot is such a great book and the dot is such a building block to so many great art works!” Peter H. Reynolds is an actor and illustrator and has done a great job connecting his book to a variety of curriculum and resources. Check them out at The Dot site.

If you did something at your school for “Dot Day” please send me an email so your idea can be shared with others on this blog. Thanks!

h1

Retired Art Teachers

October 3, 2018

What are they up to?

Thanks to retired visual art teacher Diane Noble for providing the following information. In her own words…

The MAEA Retired ART Teachers, along with some family and friends, enjoyed a morning at the Bernard Langlais Sculpture Preserve in Cushing on Friday, September 21. We were greeted by Annette Naegel, Director of Conservation for the Georges River Land Trust, that is in charge of the property and Cynthia, the Education coordinator, and Doug, Conservationist of the sculptures.

Seventeen of us heard from each about how the Langlais sculptures came to be renovated with the aid of the Colby College and the Kohler Foundation, then turned over to the Georges River Land Trust as stewards of the works and property of 160 acres.

We toured his studio, workshop, the barn, the education area and the house.

It’s an amazing place, visited by many school groups. If any Art teachers are interested in visiting the preserve with students please contact Annette Naegel, annette@grlt.org, Georges River Land Trust, Director of Conservation, 207-594-5166.

Ticket to Ride provides funds to travel to places like the Bernard Langlais Sculpture Preserve in Cushing. Please learn more about the Ticket to Ride program on the Maine Arts Commission website. 

h1

MICA – Day 2

September 29, 2018

A day filled with GREATNESS

Kaitlin Young in the Idea Lab

The Maine International Conference on the Arts (MICA) wrapped up yesterday with a very full and high spirited, exciting day. The day started with a lively performance by the Maine Taiko Drummers. The Maine Artists Idea Lab stories followed in Hannaford Hall reaching across the many “arts” lines and inspiring folks bringing many to tears.

One of the Idea Lab presenters was Sedomocha School Music Educator Kaitlin Young (Maine 2018 Teacher of the Year) who shared her “teacher” story and reminded me of the importance of “life-long learning”! All of us who call ourselves “educators” can be proud that Kaitlin represents Maine educators who are continuously striving to provide an excellent education for all learners!

The day was filled with breakout sessions on a variety of topics relating to the Maine Arts Commission (MAC) Cultural Plan – Leveraging Investment, Building Capacity, Visibility of Arts & Cultural Sector, Arts Education & Lifelong Learning, and Promoting Cultural Tourism.

Teaching, learning, and assessment panel

Just before lunch Arts EngageME presented their Inaugural Maine Arts Awards to the surprised recipients. Throughout the day there were pop-up performers including Sara Juli, Oratorio Chorale, Portland Piano Trio, Celebration Barn, Golden Oak, and MAMM students.

The PK-12 arts education sessions were informative, enlightening, and inspirational. Thank you to the following who contributed their expertise to the sessions designed especially for educators.

How do teaching, learning and assessment work together in a positive, productive standards-based Visual and Performing Arts classroom? 

Jeff Beaudry, Jen Etter, Kelly Hrenko, Michelle Kaschub, Holly Leighton, and John Morris!

Teaching artists and PK-12 arts teachers session

When Teaching Artists and Arts Teachers Connect, Students Win

Kate Smith, Brian Evans-Jones, Kris Bisson, Tim Christensen, Lori Spruce, John Morris, Carmel Collins

Empowering Your Voice for Arts Education 

Catherine Ring

MAC provides MICA biennially so if you missed it this year mark your calendar for the next one being held in 2020. It will be a great way to celebrate the Bicentennial of our state.

Catherine Ring presenting

Some of the MALI folks in attendance

%d bloggers like this: