Archive for the ‘Visual Arts’ Category

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Gotta Visit the Gardens

July 1, 2021

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

If you’ve never been to the botanical gardens in Boothbay I suggest that you add it to your list of places to visit. The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens has an exhibit of trolls. Now, these are not just any ordinary trolls but very large, interesting and each one has their own story. The exhibit is called ‘Guardians of the Seeds’ and the 5 trolls were created by Danish artist Thomas Dambo. Some of you know that I studied in Denmark while a junior year in college (100 years ago) so an exhibit by a Danish artist touches my heart. For me the magic of the little Scandinavian country is interwoven in the exhibit throughout the beautiful forest found along Back River.

I met music teacher Kate Smith and her family at the gardens on one of the hot and humid days last week. You might think there was a breeze since the gardens are located on the salt water but nope, not that day. We did our best to ignore the heat and to be honest it wasn’t hard since the trolls are so amazing.

The Botanical Garden makes education a priority and they do a really good job in all of their gardens so anyone can take the time and learn as they tour. The Guardian of the Seeds exhibit is no different. Walking through the woods is beautiful and at each troll there is ‘lesson’ that teaches why each part of the tree is important to the forest. Each troll’s clue helps visitors eventually find the ‘seeds’.

The Trolls

  • SOREN: Branches
  • LILYA: Flowers
  • GRO: Leaves
  • ROSKVA: Trunk
  • BIRK: Roots
ROSKVA and the Smith family and friends

It takes some time to walk from one troll to the next but well worth the adventure since each one is different and their personalities really come through. Plan about 3 to 4 hours for visits to all 5 plus the seeds.

Learn more about the trolls at THIS LINK. You can also use google to find video footage of them on youtube.

I can’t wait to go back and see this one in the winter with his beard filled with snow. The exhibit is scheduled to be there from 3 to 5 years. I do hope that you’ll have a chance to visit the trolls.

This would be a great topic to use to design stand alone and/or integrated curriculum lessons about. So many ideas popped into my head as I walked along the trails. If you can go, please do, you won’t regret it. This would be a great use of the Maine Arts Commission Ticket to Ride funding to help pay for your busses to transport students there.

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How We See Now

June 23, 2021

Brunswick High School Exhibit

How We See Now, New Dimensions of Photography is an exhibit of works by Brunswick High School photography students hosted by Brunswick Public Art and Merrymeeting Plaza. The work seeks to question how photography can be used to visualize new realities. Students worked with the Portland artist Justin Levesque, One Dynamic System, in a virtual visiting artist residency sponsored by a grant from the Maine Department of Education with support from the Maine Arts Commission. Deconstructed and reconstructed photographic images allowed students to question our perception of reality. Photographs become manipulated into new imagery utilizing digital tools such as Googles Poly and Photopea. Come drive by this window exhibit in Brunswick at 147 Bath Road next to Peppers Landing. The work will be on exhibit from June through August.

 

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APPLY now!

June 21, 2021

Deadline tomorrow for MAEPL

Curious about the Maine Arts Commission (MAC) program, Maine Arts Education Partners in Leadership (MAEPL)? Wonder why you should consider applying? Listen to arts educator and veteran MAEPL Teacher Leader Charlie Johnson at THIS LINK explain his reasons and the benefits that he’s experienced during his ten years of participation!

DEADLINE TO APPLY IS TOMORROW, JUNE 22, 2021! DON’T DELAY!

DETAILS – THIS LINK

APPLICATION – THIS LINK

DOWNLOAD THE BROCHURE that contains all the information you need!

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Great Opportunity

June 18, 2021

What are you doing July 27-28?

Interested in getting together with other Maine Arts Educators and Teaching Artists? Learn more about Maine Arts Education Partners in Leadership (MAEPL) and consider applying to attend the summer institute and become a Teacher Leader or Teaching Artist Leader for the 2021-22 school year.

At the Summer Institute new Teacher Leaders and Teaching Artist Leaders will learn foundational practices in instructional design and leadership skills. Participants will take part in a variety of workshops focused on emerging needs in Arts Education professional development.  

Collaboration, networking, and the sharing of resources are an expectation as a member of the MAEPL community.  During the Institute participants will develop an individualized growth plan that will be shared with others for feedback and suggestions.  

Throughout the school year, participants will continue to share how their individualized growth plan is developed and implemented, and they will have the opportunity to share at a Critical Friends Day, and with a thought partner.        

There is a Winter Retreat with participants to review and reflect on the work done, and allow for time to get feedback to plan for the next Summer Institute.  

Listen to Teacher Leader Kris Bisson talk about her experiences being involved with MAEPL

Teacher Leader/Teaching Artist Leader Annual Expectations: 

  • Attend Summer Institute 
  • Work with a thought partner 
  • Develop a individualized growth plan 
  • Share the outcomes of your individual growth plan within the MAEPL community and beyond (i.e. workshop, resource, video, article, etc.) 
  • Share feedback and information about MAEPL through teacher leader stories and as part of your outcomes of your personal growth plan 
  • Collaborate, network, and share resources 
  • Participate in Critical Friend Day 
  • Attend Winter Retreat

Teacher Leader/Teaching Artist Leader Opportunities: 

  • Membership in the vibrant MAEPL community
  • Access to online resources 
  • Learn/Experience creative activities together 
  • Collaboratively develop educational resources 
  • Establish and work toward an individualized growth plan
  • Take on leadership and facilitator roles in MAEPL, Arts Organizations, and school communities 
  • Connect and make long-lasting relationships with other arts educators  
  • Network across diverse arts disciplines 
  • Access cutting edge professional development for emerging needs of our students and leaders within the arts educational community and beyond
  • Learn from experienced leaders 
  • Gain recertification hours 
  • Partner with the Maine Arts Commission Arts Education Program 

JOIN US!  Become a Teacher Leader and Change Lives.  

APPLY TODAY — CLICK HERE  June 22, 2021 deadline for new and returning applicants

IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW: 

SUMMER INSTITUTE

Pilgrim Lodge is a camp run by the United Church of Christ of Maine on Lake Cobbosseecontee in West Gardiner, with cabins with electricity and plumbing, large indoor and outdoor meeting spaces, modern dining facilities, wifi in main buildings and good general cell reception, and recreation options, including swimming, human-powered boating, and trails.  

APPLICATION

Administrator Name/contact information

Paragraph of Interest — Selected individuals will be expected to be active leaders in helping to develop and support excellence in teaching and learning in Maine. A full commitment to the Institute timeline is expected as seen in the online information sheet.  Please attach a brief overview of your interest and current/past experience (if any) in Leadership. Include your experience collaborating with other arts educators and experiences relevant to the initiative.  (Please no more than ~ 500 words, about 1 page.) 

Resume/CV —  If you are a Teaching Artist, please also include websites or documentation of your teaching work.  

Letter of Reference – TEACHERS: This should be from your administrator.  TEACHING ARTISTS: This should be from a school or community  organization with whom you have worked.   Please attach a Letter of Recommendation in which the person includes comments and/or examples reflecting your leadership potential and your ability to work collaboratively.  Selected individuals will be responsible for sharing their newly developed expertise and related classroom experiences with other arts educators.

Questions? Contact Maine Arts Commission Director of Education, Martha Piscuskas at Martha.Piscuskas@maine.gov.

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Summer Learning

June 15, 2021

Opportunities, deep and deeper

I know that considering learning opportunities for the summer may be the last thing you wish to do after such a challenging year. Thankfully there are a variety of learning opportunities happening this summer that put your emotional needs at the top of the list. Perhaps one of the resources below will fit your needs. Don’t hesitate – dated information!

Maine Arts Education Partnership in Leadership – MAEPL is offering a summer institute, July 27 and 28, Pilgrim Lodge Retreat Center, Lake Cobbosseecontee, W. Gardiner. DEADLINE to apply: JUNE 15. Join MAEPL for Reflection & Renewal, Partnering, and Individualized Goal Setting. If you are selected you will be part of the 2021 cohort and the expectation is that you integrate your learnings in your classroom, your school community, and share with other educators in your region of Maine and beyond. Full participants will receive documentation of contact hours. There is no cost to participate in this yearlong teacher leadership program, including the 2-day Institute.

Maine Art Education Association – Summer retreat at Pilgrim Lodge, August 2-5, Lake Cobbosseecontee, W. Gardiner. Indoor and outdoor spaces to create art in a beautiful uninterrupted environment. The waterfront includes a large swimming area with kayaks, canoes, prams, and access to an island. Trails to get away from it all and a large woodland labyrinth to walk when you need to do some deep thinking. All meals and lodging, use of facility for $220. REGISTRATION OPENED YESTERDAY! You must be a member to attend.

New England Institute for Teacher Education – Earn 4.5 CEUs (the equivalent of 45 contact hours) for recertification. All courses are accepted by the Maine Department of Education.

Confronting Racism in America – starting JUNE 21

Starting JULY 5

Engaging Digital Learners

Google Suite 101 for Educators

Promoting Social & Emotional Learning 

Educating Gifted and Talented Learners

Encountering the Arts: Voice, Choice and Creativity

Engaging Literature for Children and Adolescents K-12

When Trauma Comes to School

Best Practices in Teaching Literacy

Teaching Children of Poverty: Why Culture Counts

Black Authors Matter

Teaching the Exceptional Child in the Regular Classroom

Introduction to Education for Paraprofessionals

Managing Classroom Behavior

The Art of Education University – Perhaps you’d like to work totally independently this summer. The Art of Ed offers a ton of resources for you to do just that. Here are some of the readings/podcasts that you can access. Perhaps make yourself a schedule and tackle one topic a week. They have many more on their website.

10 Art Teachers Reflect on a Year of Challenges and New Opportunities

Why We Need SEL Right Now

5 Effortless Adaptive Art Strategies That Won’t Compromise Your Curriculum

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Maine Art Ed Summer Retreat

June 14, 2021

Registration opens TODAY

MAEA Summer Retreat/Conference at Pilgrim Lodge

Creating on Cobbossee

August 2 – August 5

Cost: $220 (Includes room and board)
* NOTE – Your membership must be updated for the 2021-2022 membership year in order for your registration to be considered  complete. Click HERE to register as an MAEA member for 2021-2022. Membership runs from June 1st to May 31st annually.

​Registration opens TODAYJune 14th at 7 a.m. (Registration is limited to 100 people!​)

Registration link HERE will be active JUNE 14, TODAY, at 7 a.m.

Greetings fellow Art teachers! Do you feel like this year has dragged all the life out of you and you need to give yourself a break from the grind? Do we have an opportunity for you! Starting on Monday, August 2 – Thursday, August 5, you can join about 100 of your closest Art teaching friends on the shores of beautiful Lake Cobbosseecontee for glorious uninterrupted Art making!

 The site is Pilgrim Lodge, which has a boardwalk connecting 18 cabins, a dining hall, a main lodge, and several woodland trails. The cabins can house 6 people and also have screened porches. Each cabin has bunks, a bathroom and shower. 

The waterfront includes a large swimming area with kayaks, canoes, prams, and access to an island. You may also bring your own gear. 

There are many indoor spaces for setting up your art practice and lots of trails to get away from it all.
There’s even a large woodland labyrinth to walk when you need to do some deep thinking.

Pilgrim Lodge is 20 minutes from Augusta and one hour north of  Portland. We will not be offering workshops but hope that everyone will be comfortable making art on their own. Our desire is to make this a yearly event in addition to the Fall conference at Haystack. The cost is $220 which includes meals, lodging, gorgeous sunsets over the lake, and just a few mosquitoes. Check out www.pilgrimlodge.org for more information about the site. Pilgrim Lodge has a no alcohol, recreational drugs, or smoking policy and we intend to honor this during our stay there. Please plan accordingly. We hope that you will consider joining us in this exciting endeavor to create some great new memories, friendships, and ART. 

Sincerely, 
your friends and colleagues at the MAEA

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Congressional Art Awards

June 13, 2021

Congratulations go to Lewiston and Portland students

In an academic year that was largely defined by remote learning and minimal social gatherings, twelve high school art students welcomed some exciting news from Maine’s Congresswoman Chellie Pingree and Congressman Jared Golden. 

Representatives Pingree and Golden announced the winners of this year’s Congressional Art Competition: Baxter Academy senior Elwen Bernard of Maine’s First District, and Lewiston High School sophomore Whitney Perkins of Maine’s Second District.

Benard’s illustration Passport Photo, and Perkins’ photograph Curious, will be displayed in the Cannon Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol for the entire year, alongside winning artists from districts across the country. The winners are flown to Washington, D.C. in June for the official opening of the show.

“Every year, the sheer talent of Maine student artists blows me away, and this year’s Congressional Art Competition was no exception. Art offers a great outlet through tough times. I’m thrilled to see that students are still connected with their artistic processes after a year of unknowns and immense change,” said Congresswoman Pingree. “Elwen’s piece is poignant and stunning, and I’m sure that it will stand out when it’s on display at the Capitol. My thanks to all the students who participated this year—It is an honor to view your work.”

“I had high hopes for the submissions we’d receive for this year’s Congressional Art Competition, but the students really went above and beyond,” said Congressman Golden. “This contest is a great showcase of the insight and skill of Maine students, and it’s an annual reminder of how fortunate we are to have so many talented young artists in our state. Congratulations to all of our winners and thank you for making our district proud.”

The submitted artwork was judged by a panel of jurors selected by the Maine Arts Commission.  Jurors Juliet Karelsen and Breehan James judged the First District competition.

 The jurors noted in Benard’s Passport Photo, “we encounter a real person whose strength, warmth, honesty, vulnerability and soul come through the finely layered and textured colored pencil markings….It exudes an inner life and an unassuming presence. It speaks loudly in its quiet expressiveness and subtly.”

Jurors Carolyn Wallace-Zani and Teddi-Jann Covell judged the Second District competition.

In Perkins’ Curiosity, the jurors noted the variety and repetition of lines, shapes, tones, and values repeatedly directing the viewer through the nearly empty bus and back again to the young child while confirming her feelings of isolation, uncertainty, and curiosity. “This piece has a strong composition, is well presented and timely. Her backwards glance caught us looking into the now common life of all students around the world during this pandemic. Even though the mask hides a smile, it cannot mask the inquisitiveness of youngsters.”

The judges honored the works of twelve Maine students in total.

First District:  Winner: Elwen Benard of Baxter Academy. First Runner Up: Fiona Jason of Baxter Academy, Second Runner Up: Kaitlyn Sawicki of Freeport High School. Honorable Mention: Della Huntley of Baxter Academy. Honorable Mention: Alexis Milem of Thornton Academy. Honorable Mention: Kaylee Demers of Falmouth High School.

Second District: Winner: Whitney Perkins. First Runner Up: Sophia Carson of Edward Little High School, Second Runner Up: Ella Shaffer of Rangeley Lakes Regional School. Honorable Mention: Lexi Bachelder. Rangeley Lakes Regional School. Honorable Mention: Ruoxuan Zhang of Lee Academy, Honorable Mention: Addaline Hemmingway of Rangeley Lakes Regional School.

Click here to view student’s artwork in a virtual gallery

The Congressional Arts Competition was started in 1982 to honor the arts and talents of students nationwide. The Maine Arts Commission works closely with Congresswoman Chellie Pingree’s and Congressman Jared Golden’s offices to administer the program. The Arts Commission also partners with the Maine College of Art (MECA) and the National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards to help with the process of selecting the artwork. Two art professionals from each district are chosen to jury artwork from that district. It is “blind” jurying in which the judges only see the title, size and medium of each piece. This year they convened online to review and discuss digital images to decide. Placements are first, second, third and then three honorable mentions.

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A Woman and Her Dog

June 9, 2021

Finn, the dog

Yes, Finn is a dog who is dressed up or dresses up and helps his owner re-create paintings. Fun and funny, Finn is an Australian Shepherd who is quite obviously patient and tolerant and his artist friend and owner Artist Eliza Reinhardt must have a great sense of humor. She started creating these works of art at the beginning of the pandemic and has not stopped. You can follow her and her 3-year old Finn on Instagram. Need a smile I highly recommend checking out these photos and by all means share them with your students (of all ages). I intend to next week with my learners. Check out the rest of the story at THIS LINK. I do wonder if Eliza has met William Wegman?! Hmmm…

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MAEA Conference

June 4, 2021

Re-stART: MAEA 2021 Fall Conference- September 17-18, 2021

The Maine Art Education Association (MAEA) Fall Conference is being planned after a year without it and after the struggles we have all faced with the pandemic. This will NOT be held at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts as they are still working on a reopening plan. MAEA is planning a full return for 2022. Instead, this fall MAEA is offering an in-person “satellite” conference at several venues, studios, and locations throughout the state. This will be a two-day event, in small groups, with 18 studio offerings! The conference will run from 8am-5pm during those two days. Room and Board will not be offered for most studios, however with so many locations, you may be able to find one close, or experience some of the great hospitality Maine has to offer. This does cut down on the conference cost significantly though as well!  

The theme of the fall conference is Re-stART. With the worst of the covid crisis hopefully behind us and the acknowledgment of many social disparities, we are looking forward, using the silver linings and new understandings we have learned to continually improve our practice, our wellbeing, and our social interaction.  We see this as something of a new beginning, a chance to make systemic changes and to highlight the best of mankind and of ourselves. This is an opportunity for us to make the changes we know can improve the structures we have found ourselves in. A chance to “Re-stART”. While not all workshops will focus on this theme, we hope it is something we can all reflect on as we begin a new school year this fall. Join MAEA this fall to learn a new craft, refine an old one, and/or develop art making skills with fellow arts educators! 

Registration opens July 1st at 7:00 AM. Make sure to read the descriptions thoroughly for locations, recommendations, and other applicable fees (specifically for those that offer room and board). If you’re not a member of MAEA now is the time to become one so you can participate in the conference.

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Art and Writing Collaboration

June 1, 2021

Amazing project

Secretary Bellows hosts student artists and their artwork at office

AUGUSTA – On Wednesday, Secretary of State Shenna Bellows hosted student artists from King Middle School in Portland and Sweetland School in Hope, Maine-based artist Rob Shetterly and Assistant House Majority Leader Rachel Talbot Ross of Portland for a viewing of the students’ artwork and poetry on display in the Secretary of State’s main office.

The students made the artwork in partnership with Americans Who Tell the Truth, a non-profit arts and education organization founded to foster and inspire a profound sense of citizenship in students.

“Challenging young people to think deeply about the world and their place in it through art and poetry is a wonderful project and we’re honored to display it,” said Secretary Bellows. “I was delighted to get the chance to meet the students and hear what they learned about themselves through this project.”

Raya Luehman

“These students, some of them immigrants, are all well aware that this country has struggled to live up to its own ideals and struggled to infuse its laws with justice, so for them to meet Shenna Bellows and Rachel Talbot Ross who are dedicated to making those ideals real for everyone and making all of our laws just, was an incredible thrill,” said Shetterly, an artist whose portrait project became Americans Who Tell the Truth. “The students went home with new respect for Maine government and what they can do as citizens.”

“I was honored to spend time with students from King Middle School and Sweetland School alongside Secretary Bellows and Rob Shetterly,” said Talbot Ross, a legislator from Portland who represents the district that includes King Middle School. “I was really inspired by the words, the artwork and the level of engagement from the students in examining the lives of people who have been dedicated to truth and justice. It’s clear these students will carry on our legacy in years to come.”

Several of Shetterly’s portraits hang in both Secretary Bellows’ and Rep. Talbot Ross’s offices in the State House Complex.

The art will be on display on the second floor of the Nash School Building, which houses the Secretary of State’s main office, at 103 Sewall Street in Augusta through next week.

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