Archive for the ‘Visual Arts’ Category

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Scientific Research Through Art

May 21, 2017

Jill Pelto

Habitat Degradation: Ocean Acidification

Artist, Jill Pelto, is communicating scientific research through her artwork and without data and research she wouldn’t create what she does. The main topic is Global Climate Change data and her portfolio is filled with images depicting the images. Jill is tracking melting glaciers, rising sea level, threatened species, the positive and challenges. Her work addresses environmental concerns and inspires individuals to take action.  She is a true collaborator: ” I want to team up with fellow scientists, artists, and people from any discipline.”

I learned that Jill is doing graduate work, a Masters of Science, right here in Maine at the University. She is studying the behavior of the Antarctic Ice Sheet in the past. She is working with Dr. Brenda Hall. You can check out her amazing work at http://www.jillpelto.com. A real “STEAM” connection!

And, you can read about her at THIS LINK, a piece in Upworthy about her.

Measuring Crevasse Depth

 

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Bonny Eagle High School

May 19, 2017

Doing STEAM work

Margaret A. (Peg)  Maxwell has been teaching art for many years at Bonny Eagle High School which is part of MSAD #6 and located in Standish, Maine.

Whenever I see Peg she is engaged in deep learning and has stories to tell about what her students are doing as well. At the end of March I bumped into Peg at LL Beans for the awards ceremony to recognize students whose art work had been selected as part of the 22nd Federal Junior Duck Conservation and Design Program. Of course Peg would involve her students in the opportunity since the program is a dynamic art- and science-based curriculum that teaches wetland and waterfowl conservation to students in kindergarten through high school.

Peg sees a connection between art and science and any opportunity to develop lessons on the learning connections, she takes advantage of. Peg says it best: “I do not intend to teach science or offer any credit for science courses in my department. My intention is to interest students in the sciences, encourage them to tap into their creative and scientific selves….and to encourage them to invent and make connections for their future learning and become leaders in education, arts, engineering and design.”

Peg and I chatted about a radio talk show discussing STEAM education in the Boy Scouts program. I did a little research and found THIS LINK on the topic. I am aware of the work in our 4H programs. You can read about a 4H curriculum connection of sewing to science at THIS LINK.

At the spring Maine Art Education Association conference Peg provided a session on the Art and Science connection. The description: Teachers will learn the process of science integration into the curriculum using the resources in their buildings. The process of collaboration will be discussed and the proper avenues to pursue in order to facilitate a successful experience for the students. Hands on workshop using journal making as their container of ideas for the units. Weather, botany, anatomy and physiology, astronomy, chemistry and other units of sciences will be reviewed as possible integration topics. A brief discussion about the importance of integration with sciences as a motivator will be part of the workshop.

If you have any questions please contact Peg. She can be reached and is always willing to share at mmaxwell@bonnyeagle.org.

“Remember the importance of the eye and that black hole called the ‘pupil’ and how it allows us to see and learn…perhaps it is our own black hole of energy that manifests into the synapses (meaning to join) of our brain.” 

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Common Street Arts

May 13, 2017

Seeking proposals

Call for Class + Workshop Proposals

CSA seeks proposals for classes and workshops for children, teenagers, and adults for 2017-2018. CSA available teaching spaces include: studio space, clay studio, annex, + gallery space. Target class size: 6- 15 people. Qualified individuals are invited to submit proposals that reflect diversity, creativity, and accessibility for all levels and ages.

Overview

The mission of Common Street Arts (CSA), the programmatic arm of Waterville Creates!, is to enhance the creative, artistic, and economic vitality of the Waterville community through outstanding arts education and exhibitions. In concert with Waterville’s recently drafted Cultural Plan, CSA seeks to ensure relevant and accessible programming for all community audiences. CSA aspires to diversify its program through a broad array of workshops, events, and classes that provide unique and creative experiences in a supportive environment. Preference will be given to proposals that include cultural relevancy, exhibit a high level of creativity, offer a high level of engagement and participation, and/or directly relate to the CSA exhibition program or create programmatic connections with Waterville Creates! arts and cultural partners (Waterville Public Library, Maine Film Center, Waterville Opera House, Colby College Museum of Art).

Qualifications

  • Professional teaching experience in medium
  • Ability to define and measure learning objectives
  • Ability to work independently
  • Professional + courteous demeanor
  • Criminal history clearance required for working with childrenProposal Requirements
  • Complete CSA Class/Workshop Proposal Form
  • Attach sample curriculum outline with goals + objectives

Email or mail proposal to:

Marie Sugden, Coordinator for Special Projects Waterville Creates!
93 Main Street, Suite 201
Waterville, Maine 04901 marie@watervillecreates.org

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Make History: Community as Classroom

May 5, 2017

Sarah Orne Jewett

Recently I had the chance to visit the Sarah Orne Jewett House in South Berwick. I learned so much during my visit that was guided by Julia Einstein, Education Program Coordinator for Maine at Historic New England. Julia has kindly provided this blog post so you can learn about the collaborative work that happened between Berwick Academy art and music students under her guidance and those of the schools art and music teachers. At the bottom of the post you will find information on Historic New England.

The Making of “Make History: Community as Classroom.”

The creative collaboration between nineteenth century visual artists and author Sarah Orne Jewett was the inspiration for Make History: Community as Classroom. This interdisciplinary project was a mixing of media—arts + literature + history—and a way to delve into innovation, and how ideas are made. The concept “classroom in the museum” translated in the way high school students were able to self-select spaces in the Sarah Orne Jewett House Museum to study, sketch, write, read passages from a Sarah Orne Jewett story or novel, and to practice a piece of period music.

An exhibition came as a result of this collaborative learning experience between myself, at Historic New England, and Berwick Academy Arts Faculty Raegan Russell and Seth Hurd.

Marilyn Keith Daley, Site Manager at the Sarah Orne Jewett House, used the work synergy in describing the project and it fits. She and I saw this as a way to bring a contemporary energy to a visitor’s tour of Sarah Orne Jewett’s House. Jewett invited artists Marcia Oakes Woodbury and Charles Woodbury into her home to work out the sketches for what became the illustrations for her novel, Deephaven. This allowed for the Woodburys to become immersed in –to fall in love with—the subject in the pages of her novel. They sketched onsite—as did the students of Berwick Academy –and they came to know this house—this main character of her novel.

Students in Studio Art Honors, Advanced Placement Art, and Chamber Chorus were inspired to create personal meanings in the story of the Sarah Orne Jewett House in both visual and performance-based interpretations. In the exhibition, visitors see the time it took for an idea to evolve. They are able to search through the very same sketchbooks used by the students on their visits to the Jewett House to look for connections with their final work. Student statements, written in long hand as Jewett wrote the manuscripts of her novels, bring the artist’s voice into the gallery.

I like unveiling the creative process from that of the 19th century and today. I wanted these high school students to become interpreters of history. In multiple visits to the house, their learning was made visible as they were prompted to stop, look, and to put down on paper what they saw in a quick jotting of initial “noticings.” When guided to look longer, and given passages from Jewett to read, words jumped out and transformed from a historical source into something that feels real in the context of this space. Students sketched, and noted their responses in the spot where Willa Cather visited Jewett. The students read out loud part of a letter Jewett sent to her friend, “The thing that teases the mind over and over for years, and at last gets itself put down rightly on paper — whether little or great, it belongs to Literature.”

In the art classroom, the question “How can artists interpret time through visual means?” led sketchbook exploration, and the creation of a small body of work in a selected media. In the music classroom, the Chamber Chorus explored a piece written in the same decade as Jewett’s novel, Deephaven. They recorded the period piece in the Jewett house for visitors to listen, to imagine the year 1893, and to be transported to a parlor performance.

In the exhibition, a paper sculpture—made from pages copied from a Jewett book—is a dreamy walk in paper shoes on a tufted surface because the artist saw the knobbed bedspread knots in Jewett’s bedroom. Another student saw the same bedroom, yet is interested in what you do not see—intimate, casual images, unlike posed photographs of Jewett, The artist paints you into one—of waking in her bed and looking out the window. In another work, it is about how your eyes adjust to light and movement of 19th century invention, an optical amusement, in 3 beautifully constructed zoetropes. There is an exploration into what is modern. What was modern then—the newness and excitement of cobalt blue in wallpaper—what is modern now?

Several artists invite you to notice details—of objects, wallpaper, fixtures, and translates them into watercolor patchwork, stenciled fashion design, a magical still-life, and a cubist musical instrument. And, the book itself as subject. An artist’s book greets you upon entrance to the exhibition—and you can pick it up, read & turn the pages. It introduces this exhibition as a visual reading into works of art, and prepares you to see a wonderful scrolled portrait of Sarah Orne Jewett with her chapters made larger than life. Enjoy Make History: Community as Classroom, and then see the Sarah Orne Jewett House Museum with “new eyes.”

The exhibition Make History: Community as Classroom was funded in part with a grant from the Sam L. Cohen Foundation. It is currently on view for one more weekend at the Sarah Orne Jewett House Museum and Visitor Center in South Berwick, Maine, through Saturday, May 6. Hours are from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more information, call 207-384-2454, or CLICK HERE.

Sarah Orne Jewett House Museum and Visitor Center is one of 36 house museums owned and operated by Historic New England, the oldest, largest, and most comprehensive regional heritage organization in the country.  Historic New England is devoted to education, making connections in the communities, and offering unique opportunities to experience the lives and stories of New Englanders through their homes and possessions.

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Prescott Memorial School

May 4, 2017

Teaching Artist Residency

When Patty Crawford started her job as the Literacy Coach and Interventionist in RSU 40 this school year she made a suggestion to the staff at Prescott Memorial School in Washington to consider contracting with artist Tim Christensen to provide a learning opportunity for students and staff.

Prescott Panda

Over a two week period Tim worked with the schools students and staff to create a large, approx. 7′ long, wall installation. The installation is in the shape of the school mascot, a panda, and composed of 105 sgraffito tiles. Individual artists used sgraffito to engrave a tile with their interpretation of a characteristic from Prescott’s PBIS goals. Their hope is that the installation will not only be a beautiful piece of art, but that it will also be used on a regular basis for the reinforcement of positive character traits.

Tim is on the Maine Arts Commission Teaching Artist Roster and is a Teaching Artist Leader with the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative. Recently his “story” was posted on this blog. He can be reached at http://www.timchristensenporcelain.com/ if you’d like to get in touch with him directly and learn more.

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MAEA Honors Art Educators

April 29, 2017

Maine Art Education Association

Westbrook, Maine, April 2017 – On Friday, April 7 in the beautiful library of Westbrook MIddle School, the Maine Art Education Association (MAEA) honored seven of Maine’s art educators for excellent service to their profession, their schools and their communities. It was an evening filled with sincere praise and celebrated in typical fashion with custom-made ceramic vases, flowers and, of course, pineapples. Holly Houston, Recognitions Chair for the MAEA, began the evening talking about the “wonderfulness of art teachers” and with each award presented that wonderfulness became more apparent.

Rhonda Miller presented the 2017 Distinguished Art Educator Award for Pat Savigny-Higgins from Marshwood High School in South Berwick, describing Savigny-Higgins as an “art teacher down to her bones” who is known for her dedication to students. Savigny-Higgins responded with thanks especially to her students for challenging her. Citing that art is crucial now more ever, she urged support for the arts due to the “life lessons that happen in the art room.”

Jodi Thomas presented the 2017 Outstanding Service to the Profession Award to Jody Dube from Lewiston High School. Jody is responsible for guiding students through the creation of pottery that is sold to help fund the Store Next Door, with the mission of supporting homeless students. In this endeavor, stated Thomas, Dube teaches students their “skills have monetary value and can be harnessed to make a difference.” Dube stated he was honored and humbled and thanked all teachers who do what they do every day, saying “In these challenging times, it is an important mission to be able to help kids be who they were meant to be and not just a test score.”

Lisa Ingraham presented the 2017 Retired Art Educator Award to Frank Chin, a former middle school teacher in Skowhegan. After more than 30 years of teaching Ingraham wondered how many students have a deep understanding of the arts because of Chin’s dedicated career. Chin stated that the best thing about teaching art is when things come back to you. He read a letter from a former student who years after being in his classroom wrote to tell him that his kindness was transformative her her, urging him to to remember that while teaching may seem rewardless at times, “please make sure you know you make a difference.”

Lisa Ingraham also presented the award for 2017 Secondary Art Educator of the Year to Mandi Mitchell from Hermon High School, describing Mitchell as a “whirlwind of creative energy who infuses joy into all she does.” Mitchell expressed gratitude for the recognition and thanked her colleagues Ingraham and Suzanne Goulet who have been influential in her career.

Deb Arter introduced the award for 2017 Middle/Elementary Art Educator of the Year to Laura Devin of Woolwich Central School. Arter described Devin as a fierce advocate for the arts and her local program, who spent years in a waterless mobile classroom but now works in a facility that includes a kiln and a printing press. Devin, who accepted the award wrapped in a giant paper chain while wearing a tiara, stated that the arts offer creativity, collaboration, problem solving and critical thinking skills. Devin closed by saying, “Art is so important and we are so lucky to be able to bring it to kids.”

Kay Allison and Kate Cargile presented the 2017 Museum Art Educator of the Year Award to Anthony Shostak of the Bates College Museum of Art. Allison and Cargile spoke from their experience as nearby teachers at Lewiston Middle School, describing how Shostak makes the museum accessible to art students of all ages. They spoke of how Shostak is an asset not only to Bates but all the surrounding schools, especially citing his Thousand Words Project which emphasizes art and literacy connections. Shostak, from Lewiston originally, expressed pleasure at working with teachers and honoring students and their growth in the arts.

Finally, Matt Johnson presented the award for 2018 Maine Art Educator of the Year to his colleague, Deb Bickford of Westbrook High School. Bickford recalled others discouraging her from entering into the arts as a profession but she was determined to make her own way. Most importantly, stated Bickford, is the realization that the art classroom isn’t there to make artists but rather, “We help people learn how to learn. We just happen to do it with art.” Bickford invited seven current and former students to talk about what learning in the art room meant to them. The students expressed themes of the art room being a safe place of refuge but also a place to push you out of your comfort zone and expand your horizons. They spoke of the art room as a place to learn to make better decisions and art as fundamental to the human mind. They talked about how art classes offered valuable life lessons such as how to learn different ways to look at things, to self-evaluate through constructive criticism and to communicate effectively.

Suzanne Goulet also honored Deb Bickford as outgoing president of the Maine Art Education Association. Suzanne Goulet will serve as current president for the next two years.

The Maine Art Education Association is a statewide professional organization whose members are committed to excellence in visual arts education.

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Calling All Teacher Leaders

April 26, 2017

Regional VPA Teacher Leader Search

Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) – Phase VII

Join us for GREAT learning and networking opportunities! The Maine Arts Leadership Initiative invites YOU to be part of Phase VII. We are looking for teachers interested in leading and in taking a close look at effective teaching and learning in the arts.

Application at THIS LINK. Deadline: Friday, May 19, 2017.

Phase 1 Teacher Leaders, August 2011, Maine College of Art

If you are selected, you will be required to attend the summer institute, August 1, 2, and 3, 2017 at Thomas College. We will provide professional development and ask that you take what you’ve learned and share it with other educators in your region of Maine and beyond.

If interested, please submit a completed application by the Friday, May 19 deadline. Access the application by CLICKING HERE. Details are below.

Selected teacher leader responsibilities for the 2017-18 school year include:

  • Attend the 3-day Professional Development Summer Institute, August 1-3, 2017, Thomas College, Waterville. To prepare: Pre-reading assignments and responses are expected in google site. Each Teacher Leader determines individual plan for the school year/what the outcome of their learning will be and how to share with others. This enables teacher leaders to really take on the leadership role! (List of options available by contacting Argy Nestor at argy.nestor@maine.gov)
  • Communicate using a google site
  • Possible Critical Friends Day as a follow-up to the summer institute
  • Continuation of Another Teacher’s Stories on the Maine Arts Ed blog
  • Attend retreat to reflect on the work of phase VII with MALI participants – Saturday, March 10, 2018

Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Background Information

Overall Description 

Phase 2 Teacher Leaders, August 2012, Maine College of Art

Mission: Committed to the development of Teacher Leaders to ensure deep understanding and meaningful implementation of high quality teaching, learning and assessment in the Arts for all students.

Since 2011 the initiative has been building capacity by training arts educators on the “what” and “how” of arts assessment so they can provide the leadership in Maine through professional development opportunities. The details of the initiative are at https://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Programs/MAAI.

MALI’s OVERALL OBJECTIVES

  • Create and implement a statewide plan for teacher leadership in arts education. This includes professional development opportunities, locally, regionally and statewide, which will expand on the knowledge and skills of teachers to better prepare them to teach in a student-centered and proficiency-based learning environment.
  • Develop and implement standards-based high quality teaching and learning statewide for Visual and Performing Arts
  • Continue to build on expanding the team of arts educators and teaching artists representing all regions of Maine
  • Provide workshops and other professional development opportunities for educators

Phase 3, Critical Friends Day, 2013, Point Lookout, Northport

HISTORY – Phase I, II, III, IV, V, VI Summer 2011 to present

  • Eighty-one teacher leaders and four teaching artists leaders attended summer institutes on assessment, leadership, technology, creativity, proficiency-based standards-based and student-centered teaching and learning
  • Teacher leaders presented workshops at three statewide arts education conferences, USM, Portland, UMaine, Orono, and Point Lookout Conference Center with over 600 educators attending
  • Teacher leaders facilitated almost 100 regional workshops and 15 mega-regional sites across Maine
  • Another Arts Teacher’s Story series (78) on the Maine Arts Ed blog
  • Arts assessment graduate courses offered by New England Institute for
    Teacher Education
  • Nine arts education assessment webinars for Maine educators facilitated by Rob Westerberg and Catherine Ring – archived at https://mainearts.maine.gov/pages/education/maai-webinararchives#
  • Video stories of seven teacher leaders that demonstrate a standards-based arts education classroom located on Maine ARTSEducation YouTube channel or at http://newenglandinstitute.org/.
  • Teacher Leader Resource Team development of items for resource bank
  • Maine Arts Assessment Resources website that contains a plethora of information

Phase 4, Summer Institute, 2014, USM Portland

Phase VII components

  • August 1, 2, 3, 2017: Professional Development Summer Institute for PK-12 teacher leaders (new and returning), teaching artists, and teaching artists leaders at Thomas College.
  • Each Teacher Leader determines individual plan to share their learning at the local, regional or statewide level.
  • Continuation of Another Teacher’s Story on the Maine Arts Ed blog
  • Winter Retreat: Saturday, March 10, 2018

For More Information

Phase 5, Critical Friends Day, 2015, USM Portland

Questions?

If you have questions or would like more information please contact Argy Nestor at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

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