Archive for the ‘Visual Arts’ Category


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.


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_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!


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 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:


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.



Portland Museum of Art

April 17, 2015

Teen focus group

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 4.34.42 PMStudents are invited to join in a casual and fun, analytical gallery discussion on a specific work of art and then we’ll do a feedback forum exploring questions like: What is it like to be a teen in the PMA? What’s great? What’s not so great? Do you come visit without your class or family? Why or Why not? Focus groups will last one hour and be held at the PMA. We encourage students to bring their friends. Plus…we’ll provide snacks.

Please share this opportunity with your students and if they grant permission, reply to me with their names and emails or phone. I will follow up with them directly regarding dates of the focus group (the first one is during April vacation week). We’re looking for students aged 14-18 years old. An interest in museums and art is preferable but not necessary.

Why should they help us? We want the PMA to be a place where teens can hang out, see art they love (and see art they don’t love), and be part of the growing community at the museum. We want to better understand teen audiences and teens are the only ones that can help us with that.

For more information please check out the webpage at If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact Louisa Donelson at


MLTI Screen Savers Selected

April 12, 2015

Maine student artwork selected for MLTI screensavers

Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 5.22.46 PMTwenty-one student artists will have an audience of more than 70,000 students and educators for their artwork starting this fall. More than 120 Maine students submitted images were considered for the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) Screensaver Challenge. An independent panel of three judges used a rubric to score each image and select the winners. The winning student artists will have their work showcased on MLTI devices for the 2015-16 school year. They will also have their registration fees waived for the 2015 MLTI Student Conference and their winning pieces displayed at the Augusta offices of the Maine DOE.

Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 5.22.55 PMCONGRATULATIONS to the following students whose art work was selected.

  • Carlyn Davis, Kennebunk High School, Grade 9, “In A “Perfect” World”
  • Jake Wilson, Bangor High School, Grade 12, “Marker Family”
  • Jamie Bayha, Middle School of the Kennebunks, Grade 7, “Fire”
  • Lyndsey Cross, Bangor High School, Grade 12, “Studio”
  • Sherwin Yuen, Bangor High School, Grade 10, “Hallway”
  • Will Blastos, Kennebunk High School, Grade 9, “An Eye for an Eye”
  • Aylen Wolf, George Stevens Academy, Grade 11, “Aperture”
  • Brooke Wentworth, George Stevens Academy, Grade 11, “Sound Waves”
  • Claire Ciampa, George Stevens Academy, Grade 12, “Eagle Lake”
  • Katama Murray, George Stevens Academy, Grade 12, “Mischief”
  • Elizaveta Maslak, Maine School of Math & Science, Grade 11, “Cherry Blossom”
  • Ella Glatter, Houlton High School, Grade 12, “Collisions of the Universe”
  • Elona Bodwell, Middle School of the Kennebunks, Grade 7, “Car Top”
  • Max Cornman, Mount Desert Island High School, Grade 10, “Open Oval”
  • Michael Smith, United Technologies Center, Grade 11, “Wake Up”
  • Amber Hulstrunk, Houlton High School, Grade 12, “Simplicity”
  • Dylan Crockett, Houlton High School, Grade 9, “Ceramic Ball of Food”
  • Kate Newman, Houlton High School, Grade 10, “Rainbow Falls”
  • Shaina Hamilton, Houlton High School, Grade 12, “Pheonix”
  • Ellea Wilson, Monmouth Middle School, Grade 8, “Maybe They’ll Just Go”
  • Emilee Burton, Central High School, Grade 11, “The Younger Years”

All the selected artwork is available for viewing here. For more information about the Maine Learning Technology Initiative, visit

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Who Are They?: MECA, Part 5

April 8, 2015

Maine College of Art

This blog post is part of a series called Who Are They? where information is provided for the Maine Arts Ed blog readers to learn about community organizations and institutions that provide educational opportunities in the arts. You will learn that they are partnering with other organizations and schools to extend learning opportunities, not supplant.

Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 12.42.14 PMThis is the fifth post on the Maine College of Art (MECA) which is located in downtown Portland. Below is an interview with Fern Tavalin, MECA Director of Art Education.


Fern Tavalin

Please describe the educator training programs offered at MECA.

MECA offers a Master of Arts in Teaching that leads to initial certification in visual art for the State of Maine. Our program is accredited by the State of Maine and by National Alliance of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Receiving NASAD approval is quite an honor.

What is MECA’s philosophy on teacher education?

We believe that teachers should be both artists and educators. Our admissions policy is rigorous in that we review an artist’s portfolio as well as screening for the dispositions that we feel are necessary for good teaching and learning. Those admitted have the potential to become outstanding artist/educators. Because of this, we make sure that they are given the tools to become effective art educators who use the knowledge, skills, and dispositions acquired in our program to creatively serve children and youth in PK-12 schools, museums, community-based/alternative settings, and virtual learning environments. To ensure that our teacher candidates are prepared, we value learning as a developmental process. That means that our candidates are not graded on each assignment as they begin. Instead, we provide substantive feedback, pointing toward their next steps in learning. At key stages, the candidates undergo reviews to demonstrate attainment of Maine’s initial teacher certification standards and our program outcomes.

Each college or university reflects its institutional aims as well as having to be responsive to accreditation requirements. MECA is a studio-based college, the practices of which have much to add to the overall field of education. By maintaining our beliefs and our educational approach, we hope to add value to the research base about how students learn best.

We encourage our candidates to resist the temptation to want to see the state educator standards written in art specific terms and trust that their coursework will reflect the art specific knowledge that they will eventually being to the classroom. Familiarity with the general concepts of teaching and learning and how they translate to art education will give MECA’s teachers a “place at the table” during faculty meetings and gatherings of educators across disciplines.

Is there something that sets MECAs program apart from others?

When MECA’s teacher candidates enter the program, they enroll in an intensive one-month summer institute that integrates the frameworks for teaching and learning, student creative growth and development and how their lives of artists apply to the field of education.

On the very first day, our teacher candidates enter classrooms in Portland’s diverse public school system. They learn to begin by closely observing rather than judging. As the semester progresses, MECA teacher candidates use a variety of lenses for looking at students in a variety of learning environments. This direct experience is enhanced by collaborative inquiry through theoretical readings and shared discussions. The program emphasizes critical thinking and data gathering to question assumptions – both theirs and those of experts in the field.

What advice do you have for someone considering becoming a teacher in this century?

All learning is cumulative, so we cannot always predict the overall outcomes of our efforts as teachers. Because the future is unknown, we cannot say what it will bring. However, studio habits of mind such as developing craft, engaging and persisting and envisioning will be essential now matter what our teachers face.


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