Archive for the ‘Visual Arts’ Category

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So Long Jim Small

October 16, 2020

Kind, dependable, consistent, committed, and considerate are words that describe Jim Small. Jim had a huge heart and soft voice and was devoted to teaching. He was one of those teachers who was ALWAYS teaching – in his classroom and throughout his day – demonstrating for students and writing and recording ideas. He had a clear and deep understanding of creative thinking and taught it as a foundation to all of his art classes. In fact, he wrote about it over many years to make it more understandable for others and was an amazing advocate for arts education. Sadly Jim left this world on October 10 at the age of 67. Even though Jim is gone he has left us all resources on his YouTube channel called Imagine Again Jim – it’s soooo Jim! Below is Jim’s obituary.

Mr. Small – Art Teacher Extraordinaire

SKOWHEGAN – James Keith Small passed away peacefully in his sleep on the evening of Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020 at the age of 67 at his home in Skowhegan.

Born on March 23, 1953 in Westbrook to his mother, Cora Ida York, and his father, Shirley Small. He is survived by his wife, Dorothy; children, Stephanie, Adam and Ricky; and his grandchildren, Coraline, Geronimo and Torrington; as well as his sisters, Linda, Judy and Valerie. James also had the good fortune of being taken in by the late Pauline and Bob Johnson and siblings Gene, Alan, Patrick, Paula, and Lisa after the passing of his parents.

A devoted father, husband and career educator, he worked tirelessly to provide a magical world for his children to grow up in. Always a kid at heart himself, he believed that the imagination was the key that unlocked each person’s individual super power.

He was an extraordinarily gentle soul who was loved by many, and had endless love to give. He touched countless lives as an art teacher for the MSAD 59 and MSAD 54 school districts. Jim made friends at every turn and always knew how to spread his joy to those in need. His students always knew that his classroom was a safe place, free of judgement, where he would do anything in his power to inspire creative thinking and personal growth.

Other lifelong pursuits included passion for the arts, film, photography, and last but certainly not least, fishing. Recently retired, Jim had far too little time to be on the water whenever he desired, catching all the trout he could manage.

James passed his unfiltered creative energy to his daughter, Stephanie, along with a good portion of his immense compassion for those less fortunate. He would graciously admit cribbage defeat and fish until the bats came out with his son, Adam, and he would always be his son, Ricky’s #1 fan.

Jim courted his beloved wife, Dorothy, after retrieving her lost barrette at the former Sandy Beach in Madison, and the two spent 43 years in love. From barrette to soul mate, James was an ever-devoted husband to his stunning wife and would wade into any sized waves to do it again.

Visiting hours will be held on Friday Oct. 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Smart and Edwards Funeral Home, 183 Madison Ave., Skowhegan. We ask that all attendees be respectful of the COVID guidelines and wear a mask while attending. Anyone wishing to virtually attend the funeral service may do so via the Albion Christian Church website – https://albionchristianchurch.com/, there will be a link located there to go to the live Facebook link starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday Oct. 17. 

Arrangements are entrusted to the care of Smart and Edwards Funeral Home, 183 Madison Ave., Skowhegan. Anyone who wishes to leave the family messages can do so on our website at ? http://www.smartandedwardsfh.com

James (Mr. Small to many) would want us all to move forward with pride and confidence, while reminding us to also Imagine Again, and Imagine More. 

In lieu of flowers, the Small family will be encouraging anyone who wishes to donate to a scholarship for all manner of creative pursuits and the arts in Mr. Small’s name.

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MECA

October 15, 2020

Opportunity for Learners ages 4-17

The Maine College of Arts Master of Arts in Teaching Teacher Candidates will offer a variety of free art lessons to children grades K-12. Click here to register for this event – November 9 (fully online)! Virtual Art Fair! Please share this information with your students and their parents.

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Peg Has Left the Building

October 13, 2020

Margaret (Peg) Maxwell, longtime art teacher at Bonny Eagle High School was recently featured in The Eagle Times, the school newspaper. Peg left her art classroom this year due to the Coronavirus but is helping out with the remote learning students.

In Peg’s words: “It was heartfelt and such an honor for me to be recognized….I sure miss all of what I had and hope to continue in another phase when this is over..I am grateful for Joann Lannin, a wonderful journalist and mentor to our students and to Kaylei Myers for her kind and thoughtul professionalism. She will do well in the world of Journalism.  Joann Lannin, a wonderful published author and journalist who often takes our students to the National Award status for our newspaper and in the past has taken them to the National Journalism Museum in Washington. We are so lucky to have faculty dedicated to student success. I so miss my colleagues, but they have found a way during this pandemic to keep us all connected.

BY KAYLEI MYERS
Oct. 1, 2020

      Ms. Margaret (Peg) Maxwel will not be teaching at Bonny Eagle High School this year due to Coronavirus concerns. She is currently still involved with school by helping out with the remote learning students. Ms. Maxwell has been an art teacher here since 1989. The beginning of this year would’ve been the start of her 38th year with us. Besides teaching art classes, she has coached tennis, advised the National Honor Society, the FACS (Fight Against Cancer Society), STAND (Students Affirming the Non-Use of Drugs), and the Outing Club. She mentored students in the GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) and had a Bible Club for a few years after school.  The Eagle Times caught up with Ms. Maxwell (remotely) for a question and answer session early last week.

Margaret Peg Maxwell in her classroom at Bonny Eagle High School

Was this a hard decision to make?
    This decision to not go back was and continues to be very difficult. It was made by me and strongly recommended by my doctor. After doing the research, she highly advised me not to enter the classroom due to my health issues.  I do not want to make the students ill and I do not want to get sick either.  My immune system is weak and I need to be aware of the current situation.

What are you going to miss most about working here?
    I will miss all of it. The students, my colleagues, the art room being such a special time for Mr. Twilley and I to share, that sacred place where so many students enjoyed making art, hanging out, and becoming great artists in the real world. Our classrooms were like open books. The door between us was never locked and students and teachers knew when and where to be in order to express their creativity and to find inspiration. Mr. Twilley was a great teaching partner. We had 30 years of collaboration, friendship and pure love of art.
    Every day I woke up ready to teach in that wonderful room. Waiting for students, walking the halls with many smiles, and hearing ‘Good Morning Ms. MaxwellI’.  I had a cluttered classroom, but I knew where everything was when someone needed something. I miss the students coming after school and needing to work on a project from another class and wanting help with posters, information, or just a cup of tea or pizza when we needed to clean the space.

​Has Bonny Eagle High School been a welcoming place for the arts?
    The Bonny Eagle community always supported the arts, our requests for materials, workshops, and additional educational resources to make all of this happen. This district rocks, including, the school board, administration at all levels, and the greater public. We have students working for CNN, Disney, North Face, Mass General Hospital, Dartmouth Press, Flowfold Inc., Illustrating for Amazon, FableVision, PBS, interned with Dale Chihuly, Nickelodeon, Wired Magazine, Burton, Rossignol, MIT Industrial Design, etc. The list goes on and on. I just had a former student, Chelsea Johnson, make me a great Wizard of Oz platter reminding me of my continued references to Dorothy and the importance of having a heart, brains, and the courage to succeed in tough times, like now.
     Our school was part of NEA grants through the Portland Museum of Art on three occasions commemorating the works of Winslow Homer ,and student work was displayed on the walls of the museum. Lastly, an essay about my curriculum during the pandemic last trimester was published in the Union of Maine Visual Artists this summer. 
     The MSAD 6 district has provided me with many opportunities to teach at the state and Tri-District levels with integrated Arts and STEAM workshops. They provided summer opportunities for me at Bennington College in their summer institutes, studying book arts with Meryl Brater, a Radcliffe Scholar. This brought much integration into the district for K-12 education. They gave me the opportunity to study at the Darling Marine Education Center in Damariscotta, as well as study Marine Biological Illustration, and many courses at MECA in botanical illustration and digital art and 3-d printing and laser cut art works. All of this enhanced the curriculum for the students when I returned each fall to share the information and my work.

Are there hopes of you coming back after this is all over? And if not, what other ventures do you have in the works?
    As for now, I will not be able to go back to the school and need to quarantine until this is over.  I am not able to have vaccines even if there is one, so I’m working at home developing a non-profit on food security. My dream is to have my puppets create an online or zoom presentation to teach children about food security. I worked with Jim Henson when I started teaching in the 1970’s at Princeton University when he was developing Sesame Street. I taught preschool in an inner-city head start program. We gave him stories and he gave us ways to teach kids through entertainment. I have a trademark in the final stages in Washington and the copyright to song lyrics that I have written to accompany a well known tune. I’m in the process of getting the rights to the music.
    I have a board started and the puppets designed. Several former Bonny Eagle students are consulting with me and helping me in the process. Our Backpack program inspired a set of puppets I do think all will like.
     My Dream is to start a production company at Bonny Eagle after I retire and work with departments who want to collaborate. I have a student interested in painting the backdrops for the puppet theatre. I would like to have students on the board and willing to work with all aspects of developing a production company. I have the drive and the expertise of great people. I was asked to go national with the idea, but I do not have the strength or the desire. My heart is at Bonny Eagle and that is where I want to end my career.  
     In addition, I have been writing a memoir and a musical for several years. My playwright teacher from New York City thinks this would be a great way to end it. ‘The closing of the BLUE DOOR’, as I see it.  I painted my house doors the same color blue as my classroom door. I have been writing silly songs since I was six years old and poetry essays and stories all my life. Now it is the time to tell my story.  Bonny Eagle has been a major part and will be the finale.

Peg – third from left in top row

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Maine Art Ed Workshop

October 10, 2020

Registration deadline – October 12

Activating Hybrid Learning with Center for Maine Contemporary Art MAEA Workshop

Saturday, 17 October 2020, in-person

Center for Maine Contemporary Arts in Rockland, 9:30AM – 3:30PM.

ONLY 19 SPOTS LEFT!!!  JOIN US TODAY!

Pre-registration is required – $50.00 per person 

Registration Deadline:  Monday, October 12th

In support of the Maine Arts Education Association (MAEA), CMCA is offering a full day professional workshop for Maine Art Educators, including contemporary art exploration, making, and conversation featuring the CMCA 2020 Biennial.
CMCA curatorial and education staff will guide participants through a variety of activities and ideas for incorporating contemporary art into your classrooms, both in-person and online. We’ll take a close look at the diverse themes and artworks in the Biennial and discover a range of artmaking processes, ideas, and artists that will heighten curriculum and personal practice. Re-energize and regroup as a community of artists, educators, and contemporaries during this one-day workshop.
Please email mbogyo@cmcanow.org with any questions about the workshop.
To ensure safe social distancing, the workshop will be split into 2 groups; masks required.
For the complete schedule, please visit MAEA website!

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Professional Development Opportunities

October 6, 2020

DOE offerings

Visual Arts Education in an Online Setting – Thursday, October 15, 4p-5p

How do you create meaningful art experiences for students while allowing them to explore and create artwork?   During this session, participants will learn how to prepare for asynchronous and synchronous instruction, class critiques, and interactive review. Participants will also learn how to cultivate a community in an online environment. This session is intended for middle and high school visual art teachers.

Assessing Art Students Using Technology – Thursday, October 22, 4p-5p 

What are the best strategies to keep students engaged during synchronous classes?  How can you assess mastery in a virtual setting?  During this session, participants will learn multiple techniques for engaging students during synchronous sessions.  Participants will also discuss grading rubrics, peer and teacher feedback, as well as additional resources that can be used for formative and summative assessments. This session is intended for middle and high school visual art teachers.

Virtual Art and Talent Show – Thursday, October 29, 4p-5p

How do you showcase student work and talents virtually?  During this session, participants will learn how to set up a virtual art and talent show that offers multiple opportunities for students to showcase artwork and musical or performance-based talents during a live session.  Participants will also learn about collecting authentic data to provide to administration as well as student participants based on student peer feedback.  This session is intended for any Arts Education teacher teaching any content area in grades K-12.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR VISUAL ART OPPORTUNITIES

Presenter Information – Katie Royal

Katherine “Katie” Royal is an online visual arts teacher who teaches high school Art 1, Digital Photography and Digital Imaging and Design. Katie is in her ninth year of teaching and fourth year teaching virtually.  She strongly advocates that all students should receive a high-quality arts education and while teaching online has developed various methods to provide authentic virtual experiences.

Katie holds a B.A. in Art Education with a K-12 Licensure from Meredith College and is currently pursuing a M.Ed. in Online Instruction from Southern New Hampshire University. Aside from teaching Katie lives in North Carolina with her husband and three children who she is currently home schooling.

Performance Ensembles in a Virtual World – Tuesday, October 13, 5p-6p 

How do you have a live rehearsal without being the same space? How do you create meaningful musical experiences for students? During this session, participants will learn how to prepare for rehearsals, run productive rehearsals and sectionals, and assess students using technology. Participants will also learn how to cultivate a community in an online environment. This session is intended for middle and high school band, orchestra, or choir directors.

Synchronous Singing Games in Elementary Music – Tuesday, October 20, 5p-6p

How can you play your favorite singing games with elementary students over Zoom? How can you extend beyond listening and responding to music? During this session, participants will learn how to play singing games in synchronous instruction. They will also learn how to include extension activities students can complete synchronously or asynchronously. This session is intended for elementary general music teachers.

Engagement Tips and Tricks for Synchronous Music Classes – Tuesday, October 27, 5p-6p

What are the best strategies to keep students engaged during synchronous classes? How can you engage students, even when their cameras are off? During this session, participants will learn tried and true techniques for engaging students during synchronous sessions. Participants will learn how to leverage features built into the virtual classroom platforms and how to effectively use technology resources outside of the platform without overwhelming students. This session is intended for any music teacher teaching any content area in grades K-12.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR MUSIC OPPORTUNITIES

Presenter Information – Michelle Rose

Michelle Rose is an online music teacher who teaches middle school general music and high school music appreciation. She also directs the extracurricular virtual instrumental and vocal ensembles at her school. Michelle is an active teacher-author who creates resources for music teachers and writes for her blog, The Musical Rose

In addition to teaching and writing, Michelle is a sought after clinician, presenter, and panelist frequently presenting for numerous conferences and districts. Her most recent book, Teaching Music Online: A Comprehensive Guide for K-12 Music Educators, is a balance of practical advice, innovative teaching strategies, and educational philosophy designed to help teachers transition into online music education.

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Open Art Teachers Studio: Quarantine Edition

September 30, 2020

MALI art making sessions

The Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) is offering a second round of Open Art Teachers Studio: Quarantine Edition, starting October 7.  Yay!  The same MALI teacher leaders are running it, so it’ll be fun and efficient: Melanie Crowe, Iva Damon, and Bronwyn Sale. As a reminder, this is a virtual half hour of jumping right into creating together per provided prompts, followed by a half hour of discussion.

TO REGISTER CLICK HERE 

Attached is a poster with the details. Open to all at no cost. Join in on the fun – another way of knowing you’re not alone! To register/attend click above.

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UMaine Community Artreach

September 24, 2020

Art Education

Last spring art education students at the University of Maine in one of Connie Albertson’s courses were working on a yearly community artreach/servide learning project called the University of Maine Art Education Community Outreach (UMAECO).

Community partners Kathy Pollard of Know Your Land and the lead project director of the Bangor Land Trust’s Edible Landscape Project, Ann Pollard Ranco, enrolled member of the Penobscot Nation, and others who worked together to develop interdisciplinary/ intercultural art lessons that also address LD 295. In addition art teacher Courtney Harvey at the Doughty Middle School in Bangor was part of the project with plans to teach in person lessons. When schools closed because of the pandemic the university students turned to video lessons. Consequently, they’ve produced useful online lessons that are available for a broader audience at THIS LINK. You might find this helpful in person and/or remotely when planning lessons for the school year.

The resources include the history, culture, and all kinds of interesting information about the outdoors of Maine’s Indigenous peoples and directly connect with Maine’s Bicentennial celebration. Several resources are included and geared to grades 6-8, adaptable for high school.

Thank you to these students who are responsible for the work.

Iorthanis Andoniades

Blake Eden

Marion Harless

Sarah Picard

Kate Westhaver

This project was supported by generous grants from The Maine Humanities Council, The University of Maine McGillicuddy Humanities Center and the Department of Art. If you have any questions please contact Connie Albertson at constant@maine.edu.

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Teaching in the Pandemic

September 22, 2020

Charlie’s story

One of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Teacher Leaders from the first phase is Charlie Johnson. Charlie teaches Digital Design, 3D Design and Photography at Mount Desert Island High School. For many years he has been a proponent of student centered learning and using technology as a tool for effective teaching. He wrote the essay below “Teaching in the Pandemic” for the Union of Maine Visual Artists Journal.

Charlie has worked tirelessly as an art educator since 1973 and over the years I’ve been happy to watch him be recognized for his commitment to Arts Education. Charlie received the Carol Trimble Award for Exemplary Service to Education Award in 2015, was a finalist for the 2008 Maine Teacher of the Year, and is the 2006-07 Maine Art Teacher of the Year from the Maine Art Education Association.

Matilda A., Spring, Mixed Media, 12” x 12”, May, 2020 “I’m grateful for spring coming and all the flowers starting to come up.”

My initial concern as a high school art instructor with the closure of school buildings within our district was that I had no time to prepare my students for the transition. Fortunately students in my classes used the Google Suite of applications on a regular basis, primarily for presenting their work on Google Drive to obtain formative feedback and ultimately to organize their summative portfolios. Their previous work with the structures and protocols of digital submission of work did provide them a basic foundation.

Working with a Digital Media class in a computer lab equipped with the Adobe CC Suite did not translate to student laptops or home computers. Adaptations to software available on student laptops had to be constructed, causing a shift in curriculum structure and constricting student choice for exploration purposes within a less robust software .

The class that caused me the most regret for my students was Black & White Photography, as the creation of individual darkrooms labs in student homes was impractical. Even with these changes, the photography class has been particularly resilient, with the requirement to switch to digital imaging and to shoot in grayscale causing several students to improve the content and quality of their work significantly.

Alex S., What Makes Me Happy, Mixed Media/Photograph, 12” x 12”, May 2020 “I am grateful for the ability to create, both physical and emotional, to keep my inner colors bright and vivid, even when I’m the only one who sees them.”

While there remains a visual and performing arts requirement for graduation at our school, all of these classes are elective by students, and in some cases are chosen out of necessity rather than interest. Being present physically in these classes allows the instructor to personalize instruction and teaching as students become more familiar with both the content and the teacher.  Because this had already taken place during the school year for semester long classes, there was a certain basic foundation to work from during the transition period.

The group of students that I am in contact with in the most meaningful ways during this pandemic is the National Art Honor Society art students. Now, this is not an art class, but a group of the most interested and dedicated visual artists in our school, and from the very first “virtual” meeting we all shared not only time, but ideas and concepts for artworks, emotional states in reaction to the closure of classroom doors, and an artistic fellowship that was purely exuberant! During the second weekly meeting of this group, students decided to create “squares” of their feelings of gratitude that would eventually become a “GRATITUDE QUILT”, expressing the variety of things to be thankful for during the difficult time of the pandemic. 

Charlotte P., Technology, Digital, 12” x 12”, May 2020 “I’m grateful that technology is able to keep us connected even if it can become a little too overwhelming sometimes.”

 

MDI NAHS, Gratitude Quilt, Digital Assemblage, 4’ x 4’, May 2020
“A collaborative piece by members of the MDI HS Chapter of the National Art Honor Society”

IMAGE LIST/CAPTION:

  1. MDI NAHS, Gratitude Quilt, Digital Assemblage, 4’ x 4’, May 2020

“A collaborative piece by members of the MDI HS Chapter of the National Art Honor Society”

 

  1. Charlotte P., Technology, Digital, 12” x 12”, May 2020

I’m grateful that technology is able to keep us connected even if it can become a little too overwhelming sometimes.”

 

  1. Matilda A., Spring, Mixed Media, 12” x 12”, May, 2020

            “I’m grateful for spring coming and all the flowers starting to come up.”

 

  1. Alex S., What Makes Me Happy, Mixed Media/Photograph, 12” x 12”, May 2020

I am grateful for the ability to create, both physical and emotional, to keep my inner colors bright and vivid, even when Im the only one who sees them.”

 

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Not All Heroes Wear Art

July 10, 2020

Art started in Washburn Elementary School

This story made the news station WAGM. Check it out at THIS LINK! Great work art teacher Beth Ann Cummings from Washburn Elementary School.

With students learning from home, many teachers have had to get creative. Including one local art teacher who wanted her students to use their art homework to reach out to members of their community.

Beth Ann Cummings is the visual arts teacher at Washburn Elementary School. She says teaching art remotely is difficult because she is never sure what materials her students have on hand. So, while looking for ideas on a group Facebook page with other art teachers, she came across the idea to use student art work to honor first responders. So, she decided to do her own version, called Heroes for Hearts. She sent out a video of instructions to her class. Cummings says, “We all know about heroes from television, movies or books right? I think we all are finding out that no all heroes wear capes. To participate in this project, all you need to do is to cut out a big heart. If you don’t have big paper you can do a bunch of little hearts. You’re going to decorate them and hang them in the windows of your home, or send them to work with your parents in their place of business to hang them. You can write messages of hope on your hearts, encouragement. I’m hoping these hearts will bring smiles to peoples faces and show these heroes on the front lines that we really, really appreciate them, during this tough time.”

In addition to students from Cummings school participating, she mentioned the idea to other art educators in the County and some of those schools decided to participate as well. Easton, Hodgdon, Houlton and Van Buren joined in. Cummings says she would love to see other communities participate in honoring the County’s heroes.

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Arts from Home

June 25, 2020

Two or three offerings

Please share this information with others! 

DANCE FROM A DISTANCE! 

Join experienced Dance Educator, Elly Lovin, for a mini-camp experience from your home or backyard this summer. Designed for children ages 4-10, but open to the whole family! Each week our dance explorations will center around a different theme, while utilizing elements of movement to give dancers an understanding of how to use space, force, flow, levels, tempos, locomotion, focus, etc. to create their own movements. Themes: 6/30 Colors; 7/7 Night At the Museum; 7/14 Enchanted Garden; 7/21 Sky & Space; 7/28 Unicorns & Dragons; 8/4 Super Powered Dance.

Classes meet on Zoom on Tuesdays, June 30-August 4 Six Weeks 12:30-1PM Eastern (11:30 Central/10:30 Mountain/9:30 Pacific)

Cost (per household): $55 (Venmo to @Elly-Lovin) Sign up with a friend and both parties receive $10 off their registration!)

Register today at www.ellylovin.com/dancing-in-place

ORDER TODAY

Dance @ Home Kits Available! $25 Shipped w/ Camp registration

A selection of my favorite props curated to provide hours of movement fun at home or on the go. Eco-friendly drawstring bag contains mini-mat spot markers, egg shaker, bean bag, dance ribbons, chiffon scarf, pom-poms, stretchy band, and a go-to list of ideas about how to move and use each prop.

If you have any questions please contact Elly Lovin at ellylovin@gmail.com.

TAKE OUT ART

Creative kits offered by Sweet Tree Arts. Online order your favorite summer activities – a variety of kits are available with freedom, choice and creative thinking in mind. As many of you know many camp programs are not running during this summer because of COVID> This is a great opportunity to encourage your students to continue making art by starting with a kit that has everything needed to create. If you have more questions please contact Lindsay Pinchbeck at lspinchbeck@sweettreearts.org

ORDER TODAY


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