Archive for the ‘Visual Arts’ Category

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In Today’s News

December 10, 2018

Maine Sunday Telegram

Walt Whitman by Brooksville painter Robert Shetterly

Article about Robert Shetterly and Americans Who Tell the Truth paintings in the Maine Sunday Telegram, December 9. Having followed Rob’s work for quite awhile it is so interesting to read this interview with Rob about his paintings. As I’ve included in recent blog posts about Rob’s work the article includes information and the interview about the exhibit at Syracuse University.

“For the first time, all 238 paintings in Maine artist Robert Shetterly’s “Americans Who Tell the Truth” portrait series are on view together at Syracuse University in New York. Shetterly, who lives in Brooksville, began painting portraits of courageous Americans 17 years ago as an act of defiance against the war in Iraq.” For the entire article written by Bob Keyes,  CLICK HERE.

Walt Whitman was the first portrait he painted. The quote on the painting is the preface to “Leaves of Grass”, a poem of Whitman’s:

“This is what you shall do: love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to everyone who asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown.”

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Maine Excellence in Arts Education Celebration

December 7, 2018

Maine Arts Commission to honor Excellence in Arts Education

The Maine Arts Commission will honor nine schools – nine visual art educators – 36 students for their artwork – 158 students for their music – two music educators at the Maine State House with a special reception with First Lady Ann LePage in the Hall of Flags, December 11, 2:00 p.m.

Marshwood Middle School is recognizing their students in the arts with this sign outside their school!

Starting December 1, 2018 through April 2019, the Arts Commission is featuring an art exhibit of 45 pieces that will include for the first time ever, student work combined with their respective art teacher’s work. The student art exhibit is being showcased throughout the State House Capitol building, the Burton M. Cross building, and the offices of the Maine Arts Commission. Additionally, each student artist and their families are invited to the Hall of Flags for a special reception on December 11, starting at 2 p.m. The reception includes student performances and a certificate ceremony with First Lady Ann LePage.

Acrylic painting by grade 8 student Lydia Phipps, Marshwood Middle School

“The Maine Arts Commission believes it is essential for every student to have access to a quality and comprehensive visual and performing arts education,” said Julie Richard, Executive Director of the Maine Arts Commission. “The arts let’s students develop the critical thinking, collaborative, and creative skills necessary to succeed in the ever changing diverse and global economies of today’s world. “

The following schools, teachers and 4 students from each school will be honored and featured in the student exhibit:

  • Gorham Middle School, Teacher: Amy Cousins
  • Hancock Grammar School, Teacher: Jane Snider
  • Jonesport Elementary and Jonesport Beals High School, Teacher: Lisa Marin
  • Marshwood Middle School, Eliot, Teacher: Melanie Crowe
  • Maranacook Middle School, Readfield, Teacher: Hope Lord
  • Oxford Hills High School, South Paris, Teacher: Cindi Kugell
  • Brewer High School, Teacher: Lori Spruce
  • Richmond Middle School and High School, Teacher: Jeff Orth
  • Waterville High School, Teacher: Suzanne Goulet

“Great Third Hill” created by Marshwood Middle School art teacher Melanie Crowe

Two choruses will be recognized and performing at the celebration. Seventy five students will be traveling from Sedomocha School in Dover-Foxcroft with their music teacher Kaitlin Young. Traveling from Marshwood Middle School in Eliot will be seventy five students with their music teacher Kris Bisson. Their programs will highlight their amazing students and a collaborative project that Kris’ students participated with teaching artist Brian Evans-Jones.

All of the teachers involved are teacher leaders in the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative, a program of the Maine Arts Commission.

The reception is open to the public on Tuesday, December 11, 2:00 p.m.

For more information about the Maine Excellence in Arts Education please contact Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education at 207-287-2713, argy.nestor@maine.gov.

For more information about the Maine Arts Commission’s programs and services, please visit www.MaineArts.com; follow the agency on FacebookTwitter and Instagram, or contact the offices at 207-287-2724.

 

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Americans Who Tell the Truth in Syracuse

November 30, 2018

Just imagine

At Syracuse University this week all 238 Americans Who Tell the Truth portraits are being displayed. Many of the visual and performing arts faculty are involved in using the portraits as part of their fall curriculum. Several of the living portrait subjects were on hand for part of the week. I can only imagine what a sight this was for all of the visitors. AMAZING! An true testimony to the power of art! THANK YOU to artist Robert Shetterly for his amazing art and his willingness to share it with others. THANKS to Connie Carter, who works with AWTT for taking and sending the photo below which shows only a portion of the exhibit. It’s wonderful that this is taking place along with the two last blog posts on AWTT and the Samantha Smith Challenge.

 

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Caitlin Hunt’s Story

November 29, 2018

Samantha Smith Challenge

Thank you to Caitlin Hunt, Warsaw Middle School teacher, who shares an amazing story about her students participation in the Samantha Smith Challenge. Yesterday’s blog post provides an overview of Americans Who Tell the Truth and the Samantha Smith Challenge and how you can participate this year. This is a powerful statement that Caitlin shared from her experience of bringing art into her classroom: “Perhaps it is this empathy borne out of their art that helps them to better understand the true meaning of social justice.” Below is Caitlin’s, and her students, story in her own words…

Artist Robert Shetterly speaking to students

I have been a middle school teacher for 13 years, and I can honestly say that the Samantha Smith Challenge, (SSC) which my students and I participated in last year, provided some of the most important and exciting learning we have ever had in my class. SSC is a program of Americans Who Tell the Truth (AWTT) established by artist Robert Shetterly. Many of the 70 students I taught in my 8th grade social studies class last year were not academically motivated and struggled just to complete assignments. Many of them required considerable support, and had completely lost interest in school. However, I noticed those who had become apathetic were constantly drawing during my class and I realized that art might be a motivator for my students. At that time, I had no idea that bringing the arts into my social studies classes would dramatically improve my students’ knowledge, their confidence, and their ability to empathize with people in situations much different than their own. And perhaps it is this empathy borne out of their art that helps them to better understand the true meaning of social justice.

Student created flyer for gallery opening

UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

Together the students and I studied the United Nations document, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights as our anchor text. After they developed an in depth understanding of the 30 basic human rights outlined by the document, they chose the one that was most meaningful to them. Each student was charged with researching current events around the world, to see if the human right which they chose was being denied anyone, or any groups of people around the world. They focused in on this particular event, and learned as much about it as possible. It was interesting to me how much the information they discovered shocked them. Many of them had no idea about the extent of these injustices. After my students showed a full understanding of the injustice, they designed and created works of art, and wrote artist statements, based on their understanding of the denial of this human right.

Art in the Lobby

We titled our project You Be The Judge: Justice Through Art. Our mission statement, the art work, news and images of the students’ work in gallery displays, and our thank-yous can be viewed on the website the students and I created after we finished the project.

AUTHENTIC WORK

The students knew their work would be shown in at least one gallery display. We were fortunate to be able to set up our week long gallery display in an old school house that we named that currently serves as an office building in our town of Pittsfield. We named it Lancy Street Gallery. The students became docents, showing community members around the gallery, and explaining individual pieces to anyone visiting. Their understanding of

Bailey Working

this authentic audience, along with their commitment to the issues they researched, helped them create and participate in quality work throughout the project. We all worked extremely hard to complete pieces, edit artist statements, hang the gallery display, and show the work. What was so different about this project was that the students were no longer struggling with motivation. They saw the importance in what they were doing. They understood that they could teach their fellow community members. Their work reached beyond the local gallery we created with showings at the Universalist Meeting House in Pittsfield, Waterfall Arts  “Young Artists’ Gallery Takeover” exhibition in Belfast, and Art in the Lobby at Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville.

Holocaust and Human Rights Center, Augusta

Along the way, as we were in the thick of the rigorous work it takes to pull off a project like this, it was connections to the real world outside the classroom walls that kept us going. We were able to visit the Holocaust and Human Rights Center in Augusta that, at the time, had an amazing exhibit called America Now… A Dialogue. We also visited the Portland Museum of Art where students participated in case studies to look into other works of art connected to social justice.

VISIT FROM ROBERT SHETTERLY

Universalist Meeting House

As a part of participating in the Samantha Smith Challenge, artist Robert Shetterly visited our school. His talks inspired many students to dive deeper into the current events they found. He challenged them to look at situations from multiple perspectives and he helped make connections between my students and some of the “courageous citizens” he painted. These experts shared their first hand knowledge with my students. It was so powerful for the kids to hear from people who work on the front lines of the issues they had become so passionate about.

DISTRICT REQUIREMENTS

Visit to Portland Museum of Art

Before we started the project I identified the district standard we would be addressing throughout, “researching, selecting, and presenting a position on a current social studies issue by proposing and revising research questions, and locating and selecting information from multiple and varied sources.” I used our district learning targets, to create a rubric for assessment. In order to meet standards, students had to do the following: 1. Summarize and interpret information found in varied sources and from fieldwork, experts, and interviews. 2. Distinguish between primary and secondary sources. 3. Evaluate and verify the credibility of the information found in print and non-print sources. 4. Make individual and collaborative decisions on matters related to social studies using relevant information and research and discussion skills. Of course, along the way we participated in mini-lessons geared towards each part of these learning targets as well.

HIGH EXPECTATIONS LEAD TO PRIDE

Jackson, Docent at Lancy Street Gallery

After completion of the entire project, I sat down one weekend to assess their work using the rubric I had created at the beginning. When I came back to school on Monday, I told the students how fun and exciting it was to assess their work. Authentic, real-world application of their knowledge had earned nearly all them 4s or “exceeds standards” on their work. I told them I felt like Oprah doling out 4s instead of cars, “You get a 4, and you get a 4, and you get a 4!” Although, as I write this, I realize how ironic the term “exceeds standards” is. It was always my expectation that students would apply their new found knowledge in a real world situation; that was the whole point of the project. If we set our expectations high, students will rise to meet them, and then we can all be proud of the work we accomplish. Perhaps one of the most difficult, yet important parts of teaching is finding a way to inspire students to rise to those expectations. The Samantha Smith Challenge helped provide that inspiration for my students.

Part of the exhibit at Waterfall Arts, Belfast

Lancy St. Gallery Pittsfield

Ruby Working

Lancy Street Gallery Pittsfield

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National Gallery of Art

November 16, 2018

Resources

The National Gallery of Art has an online free resource catalog that contains numerous resources for individuals and institutions to borrow. The catalog provides brief descriptions of the teaching packets, guides and DVDs available.

ONLINE RESOURCES

  • Over 100 sessions and 15 interactive programs for students from Pre-K to grade 12 that focus on art-making and the intersection of art with math, science, language arts, and history. LINK
  • The National Gallery of Arts Pinterest page contains themed, lessons, workshops, and project ideas.
  • High-quality digital images are accessible to download through NGA Images. More than 51,000 open access files are yours to search, browse, share, and download. LINK

Visit HERE to create an account to borrow free teaching packets, guides, and DVDs not available online. They offer a wide selection of programs on well-known artists such as Edward Hopper, Pablo Picasso, and Alexander Calder. Each program highlights an aspect of art history which can be appreciated by a wide variety of audiences

If you have any questions contact Lily Abt, 202.842.6269 or email Lily atL-Abt@NGA.gov

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Edutopia

November 14, 2018

Maine art educator

Carol Shutt retired in June after 27 wonderful years as the K-8 art teacher at Mount Desert Elementary School in Northeast Harbor. Congratulations to Carol for her article that was recently published in Edutopia called Making an Event out of ArtThe piece is about the annual Arts Week (20 years) and suggestions on how to plan for one.

You can read an interview with Carol posted last February on this blog.

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The Little Fir Tree

November 12, 2018

Support the local theatre

The Waldo Theatre is presenting a family-friendly benefit concert at 4:30 PM on Saturday, December 8th at the Broad Bay Congregational Church in downtown Waldoboro. The concert will celebrate winter and the holiday season through a reading of Margaret Wise Brown’s beloved children’s book, “The Little Fir Tree.”

The reading will be accompanied by projections of Barbara Cooney’s award-winning illustrations and live music performed by Josie and Sophie Davis, Colin Wheatley, and Ju-Young Lee. Local actress Devin Fletcher will narrate the story.

A reception with cookies and hot drinks provided by Laura Cabot Catering will follow the performance. Admission is by a suggested donation of $12 for adults and children are admitted for free. Proceeds from the event will benefit the renovation and restoration of the historic Waldo theatre – one of Waldoboro’s most treasured gathering places. For more information, email info@thewaldotheatre.org, or visit www.waldotheatre.org.

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