Archive for the ‘Visual Arts’ Category

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EXPLORE

October 21, 2017

Art Teacher and Teaching Artist collaborate

Acton Elementary School students in the EXPLORE: Visual Art program worked with Maine Teaching Artist Ann Thompson to create woven wheels, kinesthetic sculptures using bicycle wheels and nylon climbing rope. Ann collaborated with Art Teacher Cami Davis to create and install the pieces at Kelly Orchards in Acton during Applecycle, a bicycle tour of orchards in southern Maine on Saturday, October 14. The sculptures will take permanent residence on the school grounds along with six other pieces that will hang indoors.
Cami said: “Students loved working collaboratively on the three dimensional pieces and learning about the donated and recycled materials used to create the sculptures.”
Applecycle is a fund raiser for the Community Bicycle Center
after school youth development program.
And, Teaching Artist Ann Thompson, who is on the Maine Arts Commission Teaching Artist roster said: “The CBC is one of my favorite collaborators and a vitally important program for our community!”

 

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Arts Education Network

October 11, 2017

Opportunity to connect

Heather Martin from Arts are Elementary in Brunswick

On Friday, October 6, representing organizations, institutions, and schools almost 40 people gathered at the Farnsworth Art Museum for the Maine Arts Commission Arts Education Network.

PURPOSE

The purpose was to meet and learn from each other by sharing information and resources, exchanging ideas about education programs, and collaborative thinking.

Hannah Cordes, Portland Stage Education Manager listens while Julianne Shea, Education Administrator introduces herself

It was a great opportunity to NETWORK!

The first part of the agenda included the opportunity to hear about the statewide arts education census that was conducted during the 2015-16 school year. Julie Richard, the Maine Arts Commission executive director shared highlights.

Julie Richard, Executive Director at the Maine Arts Commission reviews what we learned through the state wide census in Arts Education conducted during the 2015-16 school year

Andrea Curtis shared information about the Farnsworth education programs. Teaching artist Alexis Iammarino provided the background information on the murals she has created with students that are located throughout Rockland.

All participants introduced themselves and answered What drives you? Why do you do what you do?

Chrissy Fowler from Belfast Flying Shoes and Joshua McCarey listen while Jessie Davis the Executive Director of the Strand introduces herself

The second part of the day, the participants were in four groups to discuss the following audience questions and vision questions.

AUDIENCE 

  •      With whom do you currently collaborate?
  •      With whom might you like to collaborate?
  •      Who are your programs currently reaching?
  •      Which demographic would you like to engage more?

 VISION

  •      If there were no constraints on your resources (i.e. time,   staffing, funding), what would you do?

ridget Matros from Waterfall Arts listens while the Arts Education Exchange participants share information about their work in arts education

Small groups shared with the entire group. Participants were invited to visit the Midcoast Music Academy, the Strand Theater, CMCA, the Farnsworth, or the murals they had learned about earlier in the day.

Notes were taken in each group which will be collated and shared with the participants and the 20 others who were not able to join us. If you are part of an art organization, institute, or school and have an arts education arm and are interested in connecting please email me at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

Ian Bannon from Figures of Speech and Celebration Barn documenting participants comments

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Teaching Artist Leader

October 2, 2017

Tim Christensen

Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teaching Artist Leader Tim Christensen took an amazing journey this summer. The Center for Maine Craft presents 30 Days at Sea, an exhibition of prints, books and clay work by Tim Christensen, October 5-November 19, 2017. The exhibition will feature new works created during, and in response to, the artist’s 2017 journey to Sydney, Australia via container ship.

In Tim’s own words

“In my work, I document the natural systems, as I understand them, that I see in my surroundings here in coastal Maine. This trip is an extension of that, is part of my life as an artist, was possible because of my life as an artist. And as so often happens, there were many rewards from this which I would never have had available: Off the Galápagos Islands, I watched hundreds of dolphins leaping out of the water, joyfully racing toward my ship to play in the bow wake…1000 miles from Pitcairn Island, I saw the ocean and sky, devoid of all life, saw the earth naked, and watched the conversation between sky and water play out over and around me…A day out of Panama, I saw long and thick wind rows of our discarded plastic, sheltering and entangling leatherback sea turtles, Mahi Mahi, sharks, and manta rays…Above a nameless series of seamounts, I saw clouds of flying fish erupting from the water for days on end, hundreds per minute. In the middle of nowhere, I saw a place on earth where I was 1500 miles from the nearest other human. To witness these things was a privilege, to represent them in art an even greater one.”

The exhibit will be at the Center for Maine Craft, off the turnpike toll plaza at West Gardiner. The opening is October 13 to kick off Maine Craft Weekend!

To learn more visit the Maine Crafts Association website.

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Glacier Drawings to Raise Awareness

September 30, 2017

Zaria Forman

First of all, Zaria’s art is amazing. Her use of pastels provides a photographic quality that is soft and light. And, the places that her art takes her to is inspirational to anyone wishing to engage in real world learning. Her journey as an artist takes “expeditionary learning” to a new level. In addition, she is documenting so others can see and learn what is happening at a basic level. She spent four weeks on a National Geographic boat exploring amazing areas in Antarctica and Greenland. And she returns to these areas, this time flying overhead with NASA’s Operation IceBridge.

In her words: “I hope my drawings serve as records of landscapes in flux, documenting the transition, and inspiring our global community to take action for the future.”

I am sure once you view her work you’ll want to share with your students!

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Haystack

September 19, 2017

MAEA Fall Conference

Almost 100 visual art educators traveled to Deer Isle Maine for the annual 3-day conference. Some had to drive 5 hours to get there. When I reach the bridge over to the island and smell the salt air and see the seabirds flying, I know whoever has made the long trip, doesn’t question its worth. The conference is held at the beautiful Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and sponsored by the Maine Art Education Association (MAEA). The organization stands on the shoulders of giants and many of those names were mentioned over the weekend.

MALI Teacher Leaders

THANK YOU

A HUGE THANK YOU to Carolyn Brown for chairing the conference and to all of the Maine Art Education board members and the organization members who volunteer to do the hours of work to make the conference so wonderful!

HIGHLIGHTS

  • A GREAT learning opportunity
  • Delicious food
  • Beautiful environment
  • Opportunity to meet art teachers from across the state
  • Amazing people who are open to sharing, exchanging ideas, and providing support
  • A wonderful feeling of community

Yes, that is guacamole

Comments

  • The opportunity to learn is amazing; like no other that I have
  • I get to feel what my students feel while learning something new
  • I look around and wonder if my art is good enough and I remember we’re all in this together
  • What an opportunity to push my limits
  • I’m learning at full speed
  • Now I can go back to my school feeling totally nourished

Workshop offerings

  • Expanding Your Fiber Universe: Lissa Hunter

  • Block Printmaking – Balance and Texture: Holly Berry

  • Exploring the Basics of BronzClay Jewelry Fabrication: Nisa Smiley

  • Visual Journaling: Sandy Weisman

  • Making Animal Sculptures with Clay using Enclosed Forms and Additions: Tim Christensen

  • Bringing Digital Fabrication into your Curriculum: Elliot Clapp

  • Experimental Watercolor Painting: Erica Qualey

  • Past to Present: Personal Found Object Assemblage Inspired by Shrines, Alters, and Reliquaries: Stephanie Leonard and Suzanne Southworth

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Pausing

August 14, 2017

Ideas and images – writing, drawing, photographing

We are all filled with thoughts and ideas. Each of us has some type of record keeping, documenting, remembering of the ideas and thoughts. Some formally through journals, photos, shoeboxes. perhaps on blogs. Some informally in our memories, getting together with friends or family to reminisce. And multiple other ways!

Photo by Sai Mokhtari/Gothamist

Some people use an electronic devise, some use a pencil or pen and paper. The act of writing or note taking was discussed on Freakonomics on Saturday (public radio show). Research on which is more impactful on remembering – computer use or actual writing. Another segment on Saturday included “I, Pencil” an essay written by Leonard Read in 1958. The story started out with a visit to a shop in NYC owned by a young woman who moved from Ohio to open the store, CW Pencil, because she LOVES pencils. If you like pencils the website alone is a delight to the eyes. I can only imagine that the store is a wonderful place to visit. You can see some photos of the store at THIS LINK. Anyone been there? If so, Leave a Comment below so others can learn about your visit or email me and I can include an update on the Maine Arts Ed blog here. And, if you’re interested in blogs (or pencils) the owner of CW Pencil, Caroline Weaver, has a blog on the website at THIS LINK. The shop is located at 100a Forsyth Street in Manhattan. I’ve added it to my “places to go” list.

This morning I received a quote in an email from my colleague and friend Lindsay Pinchbeck. I’ve blogged about Lindsay’s work; she is the founder and director of Sweet Tree Arts Center and Sweetland School in Hope and we traveled to Malawi in July 2016 to provide professional development for Malawian teachers on arts integration. Sweetland is an arts integrated school inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach. The quote Lindsay shared is from Lucy Caulkins on Writing: “I take a moment – an image, a memory, a phrase, an idea – and I hold it in my hands and declare it a treasure.”

This blog post is really about how our experiences come together to inspire and move us to living life a bit differently. The idea of taking a moment each day to hold something in our hands coupled with what I heard on public radio and what I experienced yesterday, brings it all together for me and reminds me to PAUSE.

Here is my moment from yesterday after a few hours spent with a dear friend walking on the beach in a not so far away place with the water, the rocks, the birds, laughter, and stories.

Today Kal and I took a leisurely walk along the beach filled with rocks of difference sizes and shapes. I was struck by how angular many were. Several were split by glaciers and some by the cold and ice of winters past. The split ones still standing in formation, their negative spaces as important as the rock pieces. Each rock, water and wind worn – a variety of types – their smoothness invited me to touch them. One had sea weed attached to the top and it reminded me of screaming hair. Within 3 inches around it – perfect eyes, nose and mouth. 

Clicked this picture to remember. It first spoke to me without the eyes, nose and mouth. LOVE the beach – especially when it is remote (yet not far) and provides me a moment to insert myself into the natural world. 

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MALI Reflections

August 8, 2017

What’s it really all about

As I take a few minutes to reflect on the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Summer Institute that was held last week at Thomas College for three days I can’t help but think about what MALI is really all about. If I had to select one word it would be COMMUNITY. As many of you know there are about 1200 visual and performing arts educators in the state and I really don’t know how many teaching artists there are throughout Maine. Both were well represented last week. Bottom line, each of the participants were teachers, striving to be better at teaching and the desire to connect with others who care deeply about arts education.

Wow, I am so humbled by their commitment and proud of what they accomplished in three days!

Reasons for MALIs success

  • Teachers teaching teachers is a critical component
  • MALI is a community that provides ongoing support. Teachers learn that they have peers throughout the state experiencing the same or similar situations that they do day to day. They no longer feel like islands.
  • This summer’s institute had three strands; one for Teaching Artist Leaders, one for returning TLs and one for new TLs. The strands are customized for the unique group and individual needs. The strands came together for cross pollination and collaborations are formed.
  • All of the ideas are based on research and what is in the best interest of teacher development.
  • Phase 7 New Teacher Leaders

    A Design Team guides the work of MALI and plan every detail of the summer institute. They are totally committed to contributing above and beyond.

  • The MALI community grows each year with some teacher leaders returning year after year.
  • Through their work TLs find their voice and are invigorated to return to their school districts. Many are recognized in their new leadership role and are invited to the table at the local level. They serve on district leadership committees, lead the school and district professional development work for all subjects and grade level teachers, and are honored for their leadership.
  • The institute schedule is different each year to adapt to the changing needs but the foundation is built on What is good teaching? What is good learning? What is good assessment?
  • Teaching Artist Leaders Phase 6 and 7

    In 2015 Teacher Leaders created a set of Belief Statements on that include the topics that are vital to Maine arts education today: Arts Integration, Advocacy, Assessment Literacy, Creativity and 21st Century Skills, Educator Effectiveness, Effective Teaching and Learning, Proficiency Based Learning and Student Centered Learning, and Teacher Leadership.

  • Teachers are connected and become Critical Friends to help support each other’s teaching.
  • MALI models teaching tools

So, what makes involvement in the MALI community so special?

Looking closely at Tim Christensen’s pottery are Jenni Driscoll, Jean Phillips, Tim, and Charlie Johnson

Participants comments

  • “MALI has helped me grow tremendously as a professional and my students grow tremendously as learners.” ~ Charlie Johnson, Visual Art Phase 1
  • “It’s leadership through the arts and as artist/teachers we have so much to offer.” ~ Cindi Kugell, Visual Art Phase 7 Teacher Leader
  • “MALI has made me feel like I have a voice in my school, my community and in my state. ~ Jen Etter, Music Phase 3 Teacher Leader
  • “It is a lifeline for arts educators and education. ~ Jane Snider, Visual Art Phase 2 Teacher Leader
  • “MALI allows us to share our artistic strengths and perspectives in a forum which will directly impact the educational experiences of children across the state of Maine. ~ Brigid Rankowski, Phase 6 Teaching Artist Leader
  • “I feel so validated in my beliefs in the arts being so important to the “WHOLE CHILD”. This week has allowed my confidence to soar in my building!” Amy Nucci, Visual Art Phase 7 Teacher Leader
  • Brian Evans-Jones, Teaching Artist Leader conducts poetry mini-lesson

    “MALI has helped me grow more confident both personally and professionally, especially as a leader. ~ Mandi Mitchell, Visual Art Phase 5 Teacher Leader

  • “It makes me brave. By stepping out of my comfort zone to try new things and improve my practice. MALI is my safety net. ~ Dorrie Tripp, Music Phase 7 Teacher Leader
  • “MALI allows me to connect with exceptional arts educators from across the state; share resources and knowledge and improve my teaching!” ~ Pam Chernesky, Visual Art Phase 6
  • “I am thrilled to be part of the MALI team and so energized for my year of learning ahead.” ~ Kris Bisson, Music Phase 7
  • “Because of my role as a MALI Teacher Leader I got the opportunity to be chosen as one of three teachers to lead the professional development work in my district. It takes you places.” ~ Holly Leighton, Visual Art Phase 5
  • “Through the MALI Summer Session I discovered that both my art and my teaching are really directed at the same goal (engagement/interaction) and that who I am is as important to teaching & learning as what I know”. ~Tom Luther, Teaching Artist, Music Phase 7 Teaching Artist Leader

Next steps

Some of the MALI Teacher Leaders (TL) and Teaching Artists Leaders (TAL) will be sharing their learning in a workshop format at the local or regional level. Others will be continuously sharing in a social media mode. The Phase 7 summer institute was really about customizing the learning for each educator. I will keep you posted as they wrap up their plans for the school year I will share the information here on the blog and also on the Maine Arts Assessment site and through the communications that are delivered by the Maine Arts Commission.

Please let me know (argy.nestor@maine.gov) if you have any questions and are interested in applying to be involved as a Teacher Leader or Teaching Artist Leader for Phase 8.

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