Archive for the ‘Visual Arts’ Category

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Congressional Art Awards

May 19, 2016

Congrats high school artists

It was so wonderful to see high school artists being recognized at a ceremony at the Blaine House earlier this week. Each year two pieces of high school student artwork are selected to be displayed in the Cannon Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol for a year beginning in June as part of the Congressional Art Awards. One piece is selected from each of Maine’s Congressional districts. CONGRATULATIONS to the students listed below for their recognition.

JoJo Zeitlin, Cape Elizabeth High School

JoJo Zeitlin, Cape Elizabeth High School

District 1 represented by Congresswoman Chellie Pingree

  • Selected Artist: JoJo Zeitlin, Cape Elizabeth High School, grade 11. Art Teacher: Richard Rothlisberger
  • 1st Runner up: Anna Callahan, Brunswick High School, grade 10. Art Teacher: Allison Price
  • 2nd Runner up: Abigail Stevens-Roberts, Thornton Academy, grade 12. Art Teacher: Dana Altman
  • Honorable Mention: Caitlyn Duffy, Gorham High School, grade 12. Art Teacher: Chris Crosby
  • Honorable Mention: Gabriel Rosen, Portland High School, grade 12. Art Teacher: Barbara Loring
  • Honorable Mention: Katie Sprague, Kents Hill School, grade 11. Art Teacher: Babs Wheelden
Michaela Shorey, Rangeley Lakes Regional School

Michaela Shorey, Rangeley Lakes Regional School

District 2 represented by Congressman Bruce Poliquin

  • Selected Artist: Michaela Shorey, Rangeley Lakes Regional School, grade 12. Art Teacher: Sonja Johnson
  • 1st Runner up: Rachel Flannery, Lewiston High School, grade 12. Art Teacher: Nathaniel Meyer
  • 2nd Runner up: Chandler Clothier, Lewiston High School, grade 12. Art Teacher: Sarah Stocker
  • Honorable Mention: Olivia Berger, Hebron Academy, grade 12. Art Teacher: Jeanine Eschenbach
  • Honorable Mention: Alanna Fellows, Lewiston High School, grade 12. Art Teacher: Nathaniel Meyer
  • Honorable Mention:Shin Hye Hwang, Hebron Academy, grade 12. Art Teacher: Jeanine Eschenbach

A great big thank you to the teachers, parents and other adults who support these students and their artistic endeavors. Each student received a certificate of award and a scholarship to the Maine College of Art. The two students representing Maine’s Congressional Districts and one guest will be flown to Washington, D.C. for the official opening of the show in June.

The Maine Arts Commission partners with the Maine College of Art and the National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards to select the artwork. Gold and silver winners from the Maine Regional Scholastic Art Awards are automatically submitted to be juried in February for the Congressional Art Competition.

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Teen Opportunity PMA

May 18, 2016

­Portland Museum of Art (PMA)

The PMA has an interesting summer fellowship position available for a teenager. The position lasts 7 weeks, for a total of approximately 105 hours, July 11 to August 26. If you are an educator who knows of a student who may be interested in this type of opportunity please share this link with them and encourage them to apply. 

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Position: Homer High School Fellow

Department: Learning and Interpretation

Division: Audience Engagement and Communications

Reports To: Associate Educator for Youth Learning

GENERAL SUMMARY

Under the general supervision of the Associate Educator for Youth Learning, this position offers high school students the opportunity to learn about the museum profession through the development of youth and teen programs. This seven-week fellowship program is designed to foster creative thinking, to build community, and to use the PMA collection for inspiration and idea building. The Homer High School Fellow will be one of eight fellows who will collaborate on projects and programs.

ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS

  • Creates new ways for teen audiences to engage with the museum and its works of art through the creation of interpretative materials and programs.
  • Participates in discussions about ways in which PMA programming could attract teen audiences.
  • Assists Learning and Interpretation staff in design and execution of drop-in art activities for youth, teen, and family audiences.
  • Attends PMA public programs (artist and curator talks, daily tours, etc.) to learn about the museum’s collection and exhibitions and to better understand how the museum makes the collection and exhibitions accessible to the public.
  • Participates in visits to working artists’ studios and the National Convening for Teens in the Arts at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.
  • Participates in a visit to the Winslow Homer Studio at Prouts Neck to learn about the importance of place in Homer’s work, and to link the process of observing with the process of creating.
  • Works on special projects in the Learning and Interpretation department with museum staff serving as mentors.
  • Complies with all Portland Museum of Art safety rules and procedures.
  • Regular attendance at the workplace is required.

SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITY

None

EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE

Applicants must be rising high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors or seniors.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • A high school student highly motivated in the visual arts.
  • Comfortable working with museum visitors of all ages, including children, teens, and adults.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work both independently and cooperatively with coworkers and a variety of individuals contacted in the course of work.
  • Interest in working with children.
  • Ability to handle sensitive and confidential information with discretion.
  • Ability to pass a criminal background check.
  • Ability to obtain a work permit if under 16 years old.

Internship Period and Hours

Tentatively July 11 through August 26, 2016

The Homer High School Fellows will work at the PMA and offsite daily for a total of approximately 105 hours. Tentatively, five hours a day for three days a week. Some weekend and evening hours required.

WORKING CONDITIONS AND PHYSICAL DEMANDS

A majority of the work is performed in a museum or gallery setting or in a normal office environment not subject to extremes of noise, temperature, odor, etc. Operates computer, printer, photocopier, and other office equipment. Uses various hand tools, art supplies, and paper cutters. Local and regional travel required.

TERMS

The Homer High School Fellow position is a temporary part-time, hourly, non-exempt, employment-at-will position. Work is tentatively scheduled for July 11, 2016 – August 26, 2016, the specific schedule to be determined. The Homer High School Fellows will work at the PMA and offsite daily for a total of approximately 105 hours. Tentatively, five hours a day for three days a week. Some weekend and evening hours required.

APPLY

Please submit completed PMA Application for Employment and Supplementary application for Homer High School Fellows (available at the website) http://www.portlandmuseum.org/about/employ.shtml to HHSF.pma.042016@portlandmuseum.org or mail to Business Manager, Portland Museum of Art, 7 Congress Square, Portland, ME 04101. The deadline for applications is June 5, 2016.

The Portland Museum of Art is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants shall receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, veteran status, status as a whistleblower, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

 

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Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Lynda Leonas

May 17, 2016

Teacher Leader series

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This is the tenth blog post of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Phase 5  Teacher Leader stories. This series contains a set of questions so you can learn a little bit about the work they are doing as Maine arts educators. CLICK HERE for more information on MALI. CLICK HERE for more information on the 73 of the MALI Teacher Leaders. CLICK HERE for Arts education resources. Search in the “search archives” box on the bottom right side of this post for past stories. There have been 69 posted to date.

Lynda Leonas has been a K-6 Visual Arts Educator  working with approximately 700-800111 - Copy students per year for the past 4 years at two of Lewiston’s elementary schools; Governor James B. Longley Elementary and Farwell Elementary.  Prior to her work in Lewiston, she spent 3.75 years in Auburn’s Public Elementary School system across the river and 3 years teaching all forms of fine art to youth and adults at her private art studio in Lewiston.

What do you like best about being a visual art educator?

I love the opportunity to work with every student at the elementary level of education. Seeing all students, even those without confidence in their artistic abilities, allows me to encourage them to overcome any “fears” and to always trust themselves. Working with every student also allows me to champion the arts as an important tool for cross-curricular development in literacy, mathematics, and the sciences; as well as the ever-important motor skill development and hand-eye coordination skills necessary to become a successful athlete.

What do you believe are three keys to ANY visual and performing arts program?

  1. Listen to your students!
  2. Keep it fresh! Promote the student work locally!
  3. Plan ahead as much as you possibly can.

How have you found assessment to be helpful in your classroom?

I have created assessments inspired by students and credit the new assessments as having been inspired by the students whenever I can.  The sense of accomplishment the students feel as having been listened to produces a total buy-in from their peers and increases productivity and participation tremendously.  The students have fun while using the assessment tools along their learning path in the art room.

What have been the benefits in becoming involved in the arts assessment initiative?

The motivation resulting from working with educators across our state has produced an exciting energy to keep learning and discussing arts education lessons, assessments, and common goals!

Charlie Hewitt MAEA Spring conference

Charlie Hewitt MAEA Spring conference

What are you most proud of in your career?

Due to my involvement in MALI, I was encouraged to create a workshop and to present to other arts educators. In doing so, the opportunity to showcase this year’s 5th grade collaborative artwork  to the artist we had studied actually came up! The student work was displayed at the entry of our MAEA Spring Conference and Charlie Hewitt, sculptor of “Lewiston Rattle”, was our keynote speaker. The students were so excited to hear he would be viewing their fabulous pieces! It was so thrilling to present Charlie with student art inspired by him!

What gets in the way of becoming a better teacher or doing a better job as a teacher?

Increased class sizes and reduced class times within the arts education field has hurried along some aspects of the visual art class room. This aspect is truly a challenge for me; and, I have had to search for outside opportunities to increase the amount of one-on-one time I spend with students. During a regular school week, there can be less than two minutes to connect with each student in a class on an individual level.

What have you accomplished through hard work and determination that might otherwise appear to at first glance to be due to “luck” or circumstances?

In working with one principal, I had the opportunity to showcase the importance of the visual arts within the elementary general education system. After 17 individual open houses in one year, I was able to connect with families across cultures and provide opportunities for my students to teach their family members how the visual arts embrace techniques that truly develop the “whole” student. After hosting these events, the students themselves truly became more motivated during art classes!  This was a bonus!

Look into your crystal ball: what advice would you give to teachers?

Advice? Even after planning ahead as much as you possibly can, be prepared to “fly by the seat of your pants” at times!  The art education world can be a hectic environment where everything works out in the end…be flexible!

If you were given $500,000 dollars to do whatever you please, what would it be?

$500,000.00 would start up a terrific college scholarship for those pursuing the arts as arts-for-arts’ sake and arts-related studies that lead toward medical and engineering degrees!  It also might buy me a new car to shuttle between the couple of schools I see each day…I am thinking of a Jeep Renegade…just not certain it would be easy to load student supplies and work along with my Great Dane…any recommendations?

Imagine you are 94 years old. You are looking back. Do you have any regrets?

I believe I may still be teaching at the age of 94…depends upon retirement funds!  I hope I won’t have regrets.  As new opportunities arise, I will be certain to do my best in accomplishing them so that I can avoid regrets down the road.

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Excellence in Visual and Performing Arts Education

May 9, 2016

Congratulations students

Students, teachers, and parents traveled through the last snow storm (most likely) of the season to the State House in Augusta to attend the celebration of the Excellence in Maine Visual and Performing Arts Education at the Hall of Flags recently. The Maine Arts Commission and the Maine Department of Education, in partnership with the First Lady of Maine, Ann LePage, are proud to sponsor the program.

Hunter Penney, grade 6, Mount View Middle School

Hunter Penney, grade 6, Mount View Middle School, Art Teacher – Gloria Hewett

Congratulations students whose artwork is part of the exhibit from the following school districts: MSAD #51 (Cumberland/North Yarmouth), RSU3 (Unity), and AOS91 (Mt. Desert). Congratulations to the 62 students whose artwork is throughout the State House complex until the middle of June.

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Molly Ritter, Pemetic School, Robert Sattler – Art Teacher

Congratulations to the following teachers whose students are exhibiting: James Treadwell, Suzannah Wood, and Lynda McCann-Olson from Greely Middle School and McCann-Olson and Joanne Matusko from the Mabel I. Wilson School in MSAD 51; Greg Warren from Monroe Elementary, Morse Memorial, and Walker schools, Linda Ravin from Mount View Elementary School, Eric Phillips from Mount View High School, and Gloria Hewett from Mount View Middle School in RSU 3; and Charles Johnson and Mary Swift from Mount Desert Island High School, Carol Shutt, Mount Desert Elementary School, Robert Sattler, Pemetic School, Chandra Raymond, Swan’s Island School and Tremont Consolidated School, and Connie Barnes, Trenton Elementary School, all in AOS 91.

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Shaylee O’Grady, Greely Middle School, Art Teacher – Lynda McCann-Olson

Greely High School Madrigal Singers under teh direction of Sarah Bailey and the Greely High School Jazz Combo delighted the attendees with their performance at the celebration. The singers will perform the National Anthem and an additional song at the reception’s opening, and the jazz combo will close the celebration.

Maine’s First Lady, Ann LePage attended the celebration to congratulate and honor the students. Joining the First Lady were Julie Richard, Executive Director of the Maine Arts Commission; Dr. William Beardsley, Deputy Commissioner of Education; and Peter E. Geiger, State Board of Education Vice-Chair.

At the conclusion of the ceremony students gathered with the First Lady to have their picture taken and toured the State House complex to view the artwork. It was a delightful afternoon!

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You can view the student artwork online at

https://www.flickr.com/photos/maineartseducation/collections

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Congratulations Krisanne Baker

May 7, 2016

Artists selected for 2016 Monhegan Residency

Press release

Krisanne Baker

Krisanne Baker

The Monhegan Artists’ Residency has announced three artists selected for its residencies during the summer of 2016: Barbara Sullivan of Solon, Krisanne Baker of Waldoboro, and Michelle Hauser of Rockland. Sullivan creates fresco reliefs of everyday objects and will take part in the residency for five weeks in late May through early June. Baker is a multimedia ecological artist creating works concerning water quality, availability, and rights. As a high school art teacher at Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro, Baker will be enjoying the two-week residency for Maine K–12 art teachers in July. Hauser creates photographic hybrids and paints on paper, and will take part in the five-week residency in late August through early October.

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Krisanne Baker

The jurors for the 2016 residencies were Sissy Buck, a printmaker and book artist, and recent MARC (Monhegan Artists’ Residency Corporation) board member; Duncan Hewitt, an artist whose work is currently on view in a retrospective exhibition at the Portland Art Museum and professor of art at the University of Southern Maine; and Polly Saltonstall, editor of Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors magazine and contemporary Maine art collector. Saltonstall remarked, “It was so hard to narrow down the selection to choose this year’s winners. That said I can’t wait to see how these already amazing artists incorporate Monhegan into their work and how the island shapes their vision.” Fellow juror Sissy Buck echoed these remarks: “It was difficult to choose! Lots of thoughtful review and discussion went on. Each of the chosen artists displayed a deep connection to sense of place in their work. I am excited for these artists to experience and immerse themselves in the slower rhythm, timeless beauty, and community of Monhegan.”

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Krisanne Baker

The Monhegan Artists’ Residency is open to artists at all career levels and strives to support the creative growth of dedicated Maine artists by providing time and space to work free of interruption and constraint in the inspiring environment of Monhegan Island. Since its founding in 1989, the organization has sponsored more than 50 artists, providing them with living quarters, studio space, and a small stipend. The Monhegan Artists’ Residency Corporation is a non-profit organization supported by individual donations and foundation grants. For more information visit on Facebook or go to monheganartistsresidency.org.

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Congressional Art Awards

May 2, 2016

Student artists recognized

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 27, 2016
CONTACT: Linda Nelson, Assistant Director
207-287-7050,  linda.l.nelson@maine.gov

AUGUSTA, ME, April 27, 2016–The Maine Arts Commission is proud to announce a special, invitation-only event at the Blaine House to celebrate this year’s Congressional Art Competition winners. The tea, hosted by First Lady Ann LePage, the Congressional offices of Representatives Pingree and Poliquin, and the Commission will feature the work of JoJo Zeitlin, a junior at Cape Elizabeth High School in Congressional District 1, and Michaela Shorey, a senior at Rangeley Lakes Regional School in District 2. Ten other students, five from each congressional district who have been awarded runner up and honorable mention status for their art, will also receive certificates at the event. The First Place submissions will hang in the U.S Capitol for one year along with student art from participating Congressional Districts across the nation.

“We are very lucky to have this kind of talent in our student population here in Maine,” said Julie Richard, Maine Arts Commission Executive Director. “It reinforces the strength and quality of our art education programs across the state. Congratulations to our winners and our finalists.”

Zeitlin won District 1 with her black and white photographic portrait of an older man entitled “Brian.” First District jurors Amy Cousins, an art teacher at Gorham Middle School and Piper Bolduc, an art teacher at Old Orchard Beach High School, said they appreciated her skill in capturing the personality of an individual, which they believe is a unique talent for an artist of her age. They commented on the outstanding quality of her pieces as shown through her technical ability to use depth of field and dark contrasts to enhance the subject matter.

“Jo Jo’s photograph shows great composition and technique. As an islander, I love that the image is so distinctly rural, coastal ‘Maine,’” Representative Pingree said in announcing the award. “I think it will really stand out and I’m proud that it will represent Maine’s First District when it is hung at the Capitol this June.  My congratulations to JoJo and all the top finishers of this year’s competition—everyone’s work was truly exceptional.”

Shorey’s top piece, entitled “An Older-Young Girl,” was also a portrait made from various media including pastels and cut paper. Jurors for Maine’s Second District—Robyn Holman, the former curator at USM’s Lewiston Gallery, and Anthony Shostak, an arts educator at Bates Gallery-found Shorey skilled in using the media to convey a sense of the person, and commented on her strong sense of composition, uniting all the elements to further convey the work’s title.
“Each year, I am astonished by the tremendous artistic ability and creative talent of our Maine high schoolers,” said Congressman Poliquin. “I am incredibly proud to showcase Michaela’s artwork at the U.S. Capitol for this next year, where it will be admired and enjoyed by thousands of Americans from across the country. Congratulations, Michaela, on a job well done!”

The judges recognized the work of five other students from each District as follows:
·       District One—first runner-up Anna Callahan of Brunswick; second runner-up Abigail Stevens-Roberts of Saco; and honorable mentions Katie Sprague of Manchester, Gabriel Rosen of Portland and Caitlyn Duffy of Gorham.
·       District Two—first runner-up Rachel Flannery of Auburn; second runner-up Chandler Clothier of Lewiston; and honorable mentions Olivia Berger of South Paris, Alanna Fellows of Lewiston and Shin Hye Hwang of Hebron.

Every year beginning in 1982, the U.S. House of Representatives sponsors the nationwide Congressional Art Competition to provide an opportunity for members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of their young constituents. Over 700,000 high school students have competed for the honor of having their work shown in the U.S. Capitol.

The Maine Arts Commission coordinates the competition in Maine, which is open to all high school students and results in a winner, first runner up, second runner up and honorable mention chosen from each of the state’s two congressional districts. The competition is co-hosted by the Commission and the offices of Representatives Bruce Poliquin and Chellie Pingree.
To select student work for consideration, the Maine Arts Commission partners with the Maine College of Art and the National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.  Gold and silver winners from the Maine Regional Scholastic Art Awards are automatically submitted to be juried in February for the Congressional Art Competition.

For more information on the Congressional Art Competition in Maine, please contact the Maine Arts Commission at info@mainearts.com. To learn more about the Commission’s arts education programs please contact Argy Nestor, Director of Education, at argy.nestor@maine.gov. To learn more about the Commission’s visual arts programs please contact Julie Horn, Director, Visual Arts Programs, at Julie.horn@maine.gov.

The Maine Arts Commission shall encourage and stimulate public interest and participation in the cultural heritage and cultural programs of our state; shall expand the state’s cultural resources; and shall encourage and assist freedom of artistic expression for the well-being of the arts, to meet the needs and aspirations of persons in all parts of the state.

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Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Holly Leighton

April 27, 2016

Teacher Leader series

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This is the seventh blog post of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Phase 5  Teacher Leader stories. This series contains a set of questions so you can learn a little bit about the work they are doing as Maine arts educators. CLICK HERE for more information on MALI. CLICK HERE for more information on the 73 of the MALI Teacher Leaders. CLICK HERE for Arts education resources. Search in the “search archives” box on the bottom right side of this post for past stories. There have been 66 posted to date.

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 8.42.57 PMHolly Leighton has been an elementary art teacher at the Ella P. Burr School in Lincoln for 17 years seeing 400+ students weekly. This year she moved to the district’s high school, Mattanawcook Academy, where she is the art teacher with 92 art students from grades 9-12. (RSU 67) Holly’s main responsibilities are teaching six 70 minute classes and covering the visual art standards.

What do you like best about being a visual art educator?

I love working with the students and watching their confidence in their art abilities grow. When I have a student that feels they “just aren’t good in art” I make it my mission to help them find their strengths and show them their growth as they go. When they begin to show pride in their art, embrace new media eagerly, and start thinking outside the box, I feel I have done my job well. It is very fulfilling and makes me feel proud to hopefully be making a difference in student’s lives.

What do you believe are three keys to ANY visual and performing arts program?

I believe it requires teachers that are knowledgeable and passionate about teaching the arts and understands and loves working with students of all ages. I believe there has to be support from the administration, school board, and community. I believe we have to build strong art programs and continually advocate for them.

How have you found assessment to be helpful in your classroom?

I like to use formative assessments to track student’s growth and guide my teaching. I like to make sure each student knows where they are and where they need to go next in their learning. I have students do self-reflections on their artwork using the critical analysis process. I feel it makes students really think about their art, gives it importance, and makes them proud of what they have done.

What have been the benefits in becoming involved in the arts assessment initiative?

Confidence! I was very unsure about how effectively I was using assessments in my classroom. After attending the conference in the fall I realized many of the others felt the same and we are on the right track. I learned so much from the others, creative resources for assessing in the arts, confidence in using my voice, and that we all have good ideas and need to share them. I have become a much more confident teacher.

What are you most proud of in your career?

I am proud of whom I have become through my years of teaching and this has happened because of the many dedicated colleagues that have mentored and encouraged me on my way. I consider myself a good teacher that cares about the students and really wants them to succeed in life.

What gets in the way of becoming a better teacher or doing a better job as a teacher?

For me it is time. Teachers are expected to spend so much time on new initiatives, trying new programs to improve the way we do things, meetings, and duties. We need to have time set aside on early release and workshop days to work on curriculum and standards, reflect on our teaching, and the multitude of other things that have to be done to keep our programs running effectively.

What have you accomplished through hard work and determination that might otherwise appear to at first glance to be due to “luck” or circumstances?

I have always tried to find ways to bring the students to the arts and artists to the classroom. We have had authors, illustrators, drama and dances teachers, and musicians come preform and/or teach in the classrooms. We have had multiple field trips to the Portland Museum of Art, Colby Art Museum and University of Maine Museum of Art. With help from my arts colleagues, I arrange these events at little or no cost to the district through grant opportunities and foundations. It is a lot of work and sometimes seems to just happen to others. I do it because I feel it is important for students in our rural area to experience the arts first hand.

Look into your crystal ball: what advice would you give to teachers?

Reach out and network with others. Join state and national organizations and be an active member. There is a wealth of resources out there to help with funding for field trips to the arts, to bring working artist to your schools and professional development opportunities for yourself.

If you were given $500,000 dollars to do whatever you please, what would it be?

I would go on vacation and travel to all the places here and overseas that I have wanted to see. I would pay off our home and fix up our family’s summer camp on the lake. With the rest I would fund a ceramics studio for our art program.

Imagine you are 94 years old. You are looking back. Do you have any regrets?

No. I use to have regrets, but finally realized that choices I have made have led me to be who I am today, my family, friends and work ethic. I believe the choices we make in the past lead us in different directions and where I had ended up at this point in my life, I couldn’t be happier.

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