Archive for the ‘Visual Arts’ Category


Youth Art Month

March 2, 2015

March ~ 2015
Twenty-One Years of Meaningful Collaboration
The Maine Art Education Association

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 10.37.16 PM
The Portland Museum of Art
You are Cordially Invited to the
Celebratory Reception and Opening of
Youth Art Month
Please join us on Saturday, March 7th
4:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Portland Museum of Art

Certificates of Participation and Honor
will be presented
4:30 pm     Grades K-3
         5:30 pm     Grades 4-7
           6:30 pm     Grades 8-12
The Youth Art Month Show
Remains Hanging
February 28 through March 29, 2014
Invitation artwork created by
Zoe Eason, Grade 5
Boothbay Region Elementary School

Artwork created by Zoe Eason, Boothbay Region Elementary School,  Grade 5, “Autumn Cake”, Oil Pastels, Jessica Nadeau, Art Teacher


In Today’s News

March 1, 2015

Maine Sunday Telegram

Youth Art Month celebrates the visual arts

Youth Art Month celebrates the visual arts – Read about the present exhibit with 100 Maine student artists from grades PK-12 at the Portland Museum of Art. For several years the Maine Art Education Association and the museum have partnered on the YAM student exhibit. To read the entire article written by Bob Keys please go to

Maine Drama Festival signals hopeful change of season

Over 2,500 high school students from 80 schools located throughout Maine will perform their one-act plays at nine sites next Friday and Saturday. This annual event weekend has been taking place since the 1930’s. It is a great way to see several 40 minute plays while you are supporting the school communities. To read the entire article written by Bob Keys please go to

The playwright’s the star of this show

Morse High School’s one-act play was written by senior Morgan Quigg. Next weekend 60 Morse students involved in the One-Acts will be keeping their fingers crossed that the play ‘Look Up,’ by Quigg will do well. To read the entire article written by Bob Keys please go to


Arts Education Month

March 1, 2015

Celebrate with students, family members, parents, grandparents by recognizing students

I have always felt grateful to be in the field of Arts education. I never lose sight of what my career choice is all about, and still base my decisions concerning arts education on this question: What is in the best interest of every student?  I am so encouraged by what is going on in education today – finally, the student is being moved to the center of the education circle. The shift for teachers is changing, we are no longer the ‘disseminater’ of information but we’re becoming the “guide on the side”. And, in my opinion, this is just the way school should be, (even if disseminater is not a word)!

I have always loved March because it is the time earmarked to celebrate students and the arts! It is  is Youth Art Month and Music in our Schools Month. Please send your stories about how you are celebrating Arts education and students stories about how the arts impact their lives. Either email me at or post your comments at the bottom of the blog.

Youth Art Month is a month of promoting art education in the United States. Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 7.48.03 PMIt is observed in March, with thousands of American schools participating, often with the involvement of local art museums and civic organizations.

Started in 1961 through the Art & Creative Materials Institute, Inc. (ACMI) and in cooperation with the National Art Education Association (NAEA), Youth Art Month exists to:

1. Recognize art education as a viable factor in the total education curricula that develops citizens of a global society.
2. Recognize art is a necessity for the full development of better quality of life for all.
3. Direct attention to the value of art education for divergent and critical thinking.
4. Expand art programs in schools and stimulate new art programs.
5. Encourage commitment to the arts by students, community organizations, and individuals everywhere.
6. Provide additional opportunities for individuals of all ages to participate in creative art learning.
7. Increase community, business and governmental support for art education.
8. Increase community understanding and interest in art and art education through involvement in art exhibits, workshops, and other creative ventures.
9. Reflect and demonstrate the goals of the National Art Education Association that work toward the improvement of art education at all levels.

See more information at:

The information above is from the National Art Education Association.

In addition, March is Music In Our Schools Month

MIOSM LOGOThis a great time to highlight the importance of  comprehensive, sequential music education taught by exemplary music educators for all through concerts, lessons, and public performances and advocacy activities. Yes, we know that these are things that should be happening day in and day but this will help you to remember to pay closer attention to your students who are participate. March has been officially designated by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) for the observance of Music In Our Schools Month (MIOSM®), the time of year when music education becomes the focus of schools across the nation. MIOSM began as a single statewide celebration in 1973, and has grown over the decades to encompass a day, then a week, and then in 1985 to become a month long celebration of school music. The purpose of MIOSM is to raise awareness of the importance of music education for all children – and to remind citizens that school is where all children should have access to music. MIOSM is an opportunity for music teachers to bring their music programs to the attention of the school and the community and to display the benefits school music brings to students of all ages.

See more information at

This information taken from the National Association for Music Education.


MAEA Art Exhibit

February 28, 2015

Student Art Exhibit Coordinated by Maine Art Education Association at Maine Education Association

Student Art Exhibit Recognizing

Youth Art Month

Invitation Art by Amber Smith, Grade 7

Sebasticook Middle School, Newport

Glenda Frati, Art Teacher

Opening Reception – Refreshments: Sunday, March 8 – 1:00-2:30 Presentations, 1:30

Maine Education Office

35 Community Drive

Augusta, ME

(near the Augusta Civic Center)

Office Hours: M-F, 8:00-5:00pm

Artwork on display until Fall 2015


Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Theresa Cerceo

February 24, 2015

MAAI Teacher Leaders series

This is the second blog post for 2015 on the Phase 4 Maine Arts Assessment Initiative’s (MAAI) Teacher Leaders sharing their stories. This series contains a set of questions to provide the opportunity for you to learn from and about others. You can learn more about MAAI at and learn more about all 61 of the MAAI Teacher Leaders at!teacher-leaders/c1qxk.

Theresa CerceoTheresa Cerceo is in her ninth year teacheing Visual Arts, K – 12 with MSAD 33 in Frenchville / St Agatha school district. Check on the map, it is WAY UP NORTH! She teaches full time;  I teach full time; middle / high school in the morning (four times a week) and elementary in the afternoon (each class once a week). In addition to teaching art, Theresa is a certified Gifted and Talented teacher and works with students in this capacity for Visual and Language Arts enrichment.  At the elementary level, she helps facilitate Language Arts, Science and Math Skill Seminars as part of the school-wide daily schedule. These seminars occur for 45 minute Monday – Thursday and change topics every two weeks. Also, Theresa serves on the school district’s Leadership Team for Learner – Centered Proficiency-Based Learning. Before moving to Maine in 2006, she lived in (my home town) Philadelphia.  There, she spent some time at Tyler School of Art (Temple University) before receiving a BFA from Rosemont College and an MAT (Visual Arts) from the University of the Arts.  In addition to working for the Main Line Art Center and the University of the Arts as an arts teacher in their children’s weekend and summer programs,  she taught art for 3 years within Philadelphia and the surrounding area at the elementary, middle and high school level.

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

What I enjoy most about being an art educator is being able to provide an opportunity for students to engage in one of our basic human instincts, to create. I am humbled that I can assist in nurturing a child’s ability to express their unique identity while providing them the knowledge in skills and  techniques so that they may communicate more effectively.

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

In addition to administrative support, I believe love and personal commitment for one’s content, assessment supported curriculum, and teacher flexibility are the three keys to providing a successful art education.

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

Good assessments offer me a tool in which I can communicate with my students regarding expectations and their growth. It allows me to plan for what students need and how they need instruction delivered. This allows me to make their time in my room as individualized as possible.  Students see constructive feedback regarding their thought processes and skills and then, they can set real goals that are meaningful to them. I am finding that this facilitates not only skill and concept development, but a deeper appreciation for their time spent in art class.

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

Becoming involved with MAAI has given me the tools and support to establish my voice in my district. By attending Mega-Regionals and then going through the Teacher Leader training I have gained the knowledge base to establish the arts as an academic subject. At the core, what I have gained through MAAI is the knowledge that I am no longer an isolated arts teacher; that I am part of  a large group of educators that believe that the Arts are essential to human development; they understand why and they are committed to strengthening arts education and advocacy for the arts in Maine. This has reinvigorated my passion for teaching as well as my commitment to building the best art program possible.

What are you most proud of in your career?

I am most proud of my personal growth as an educator. Over the years, I have spent a lot of time developing, reflecting and revising my curriculum and it has gone from a basic outline of what I thought was important for students to know (based on my personal experiences as a student and my personal interests),  to a more (teacher – student) collaborative piece that allows for exploration and discovery, reflection and personal goal setting. The most important thing I have learned, and I am still developing is flexibility in terms of instruction. A concept may be important for all students to get, but the way I deliver it might change from class to class depending on their readiness level, learning styles or even time constraints. I strive to treat students as individuals and to allow the art room to be a place where they can make personal connections to the materials and techniques offered and feel safe to make mistakes and to grow. Although this was always my theory about how an art classroom should run, it took me time and a lot of reflection and revision in order to reach a place where I can feel I am closer to this goal.

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

I think we can often get in our own way through self doubt or rigidity in our thinking. I realize now, I used to act as though students should be the kind of student I was or should care about the subject matter I find important. Teaching through this paradigm produced some success but not much growth or the overall “ love for the arts” I was hoping to foster. By surveying students, hearing other teachers, reflecting, and trying new ideas, I feel I learned a lot about myself and how to be a better teacher.

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

I am not sure. I guess I believe luck can only get you so far. For real success to happen, hard work and determination has to be part of it.

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

My advice is; do what you know is right, honor your natural instincts and let your classroom be a reflection of who you are and how you want the world to be.

If you were given a $500,000.00 to do with whatever you please, what would it be?

If the money went to my classrooms, I would build a ceramics studio at both schools.  If it was for me to use personally,  I’d get an RV and travel around all the parts of the US I have never seen and/or start an arts center.

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

No, I believe all the parts of our journey offer learning experiences to help us evolve.  And, as we go through the various ins and outs of our life, we influence and are influenced by those around us.   As long as we keep learning from our mistakes, working positively and honestly toward our goals, there is nothing to regret.



Visual Arts PD Opp

February 21, 2015

Professional development opportunity for visual art educators 

An invitation from Catherine Ring, Ex. Director, New England Institute for Teacher Education

I’d like to personally let you know of a special opportunity coming up right in Augusta, starting MARCH 14 — a 3 credit course on Visual Art Assessment, K-12.  The course will meet for two weekend sessions, March 14 and May 9.

You might wonder, how can I add this to my already full plate?  Is Assessment really necessary, or even possible, in an art room when I see so many students?  It really doesn’t matter where you are on the Assessment bandwagon — both experienced and teachers new to assessment in visual art classrooms have taken this course. There’s always more to learn, and this course gives you the time to talk and learn and try things out — imagine that!

You’ll be surprised at how much art teachers learn from each other – and that’s just what we do! We share resources that arts educators have created or discovered through the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative, ask hard questions, problem-solve, try some things out in our classrooms, and figure out what we CAN do in our very busy schedules to help improve teaching, learning and assessment.  The course meets for two weekends only – Friday night (4-8pm) and Saturday (8-4pm) with weekly contact with the instructor, in between.

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 4.33.54 PMWe’re especially delighted to announce that Lisa Ingraham will be teaching the course for the New England Institute this spring. Lisa has taught Visual Art for ten years and has been a Teacher Leader in the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative since 2013.  She has a BA in Graphic Design and Illustration from Western Connecticut State University and a MS in Education from Thomas College. Lisa has collaborated with other visual and performing arts teachers from around the state of Maine in reflecting on assessment and designing professional development presentations for regional workshops. Lisa is currently the Secretary and Advocacy Co-chair for the Maine Art Education Association, and is working toward her endorsement in Gifted and Talented Education.

So come join us and find out what’s happening in Maine with assessment in visual art, and with meeting proficiency in the art room. You will be excited to know that arts educators are leading the way and other educators are following suit.  Here are the details:

EDPO 536: Refining Assessment in the Visual Art Classroom, K-12

Augusta, Maine (Viles Arboretum)

Session 1:  Saturday (8-4pm), March 14

Session 2:  Saturday (8-4pm) May 9

This course meets for both sessions

You can choose to take this as a graduate course through our partnership with Endicott College, or for recertification credits for 4.5 CEUs. We can bill your school directly with a purchase order, or are happy to make payment arrangements.

To register, please visit the New England Institute website at If you have any questions at all, pick up the phone and call me any time, or email me.

Thank you! We hope to hear from you!

Catherine Ring

Executive Director

New England Institute for Teacher Education

PO Box 460

Stonington, Maine 04681




Haystack in the Summer

February 20, 2015

Two week scholarship available

The Quimby Family Foundation Fellowship for Haystack 2015

Application Deadline: Friday, March 6th

Submit your application directly to: Heidi O’Donnell  –
The Quimby Family Foundation Fellowship, a great opportunity for summer professional development. This fellowship is for an active MAEA Maine art educator to spend two weeks participating in a Haystack summer workshop.
photo_spreadThe Quimby Family Foundation has awarded Haystack a grant of $35,000 to endow a fellowship for an active MAEA Maine art teacher. Haystack has had a long relationship with Maine art teachers — the Maine Art Education Association held one of its first annual fall conferences at Haystack in 1968 — and many art teachers have studied at the school during summer sessions. Haystack has received grant support in the past from both the Surdna Foundation and the Maine Arts Commission to award fellowships.

The time spent here is important to art educators both for their teaching and art-making. Bronwyn Sale, a former art teacher from Portland, wrote this when she received a similar fellowship a few year’s ago, “As an art teacher, I believe that the best ‘staff development’ is to be among fellow working artists and to practice my own art. Attending Haystack gave me the space and environment to do so. In addition to the personal artistic growth that occurred during my workshop, as a teacher the experience was invaluable. I was able to assume the role of student again in a workshop taught by an artist who is also a master teacher…. I gained a whole new perspective on teaching and was exposed to ideas and assignments that I can now share with my students…” This new fellowship will create a permanent fellowship for an active MAEA Maine teacher to attend a two-week session.
To Apply:

Go to the Haystack website for all information about sessions and workshops. Note: This scholarship is for a dorm room. If you would like more expensive accommodations, you would be required to pay the difference.

Download and print the application form and fill it out completely. Email your completed application directly to the president with your answers to the following two questions:

1.Why would attending a summer session at Haystack be important to your teaching and how would you benefit from the opportunity?

2.How have you advocated for Art Education locally in your district and/or how have you volunteered to assist Maine Art Education Association?

If selected as the scholarship recipient, you would be responsible for writing a reflection, including photographs, of your fellowship experience for our newsletter and website.


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