Archive for the ‘Visual Arts’ Category

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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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MALI Summer Institute: Day 2

August 4, 2017

Wowzer!

Kate Cook Whitt

Day 2 kicked off with an amazing STEAM presentation from Kate Cook-Whitt. The opening was titled This is your Brain on Art: Neuroscience and the Arts  – “Examining the World Through Different Lenses: Art and Science”. Kate is an Assistant Professor of Education at the Center for Innovation in Education (CIE) at Thomas College. Participants agreed that Kate’s presentation was outstanding!

Teacher Leaders participated in several great mini-sessions, some led by teacher leaders and teaching artists leaders themselves including:

  • Nancy Frolich, Social Justice mini-lesson

    Social Justice and the Power of the Arts with Nancy Frohlich from Leaps of Imagination

  • 7 Strategies of Assessment with Jeff Beaudry from USM and visual art teacher leaders Holly Leighton and Samantha Armstrong

  • National Board Certification with visual art teacher leader Danette Kerrigan

  • Connecting the STUDIO HABITS of MIND to the NATIONAL STANDARDS in the Visual Arts classroom with visual art teacher leader Jane Snider

  • Things Into Poetry session with Brian Evans-Jones

    Things Into Poetry with poet teaching artist leader Brian Evans-Jones

In addition Bronwyn Sale and John Morris provided a session called Teaching for Creativity. The afternoon brought all three strands together (teaching artist leaders, new PK-12 teacher leaders and returning PK-12 teacher leaders) for a session with teaching artist leader and potter Tim Christensen. We engaged with a small medallion of clay using the process Tim is so in tune with: sgraffito.

The rest of the afternoon was spent on leadership, advocacy, and putting it into action on the follow up plans for the next year. Strand 1, the Teaching Artist Leaders met with Jeff Poulin, electronically, from the Americans for the Arts.

Day turned into night and educators gathered around the Thomas College fire pit for drumming and a chance for Tim to fire the clay pieces created earlier in the day in the propane fire pit. This provided a wonderful opportunity to connect with colleagues from across the state. What a great way to end an outstanding day!

Strand 1 with Jeff Poulin, Americans for the Arts. Kate Smith, Design Team member, holds the computer during the question and answer period

Jennie Driscoll, Elise Bothel visual art teacher leaders

Jen Etter, music teacher leader

New teacher leaders David Coffey – music and Amy Donovan-Nucci – visual art

Tim Christensen firing the clay pieces

Fun around the fire pit!

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Stories of the Land and Its People

July 13, 2017

Farnsworth Art Museum

Student Art Exhibition, May 21, 2017 to September 10, 2017 in the Crosman Gallery

Stories is a project-based, arts-integrated learning experience at the Farnsworth Art Museum.  Museum educators, classroom teachers, students, and teaching artists collaborate to explore curricular standards though inquiry-based learning in the classroom, at the museum, and during field trips into our local communities.

This exhibition highlights student learning and artwork from this yearlong partnership. Thanks to the Farnsworth Art Museum for  providing the following resources that provide a clear picture of their program.

From the opening of “Stories”

Stories of the Land and Its People, a project of the Farnsworth Art Museum’s Arts in Education Program, is generously supported by the Arthur K. Watson Charitable Trust, Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Chichester duPont Foundation, Mattina R. Proctor Foundation, Seth Sprague Educational and Charitable Foundation, Virginia Wellington Cabot Foundation, two anonymous contributors, and in-kind support provided by Partners for Enrichment.

 

 

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Maine Fiberarts Explores Textile History

July 6, 2017

Threads of History exhibit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Reception/Meet the Artists: Sunday, July 23, 1:30-4 p.m.
Topsham — “Threads of History: Exploring Maine’s Textile Past” is the theme of programming taking place in and around Brunswick and Topsham during July and August. Events are sponsored by arts nonprofit Maine Fiberarts and include an exhibition, a history walk, a tour of Maine Woolens, illustrated lectures about textile mill history and Maine’s silk industry, and a log cabin quilting workshop held at Maine Fiberarts. 
The exhibition at Maine Fiberarts, “Threads of History: A Contemporary Take” features work by 16 Maine artists, and is on view May 9 through September 1. A Reception/Meet the Artists takes place Sunday, July 23, from 1:30-4 p.m. which is free and open to the public.
This exhibition features work by a diverse group of artists referencing Maine textile history. The collection of work within “Threads of History” ranges from woven portraits using photo transfers, to garments and wall pieces made of paper, cloth and bark fiber. Items of clothing include bonnets made of paper, shoes formed from gold wire, and a coat assembled from picture postcards. Hooked rugs, woven photographs, handmade paper assemblages, and a canvas floor cloth are all shown. As one example, artist Jill Snyder Wallace calls her piece “Lost Industry,” “an ode to the demise of the textile, shoe and wood turning industries of Maine.”
Artists’ books on display include an elaborate beaded storybook boa entitled “Ornithology” by Nan Heldenbrand Morrissette and a journal made of kozo fiber made by Richard Lee depicting a “Trip through New Hampshire Sheep and Wool.”
On display are also artifacts of the textile industries of the past, including sewing supplies, beaded purses, textile tools, and items of clothing. 
Art and artifacts were created by: Chris Antonak, Brunswick; Elizabeth Berkana, Portland; Kate Brinsmade, Bowdoinham; Barbara Burns, Harpswell; Crystal Cawley, Portland; Janet Conner, Hiram; Stephanie Crossman, Vinalhaven; Henry D’Alessandris, Brunswick; Richard Lee, posthumously; Roslyn Logsdon, New Harbor; Arlene Morris, Brunswick; Nan Heldenbrand Morrissette, Falmouth; Gail Skudera, Lewiston; Barbara Taylor, Brunswick; Jill Snyder Wallace, Minot; and Donald Talbot, Lisbon Falls.
In addition to the exhibition and Reception on July 23, other programming includes:
  • A Log Cabin Quilting Workshop, with artist Stephanie Levy, July 22, from 10-4 at Maine Fiberarts

  • A Walk Through Brunswick Textile History with historian Candace Kanes, July 27, 5:30-6:30 p.m. (start at the clock in front of the Tontine Mall) (rain date, Saturday, July 29 from 10-11 a.m.);
  • A Tour of Maine Woolens, a Brunswick weaving mill, with president Raymond Boschold, Wednesday, August 9, from 10:30-11:30 a.m.;
  • An Illustrated Lecture on Historic Textile Mills in Brunswick and Topsham, with architectural historian Scott Hanson at Topsham Public Library, Wednesday, August 16, 6-7:30 p.m., and
  • an illustrated talk on “Maine’s Silk Industry: Famous from Coast to Coast,”
    offered by Jacqueline Field, August 30, 6-7:30 p.m. at Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick.
Details about programming locations and fees can be found at www.mainefiberarts.org under “Current Exhibition.”
“Threads of History” was made possible with funding from the Maine Humanities Council, the Alfred M. Senter Fund, the Davis Family Foundation, and Maine Fiberarts’ members and friends. For more information, please contact: Maine Fiberarts, 13 Main Street, Topsham; 207-721-0678; www.mainefiberarts.org. Gallery hours: Wednesday-Friday, 11-4; Saturday, 11-2.
FMI contact: Christine Macchi, Executive Director
Maine Fiberarts
Phone: 207-721-0678
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Harlow Gallery

June 30, 2017

Pop-up show

HALLOWELL, MAINE — The Harlow Gallery is hosting a pop-up show and sale of art and craft by the artists of SpinOff Studios. The SpinOff pop-up shop is open at 160 Water Street in Hallowell from Wednesday to Saturday, July 12-15. Gallery hours the week of Old Hallowell Day are 12-6pm Wednesday – Friday, with expanded hours on Old Hallowell Day, 10am -6pm.

SpinOff Studio, a “spin off” of Spindleworks of Brunswick, started out in Hallowell in 2012 before relocating to Gardiner. Both SpinOff and Spindleworks are nonprofit art centers for adults with disabilities. Their mission is to help people with disabilities achieve full and inclusive lives in their chosen community. Stop in and welcome them back to Hallowell.

The SpinOff pop-up shop offers a vibrant selection of original art and craft, all handmade locally. Buy local and support both the artists of SpinOff Studios as well as the Harlow Gallery.

The Harlow Gallery located in downtown historic Hallowell is home to the Kennebec Valley Art Association, a membership based 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to connecting and celebrating art, artists and community in central Maine since 1963. Exhibitions are always free and open to the public.

Gallery Hours: Wednesday-Friday 12-6pm, Saturday 10am-6pm

Contact: Allison McKeen, Marketing Manager, 207-622-2813, kvaa@harlowgallery.org,

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Figurative Sculpture Workshop

June 8, 2017

Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts

Figurative Sculpture Workshop
Dates:  July 20-21
Location: Lincoln Academy, 81 Academy Hill Road, Newcastle, ME  Map
Workshop Fee*: $195 for out-of-state teachers ; $95 for Maine teachers
Optional Housing**: $40 per night
This workshop is for middle and high school art educators.
During this two-day workshop, artist and art educator Claudia Olds Goldie will present a number of figurative ceramic sculpture projects that can be adapted for all grade levels, class sizes, and classroom situations.  Claudia will draw from her experiences as both a long-time teacher and as a professional artist. Through demonstrations and hands-on practice, participants will learn how to create a hollow standing figure, a proportionate, expressive head, and a life-size hand.

Because the course will be held off-site at Lincoln Academy, the local high school (rather than at Watershed), please be prepared to transport your work home as greenware at the end of the workshop. Participants may choose to stay at Lincoln Academy during the workshop or commute.

 Contact hours will be provided by Watershed for this workshop.
*Includes clay and lunch on Thursday and Friday.
** Housing is at Lincoln Academy in double occupancy rooms with twin beds.  Participants must bring their own bedding.  Fee includes breakfast.

About Claudia Olds Goldie

Claudia is a 2017 Mass Cultural Council finalist. She has received a Kiln God Residency from Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts, a residency fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center, and a nomination for a Boston Foundation Brother Thomas fellowship. She has shown nationally in shows such as the NCECA Biennial in Houston, SOFA Chicago, numerous State of Clay National Juried exhibitions, Ohio Craft Museum’s “Figure It” Invitational, and “Contemporary Figurative Sculpture” at Santa Fe Clay Gallery. She shows her work at Boston Sculptors Gallery and Frederick Holmes Gallery of Contemporary and Modern Art in Seattle.

Claudia received her BFA from Boston University College of Visual Arts. She celebrates her 40th year teaching sculpture at Dexter Southfield School in Brookline, Massachusetts, and is an instructor at Harvard’s University’s Ceramic Program.

Her work has been published in 500 Figures in Clay, 500 Figures in Clay Vol. 2 by Nan Smith, Sculpting Clay, and Low Fire: Other Ways to Work in Clay, both by Leon Nigrosh, and Ceramics Monthly, Clay Times, and American Craft magazines.

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