Archive for the ‘Visual Arts’ Category

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Mr. Spider

July 21, 2015

Great story about an art teacher retiring

Mathias “Spider” Schergen retired this year after 23 years teaching art from Jenner Elementary Academy of the Arts in Chicago. This is a great story from NPRs All Things Considered. You can listen to or read the article at this link http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/07/15/420876522/mr-spider-says-goodbye-an-art-teachers-final-day-at-school.

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Standardized Tests

June 19, 2015

How some students feel about standardized tests

Ms. Chang is an art teacher at Burlington High School in Massachusetts. She recently asked her students to create art answering the question “How Do You Feel About Standardized Tests?” You can view the answers to the question on her blog called Ms. Chang’s Art Classes located at http://mschangart.weebly.com/home/students-create-art-answering-the-question-how-do-you-feel-about-standardized-tests.

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Bates College Museum of Art

June 13, 2015

Educator’s workshop

August 28th from 3:00-5:00. The workshop will include a tour of the upcoming show and refreshments.

Points of View, is an exhibition of contemporary photography featuring new and recent works by Jay Gould, of Baltimore, Md., Gary Green, of Waterville, Me., David Maisel, of Marin, Ca. and Shoshannah White, of Portland, Me. Viewing elements of the Maine landscape from different levels of scale – from great distance to close-up, each artist explores a different aspect of the interrelationships between human populations and the natural world. The exhibition runs from June 12 through October 24, 2015 at Bates Museum of Art.

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 10.58.53 AMThe Bates College Museum of Art offers tours for schools groups and community members free of charge. To register for the workshop please contact Anne Odom at 786-8212 or Aodum@bates.edu. To schedule a tour for your class or classes, please contact the museum’s education staff at our addresses below. We have a limited amount of funding for busing so don’t wait to book your tour! Funding is available through ‘ticket to ride’ from the Maine Arts Commission. http://mainearts.maine.gov/program_artsineducation_ticket.aspx

Anthony Shostak                                                                  Kimberly Bentley
Curator of Education                                                           Museum Education Fellow
(207) 786-8302                                                                    (207) 753-6904
ashostak@bates.edu                                                            kbentley@bates.edu

 

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GT Art Seminar

June 4, 2015

District-wide in RSU#38

On May 15th a district wide Art Seminar was held for Gifted and Talented Art students in grades 3-12. A total of 22 GT Art students participated in the three art sessions presented by local artists at their studios. Christine Higgins and Thomas Higgins share a studio in Readfield. Christine creates sculptural forms and pulp paintings from her handmade paper. Thomas is a plein air oil landscape painter. Their website is http://christinejhigginsfineart.com. Melissa Fredsall is a glass artist and she teaches a variety of glass arts at the Stained Glass Express studio in Manchester. Their website is www.stainedglassexpress.com.

The students were divided into two groups: elementary students and middle school/high school students. Ms. Lord, the middle school art teacher, accompanied the MS/HS students as they started their day at the Dragonfly studio in Readfield. Students listened to a short presentation by Christine and Thomas about their art and how they communicate a message with their artwork and then they got right to work creating art. While high school students sat on the edge of the woods with Thomas and learned techniques to sketch a graphite landscape, Christine taught the middle school students how to screen and press pulp fibers into paper and dye the fibers to create a design. After an hour the two groups switched places, so that each group were able to work along side both artists.

Meanwhile at the Stain Glass Express studio, Ms. McPhedran, a district elementary art teacher, and the elementary students were working with Melissa Fredsall to create glass mosaic tiles. Each student selected colored glass pieces to form a design, which they glued to the tile and then grouted the glass pieces. Each student was able to finish their tile and bring it home the same day.

After students ate their lunches, they boarded the bus and MS/HS students traveled to the Stained Glass studio and Elementary students traveled to the Dragonfly studio. The elementary students received the same two presentations by Christine and Thomas and created their own paper and sketched landscapes with graphite and colored pencils. The MS/HS students spent the afternoon cutting glass and creating several glass design pieces, that were later fired in the glass kiln and made into beautiful magnets.

It was a wonderful day spent with great weather, talented artists, and creative students. On the bus ride back to school the students exclaimed what a great time they all had and were greatly inspired to use their new art skills.

Photos of the day can be viewed at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/ 0BxHQTmvxop2OTHR4RWwycEFTcEk/view?usp=sharing

Thank you to Hope Lord, Maranacook Middle School ART teacher for providing this great blog post.

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Congratulations Sue Beaulier

May 28, 2015

She’s a Rock Star!

Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 2.09.24 AMCongratulations to Sue Beaulier who was selected as the Aroostook county Teacher of the year. She is one of those passionate visual art teachers who has dedicated her life to her school community. Sue teachers art at the PK-12 Ashland School, and serves as the Gifted Talented coordinator as well.

Sue is a Teacher Leader with the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative, joining in Phase 2, 2012. On March 5 Sue told her story for the readers of this blog in this post https://meartsed.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/another-arts-teachers-story-susan-beaulier/.

About one month later Sue was honored by the Maine Art Education Association as the Middle Level Educator of the Year. That story is at https://meartsed.wordpress.com/2013/04/18/honoring-susan-beaulier/.

She is most deserving of this recent award. The Maine State Teacher of the Year program is administered by Educate Maine. Information on the program is located at http://www.maine.gov/doe/toy/.

I had the privilege of visiting Sue in her school and classroom a few years back and it was alive with excitement and creative learning was evident everywhere. So wonderful!

Sue’s journey is not over yet. As a county Teacher of the Year Sue is now being considered for the State Teacher of the Year. We wish you the best Sue – all of your visual and performing arts teachers are keeping our fingers crossed!

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Introducing Jenn DePrizio

May 25, 2015

Director of Learning and Interpretation – Portland Museum of Art

jdeprizioheadshot1Recently, I had the opportunity to have a wonderful conversation with Jenn DePrizio, the Director of Learning and Interpretation at the Portland Museum of Art. This blog post provides you the chance to learn about Jenn and some of the work she is doing at the museum.

Please tell the Maine Arts Education blog readers about your background.

As an undergraduate studying art history, I didn’t even know museum education was a career option. I knew that I loved that learning about art of the past. I started in the classics department, but after a debacle in Greek class, I became an art history major. Art could convey ideas, beliefs, and political propaganda. Works of art can be both windows, offering a view beyond one’s self, and mirrors, providing a reflection of one’s self. Through my study of art history, I learned about not only the past, times and places different than my own, but also about myself and how I fit into the world. I thought, “This is so cool. How can I share this with others?” And then I learned from an intern supervisor, who is now my best friend, that I could make a career out of that desire! So off I went to George Washington University and got a Masters of Arts in Teaching in Museum Education. Before coming to the PMA, I worked at the Vermont Historical Society, Worcester Art Museum, J. Paul Getty Museum, and most recently Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. At each of these museums my main focus was on gallery teaching and creating engaging gallery experiences for visitors of all ages. I look forward to finding ways to continue this work in Portland, making the PMA a place of discovery, innovation and excitement in terms of gallery learning.

Why did you want to leave Massachusetts and move to Maine?

I have always loved Maine as a visitor and in particular Portland. For me, quality of life is an important factor in making decisions about my professional life. My husband and I were looking for a place to raise our young daughter. We wanted to live in a place that combined all the benefits of a city (including good restaurants and bars—for a number of years before having my daughter I wrote a cocktail blog), with a relaxed atmosphere and connection to nature. This past weekend as we enjoyed our lobster rolls and haddock sandwiches out at the Five Island Lobster Co., we were reassured that we made the right choice in moving to Maine.

Describe your responsibilities as the Director of Learning and Interpretation at the Portland Museum of Art.

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 5.43.31 PMAs the Director of Learning and Interpretation at the PMA, I am responsible for developing enriching and engaging opportunities for visitors of all ages to engage with authentic works of art. A big part of that work since I have come on board at the PMA has been exploring who the museum’s audiences are currently and thinking deeply about who are the audiences that we are not reaching. Hanging over my desk, I have written a quote by David Carr that reads, “Museums aren’t for everyone. But they should be for anyone.” How can we make the museum accessible to anyone who may be inclined to want to explore art and creativity with us?

One of the greatest challenges for museum’s today is meeting the changing needs and expectation of today’s audience, while remaining true to one’s intellectual integrity and institution’s mission. Many museum-goers are savvy cultural consumers who expect to benefit from the museum’s expertise. They also want to be actively engaged and to be given the freedom to chose and organize their own experience. There are also a great number of Americans who do not approach museums with the same comfort level and sense that museums as vital places of learning and engagement. For many, museums are intimidating and a visit can be daunting, overwhelming and frustrating if they are not provided with basic orientation and safe entry points to begin to look closely and make meaning of the works of art. It is my responsibility to work collaboratively with my colleagues across the museum to ensure that the needs of both these types of visitors are considered and planned for.

What are the goals of art education programs at the Portland Museum of Art?

I am fortunate to have a dedicated and thoughtful team at the PMA to work with on a daily basis. Together we strive to encourage curiosity and wonder for visitors to the PMA. By offering audiences of all ages opportunities to connect with authentic works of art through programs that offer open-ended experiences, intellectual rigor and exploration of the creative process, we hope that we can impact the lives of PMA audiences. A successful art education program may look a little different depending on the audience and the activity. But if I were to imagine an ideal scene in the galleries that signaled success, here is what I would see and hear: Visitors would be looking closely at works of art. There would be times of quiet contemplation and moments of boisterous conversation. Visitors would share observations, possible interpretations, while the docent or staff would find ways to build on those ideas. Perhaps most important of all, visitors would wonder aloud, they would ask questions, they would speculate. Through that curiosity their connection to the work of art and the world around them would expand.

I believe that art museums can change people’s lives. As museum educators, my team and I have a chance to contribute to the vitality of our community by connecting art of the past and the work of living artists with contemporary issues relevant to our visitors. In working with varied audiences—school children and teachers, teens, families, adults, docents, museum members, tourists—we then craft programs that meet the individual needs of each.

Since many of your readers are classroom teachers, I can talk a bit more about our goals related to K-12 students and teachers. Currently, we serve about 7,000 students through our school tour program, but we could be serving many more. I hope that teachers know that visits to the PMA are free for them and their students.

Moving forward we will be building programs that promote the primacy of the in-gallery experience. What is unique about the experience that students can have at the PMA? By looking at and talking about works of art, students can develop their looking and critical thinking skills. Having seen the positive impact firsthand, I am huge proponent of Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) and am exploring ways we strengthen our programs using this teaching approach. Because VTS is grounded in research and developmental theory, it is rare as a pedagogy in that it begins with the learner and the questions they have, not the information that we, as adults, think is relevant to the students. The students guide the discussion to what they are wondering about, and the teacher is there to help them get to where they want to go. And the listening skills, the empathy and respect for others that VTS teaches connects back to the idea I was talking about earlier—the work of the L&I department at the PMA can impact the lives of our visitors in profound ways.

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

While there are so many ideas I have, the first thing I would do with such a trove of money would be to make the museum free to all visitors. For many the financial barrier is a serious one, and to truly impact our community we need to eliminate as many barriers as we can. Art should be accessible to everyone. In the words of William Morris, “I do not want art for a few, any more than education for a few, or freedom for a few.”

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MYEA

May 14, 2015

Mark your Calendars and Start Saving Student Art Work!

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 3.52.41 PMThe Maine Arts Commission, in partnership with the First Lady of Maine Ann LePage, will be issuing a call for student art for inclusion in the 2016 Annual Maine Youth Excellence in Art exhibition at the State Capitol Complex in Augusta.

The request to participate will start on September 8th 2015, with the cutoff date of October 16th 2015. Art teachers from public, private and parochial schools in Maine will be invited to submit one piece of two-dimensional artwork that represents artistic excellence from a K-12 student.

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