Archive for the ‘YAHOO’ Category

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Glassblowing in Belfast

December 1, 2021

Blowing glass is magic – ask anyone that’s done it!

Waterfall Arts in Belfast realized that they had a unique opportunity offered to them during the pandemic. But they faced many challenges just trying to get the idea off the ground. With a positive attitude and a new partnership their journey is already making a huge impact. This is the story of how that came about and a reminder of the importance of commitment, collaboration, and believing in an idea! Without these in place the dream would not reach fruition. And, it’s only at the beginning! I recognize and celebrate Waterfall Arts and their new partnership and what they’re providing for learners of all ages, especially local high school students.

PLEASE NOTE: At the end of this post I invite you to leave a comment and/or to use the questions for a local conversation.

BACKGROUND

Veteran glass blower David Jacobson realized his well established glass blowing business, Jacobson Glass Studio in Montville, was at a crossroads when the pandemic hit. In September 2020 David approached Waterfall Arts and spoke to Executive Director Kim Fleming about donating his glass studio equipment to Waterfall. Realizing what an opportunity this was Kim enthusiastically consulted with the Waterfall board. They agreed and collaborated with David and his glass blowing colleague Carmi Katsir to transform the Waterfall Arts basement into a glass studio.

David and Carmi demonstrating

THE STORY

When I listened to their story I was amazed how quickly things happened. David first communicated with Kim in the middle of September 2020 and during the first week in October the equipment was moved into the building. In the spirit of true artists they climbed over the logs in their pathway to problem solve, research, ask questions and learn, and find ways to attack the challenges. Combined with hours and hours of work, physical and mental, and financial support from funders and the greater community they opened the studio with a variety of purposes in mind.

Before they could open the studio there were many details to figure out besides just putting equipment in place. Investing money in this project was an enormous commitment. Kim secured funding from individuals and foundations including $10,000 to be used for disadvantaged students. The budget to run the program for two semesters is $25,000. One of the bigger hurdles was how to fuel the furnace that holds 100 pounds of clear, liquid glass and is kept at about 2,100 degrees. Plus the two forges that are used to heat up the glass as a piece is being formed and is kept at 2,300 degrees. Waterfall’s philosophy includes a commitment to be as green and as carbon-neutral as possible. So using natural gas or propane was not feasible. They researched to learn how they could build the system using discarded vegetable oil that is donated by a local donut shop. There are no models in Maine so it meant communicating with people outside of the state. They also learned that along with being the only community based glass studio in Maine they are only one of a handful of programs in the entire country that offer glass classes through the public school for students.

Miles opening the glass

WATERFALL ARTS STUDIOS

Waterfall Arts ceramics, printmaking, and photography studios are well established at the non-profit organization. Adding a glass studio was an easy decision but with filled with unknowns. Kim was able to acquire funding to purchase what they needed and build on the equipment and tools that David was providing to make a studio large enough for several people. David really wants to share his love for glass blowing with as many people as possible. So there are classes available to anyone from almost any age, no matter what their financial situation. David’s passion coupled with Waterfall’s goal of reaching others, who have not had this type of opportunity in the past, is a perfect marriage. It wasn’t long after the studio was set up that they began offering classes to individuals and groups. During the summer many people took advantage of the studio.

MAINE ART EDUCATION ASSOCIATION FALL CONFERENCE

I had the privilege in September to participate in the Maine Art Education Association (MAEA) conference. Hats off to this year’s conference planners Brooke Holland and Anthony Lufkin who shifted from the traditional conference at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, due to the pandemic, and planned sessions in 12 studios across the state. I was in the glass studio at Waterfall Arts and it was a spectacular and fun experience. I was so impressed with the teaching of David and Carmi. I had only one previous glass blowing experience and this was quite different and extensive compared to that one. Our abilities varied greatly and yet the participants easily collaborated and supported each other making four pieces during the 2-day workshop.

Collaborating to open the top of the glass to form the shape

WATERFALL ARTS’ STORY, PURPOSE AND MISSION

To create community in harmony with nature through the transformative power of the arts. When the founding group of Waterfall Arts formed the idea in 2000 their shared goals for the future: to create aesthetic experiences that enhance and inspire people’s creative abilities and transform their lives. An equally important goal was to reach people who had not had such opportunities before.

Along with the studios used for classes and by individuals Waterfall has 16 private studios which are fully occupied at this time. During the pandemic it was difficult for some of the artists to pay rent. Waterfall was able to support these artists by waiving 2 months of rent. An amazing gesture to support individuals who needed it most.

In addition, Waterfall Arts has a variety of ongoing programs and events that are available year round. I suggest you spend some time on their WEBSITE.

Gathering glass

BELFAST AREA HIGH SCHOOL CLASS

In January 2021 the principal, Jeff Lovejoy, contacted Kim to learn what might be available for Belfast Area High School students to take for a semester long elective class. The high school building is a stone’s throw, across the road from Waterfall, so the outreach from school is a no-brainer. Mr. Lovejoy visited Waterfall for a walk through and discuss possibilities. He got excited about the glass lab. Kim put together a budget proposal to run a semester long class, twice a year. Kim scurried to secure funding in time to promote the class for the fall semester.

Jonah rolling the glass on the marver

PROCESS

There are not a lot of tools needed for the process of glass blowing. Steel rods are kept warm and dipped into the molten glass which sticks to the metal when ‘gathered’. The ‘gather’ is rolled on a thick steel table called a ‘marver’. Color can be added by rolling the clear glass in pieces of colored glass on the marver and put into the forge to keep it hot enough to manipulate. The entire time the rod is being rotated. The next step includes sitting at a wooden bench where the liquid can be shaped sometimes with a wooden paddle, a wooden cup with a handle, shears and/or tweezers. Several times in between forming the piece it is put back into the forge to maintain the heat. When completed it is taken off the rod with a bit of water to break the seal and a tap on the rod. The entire process is magical to do and to watch.  

CLASS BENEFICIARIES

I had the chance to visit the high school class, watch David and Carmi teach, and have conversations with some of the six students enrolled for the weekly semester class. In a word the entire experience for me was IMPRESSIVE. I’m sure some of my response is based on my 2-day class in September. Part of it is based on the ease with which the seniors handled the glass and navigated the tools and space. And, a lot of it comes from the teaching and collaborative spirit of the classroom/studio culture. We know that a teacher sets the tone and David and Carmi are TOP NOTCH! The students were serious about their work while having fun. I could see their confidence growing as they went through the process. Mr. Lovejoy said: “I am thrilled that Waterfall Arts, Carmi and David have been so accommodating to make this work for Belfast Area High School. I am excited to bring students from the Belfast Community Outreach Program in Education (BCOPE, the school districts community based alternative educational program) and underclassmen into the spring semester starting in February”.

Paddling the base to flatten it

STUDENTS COMMENTS

Ronin: “I was surprised on day 1 how we jumped right into the process even without any previous experience.”

Anna: “There is so much collaboration, that is a surprise. Each class has a different goal but we’re learning techniques that I didn’t realize I would use again and again. Like the ‘starter bulb’ we learned our first week while making pumpkins. I use it every class.”

Miles: “Everybody should do glassblowing – it’s awesome. It’s less scary than I thought it would be.” Miles is only applying at colleges that offer glassblowing.

The workspace with tools

DAVID AND CARMI

I’m impressed with the level of teaching. Many successful artists are not good at teaching. David and Carmi are successful at both. Watching them in action with the high schoolers is magic. They’ve been pleased and/or surprised about the following:

  • every week the students are enthusiastic about learning
  • student team work is amazing – they’re very generous and helpful to each other
  • very dedicated
  • we communicate with them like we would with adults
  • thought they would be more ‘product’ oriented, instead they are ‘process’ focused
  • 2 hours is not enough, extended class time to 3 hours for those who can stay longer and they all do
  • students are fearless

David and Carmi will make some changes for the next semester based on what they’re learning this first semester with and from the six seniors. Like any good teacher this information will help them build and expand on the program for the future. Between the dedicated staff and the establishment of this new program I’m certain we’re going to hear about this fantastic Waterfall program for many years. Kim is working to make Waterfall Arts everybody’s place, a destination. Not just through programs but also taking care of the maintenance on the building. The capital campaign has raised funding to replace the roof, re-surface the parking lot, and plans to replace 72 of the buildings windows. The glass studio expands Waterfall’s creative involvement. Kim said: “People want to be part of something successful. Our future is bright.”

Glass with a pinched handle

ARE YOU CURIOUS?

Perhaps you’re one of those people who would like to become part of something successful or you’re curious. If so, be sure and plan a trip to Waterfall Arts. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can get involved, take a class or perhaps give someone a unique gift of a 2-hour class for the holiday please go to Waterfall’s website at THIS LINK. If you’re interested in supporting the program please contact Kim Fleming at kim@waterfallarts.org.

FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONS for you to ponder, discuss with your own community, use as a starting place for a conversation to start doing work (or play) differently or by responding to the blog below in the section called ‘Leave a comment‘ or Like this post.

  • Why are the Belfast High School seniors so successful?
  • What makes this collaboration with Waterfall Arts, Belfast High School, and the glass studio so beneficial?
  • What are some ideas to make this into an interdisciplinary unit in the school curriculum with perhaps Art, Science, Writing?
  • Is there a potential partnership brewing in your community? What can you learn from the glass studio at Waterfall that might help in your partnership?
  • What are you already doing in your own work (or play) that mirror success?

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Sooooo Grateful!

November 25, 2021

Maine Arts Education Blog is Back!

I can’t think of a better day for the blog to return than Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving to each of you! Even though the blog has been “away”, not a day as gone by when I haven’t thought about my faithful readers. I am thrilled to be blogging again!

APPRECIATING YOU

Now more than ever I am grateful for the work you do for, and with arts education. I know the blog readers represent a wide variety of people – all of you with a connection to arts education! You’re in small and large communities in Maine, cities and rural areas across the United States, and in countries around the world. Thanksgiving Day in the US gives us a chance to pause and give thanks. Now in 2021 it is more important than ever that we practice gratitude. Scheduling saxophone playing time, painting the same group of flowers, mindful breathing, or whatever activity you take for yourself all take practice time. During the last 6 months I’ve had the chance to pause and consider what’s important to me and engage in the art making process as no other time in my life. Along with practicing my art I’ve been practicing gratitude. Through this practice I am more joyful. I hope each of you can find the time on Thanksgiving to reflect on what you’re grateful for and what brings you joy! Please know I am soooooo very grateful for you!

My workspace

BLOG HISTORY

I’m sure some of you are wondering – how did we get here? The Maine Arts Education blog was established in the winter of 2009, while I was working at the Maine Department of Education as the Visual and Performing Arts Specialist. I worked there from 2006 until 2013 (after 30 years as an art teacher). It was David Patterson who suggested I establish the blog. I only wish he was still alive to see how his seed germinated. My initial purpose was to help build a state-wide arts education community which I found (while a teacher in the classroom) was desperately needed. Not an organization that represented the arts disciplines separately but collectively – dance, music, theatre, visual arts and later in my thinking poetry and writing. In 2013 I moved across the street and down the hill to the Maine Arts Commission (MAC), taking the blog with me, and served as the Director of Arts Education until June 2019. My View of the State House Dome continued, just from a different angle. In the fall of 2019 the MAC contracted with me to continue the blog. Three contracts later it was time for change soooooo with some communications with the Commission I am now the owner of the blog. During the years I was blogging while working for the state I posted 4,460 times. (That number still blows me away.) For the last almost 13 years the blog has been titled meartsed (Maine Arts Education) news from Argy with a view of the State House dome. For several years that was daily and I loved it! I’m so excited that the Maine Arts Education blog will continue, no longer, with my view of the State House Dome but with my view from my home across a beautiful field as you can see at the top of the blog. Many of the 4,460 posts were your stories – arts educators, teaching artists, students, schools, arts advocates, arts organizations, and others who are committed to excellent arts education for all. Blogging provided me with the opportunity to celebrate you and your daily work (and play) and I was proud to do so. Your stories are humbling! In addition to your stories I provided research, professional development information, articles, book reviews, events, announcements, interviews, pertinent arts education information, the places I traveled for educational opportunities and all types of other information. For the foreseeable future they will remain for your access and are archived below this one. If you want to search by topic I have tagged all of the posts. You can scroll down on the right side of the blog to the ‘search archives’ box and type in a name or topic and find what you’re looking for. For example, if you’re interested in reading about the teacher leaders (from the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative MAAI/Maine Arts Leadership Initiative MALI) you can type in teacher leaders and their stories will populate the front page. Or you could type in a specific teacher leader’s name and all the posts with that person included will populate the front page. (Try Rob Westerberg, Kate Smith, Catherine Ring, or Jeff Beaudry and you’ll see what I mean).

NEXT STEPS

Moving forward the blog will contain primarily stories – your stories. I will not be posting every day and when I do post the posts will be in depth. Next week the first story will be posted about the amazing and unique glass studio and the people involved in it happening in Belfast. I know that the pandemic has shifted teacher’s ideas about teaching. I know that you face challenges and joyful moments that are different than pre-pandemic. I want to hear your stories so I can blog about them so others can learn about your work (and play). And, so all of us, your colleagues, can celebrate you! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me, Argy Nestor, with your story or suggestions for the blog at meartsed@gmail.com.

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APPLY now!

June 21, 2021

Deadline tomorrow for MAEPL

Curious about the Maine Arts Commission (MAC) program, Maine Arts Education Partners in Leadership (MAEPL)? Wonder why you should consider applying? Listen to arts educator and veteran MAEPL Teacher Leader Charlie Johnson at THIS LINK explain his reasons and the benefits that he’s experienced during his ten years of participation!

DEADLINE TO APPLY IS TOMORROW, JUNE 22, 2021! DON’T DELAY!

DETAILS – THIS LINK

APPLICATION – THIS LINK

DOWNLOAD THE BROCHURE that contains all the information you need!

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MAEPL

June 16, 2021

You’re invited

Join us for a GREAT opportunity!

Now in its 10th year, The Maine Arts Education Partners in Leadership invites YOU, with other selected Maine visual and performing arts teachers and teaching artists, to be part of a year-long exploration in leading your school communities and the profession in effective teaching and learning in the arts.  If you are selected, you will be expected to attend the 2021 Summer Institute, taking place in person July 26-28 at Pilgrim Lodge on Cobbosseecontee Lake in West Gardiner.  Themes of this year’s Institute are: Reflection & Renewal ~ Sharing Successes ~ Partnerships ~ Individualized Goal-Setting.  

2021-22 Deadline Application – June 22

If you are selected, there is no cost to attend the Institute; however the expectation is that you integrate your learnings in your classroom, your school community, and share with other educators in your region of Maine and beyond.  Full participants will receive documentation of contact hours. 

MAEPL PURPOSE 

The Maine Arts Education Partners in Leadership (MAEPL) is committed to developing and promoting high quality arts education for all. MAEPL operates on the premise of “teachers teaching teachers.” All of our design teams, institutes, and professional development opportunities offer/encourage collaboration.

If interested, please complete the online application form by June 22.

Returning? Complete THIS FORM  by June 22. 

Questions? Contact Martha Piscuskas, Director of Arts Education at the Maine Arts Commission, Martha.Piscuskas@maine.gov  207-287-2750

For more information ….

FLYER – CLICK HERE

MORE DETAILS – CLICK HERE

APPLICATION FORM – CLICK HERE

Listen to a message from Martha Piscuskas at THIS LINK.

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Summer Learning

June 15, 2021

Opportunities, deep and deeper

I know that considering learning opportunities for the summer may be the last thing you wish to do after such a challenging year. Thankfully there are a variety of learning opportunities happening this summer that put your emotional needs at the top of the list. Perhaps one of the resources below will fit your needs. Don’t hesitate – dated information!

Maine Arts Education Partnership in Leadership – MAEPL is offering a summer institute, July 27 and 28, Pilgrim Lodge Retreat Center, Lake Cobbosseecontee, W. Gardiner. DEADLINE to apply: JUNE 15. Join MAEPL for Reflection & Renewal, Partnering, and Individualized Goal Setting. If you are selected you will be part of the 2021 cohort and the expectation is that you integrate your learnings in your classroom, your school community, and share with other educators in your region of Maine and beyond. Full participants will receive documentation of contact hours. There is no cost to participate in this yearlong teacher leadership program, including the 2-day Institute.

Maine Art Education Association – Summer retreat at Pilgrim Lodge, August 2-5, Lake Cobbosseecontee, W. Gardiner. Indoor and outdoor spaces to create art in a beautiful uninterrupted environment. The waterfront includes a large swimming area with kayaks, canoes, prams, and access to an island. Trails to get away from it all and a large woodland labyrinth to walk when you need to do some deep thinking. All meals and lodging, use of facility for $220. REGISTRATION OPENED YESTERDAY! You must be a member to attend.

New England Institute for Teacher Education – Earn 4.5 CEUs (the equivalent of 45 contact hours) for recertification. All courses are accepted by the Maine Department of Education.

Confronting Racism in America – starting JUNE 21

Starting JULY 5

Engaging Digital Learners

Google Suite 101 for Educators

Promoting Social & Emotional Learning 

Educating Gifted and Talented Learners

Encountering the Arts: Voice, Choice and Creativity

Engaging Literature for Children and Adolescents K-12

When Trauma Comes to School

Best Practices in Teaching Literacy

Teaching Children of Poverty: Why Culture Counts

Black Authors Matter

Teaching the Exceptional Child in the Regular Classroom

Introduction to Education for Paraprofessionals

Managing Classroom Behavior

The Art of Education University – Perhaps you’d like to work totally independently this summer. The Art of Ed offers a ton of resources for you to do just that. Here are some of the readings/podcasts that you can access. Perhaps make yourself a schedule and tackle one topic a week. They have many more on their website.

10 Art Teachers Reflect on a Year of Challenges and New Opportunities

Why We Need SEL Right Now

5 Effortless Adaptive Art Strategies That Won’t Compromise Your Curriculum

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Maine Art Ed Summer Retreat

June 14, 2021

Registration opens TODAY

MAEA Summer Retreat/Conference at Pilgrim Lodge

Creating on Cobbossee

August 2 – August 5

Cost: $220 (Includes room and board)
* NOTE – Your membership must be updated for the 2021-2022 membership year in order for your registration to be considered  complete. Click HERE to register as an MAEA member for 2021-2022. Membership runs from June 1st to May 31st annually.

​Registration opens TODAYJune 14th at 7 a.m. (Registration is limited to 100 people!​)

Registration link HERE will be active JUNE 14, TODAY, at 7 a.m.

Greetings fellow Art teachers! Do you feel like this year has dragged all the life out of you and you need to give yourself a break from the grind? Do we have an opportunity for you! Starting on Monday, August 2 – Thursday, August 5, you can join about 100 of your closest Art teaching friends on the shores of beautiful Lake Cobbosseecontee for glorious uninterrupted Art making!

 The site is Pilgrim Lodge, which has a boardwalk connecting 18 cabins, a dining hall, a main lodge, and several woodland trails. The cabins can house 6 people and also have screened porches. Each cabin has bunks, a bathroom and shower. 

The waterfront includes a large swimming area with kayaks, canoes, prams, and access to an island. You may also bring your own gear. 

There are many indoor spaces for setting up your art practice and lots of trails to get away from it all.
There’s even a large woodland labyrinth to walk when you need to do some deep thinking.

Pilgrim Lodge is 20 minutes from Augusta and one hour north of  Portland. We will not be offering workshops but hope that everyone will be comfortable making art on their own. Our desire is to make this a yearly event in addition to the Fall conference at Haystack. The cost is $220 which includes meals, lodging, gorgeous sunsets over the lake, and just a few mosquitoes. Check out www.pilgrimlodge.org for more information about the site. Pilgrim Lodge has a no alcohol, recreational drugs, or smoking policy and we intend to honor this during our stay there. Please plan accordingly. We hope that you will consider joining us in this exciting endeavor to create some great new memories, friendships, and ART. 

Sincerely, 
your friends and colleagues at the MAEA

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Pam and Kevin

June 11, 2021

Dedicated teachers for 42 years

This is a wonderful tribute to music teachers, Kevin and Pam Rhein. They have dedicated the last 42 years to teaching. The have impacted hundreds of students in Messalonskee Schools. This is a wonderful tribute to both of them – teachers, community members, parents, friends, and colleagues. Wishing you only the very best Pam and Kevin and thank you for your commitment to education!

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YAHOOO for Arts Educators!

May 14, 2021

Congratulations art teacher Sarah Doremus

Sedgwick Elementary School art teacher Sarah Doremus has been named Hancock County’s Teacher of the Year.

Sarah Doremus

I’m sure you’ll join me in congratulating Sarah for representing her school and arts education in her role as Hancock County Teacher of the Year. Sarah will be considered for the Maine Teacher of the Year for 2022. Sarah has been teaching for 9 years, grades PreK-8 and was nominated by her principal Carla Magoon who said:

Sarah is one of the most energetic and enthusiastic teachers I have had the honor to work with. She is excited about learning and helps her students to become excited right along with her. She spends incredible amounts of her own time and money to plan activities where the students will be engaged and have fun while they are learning. She works with all the other teachers in the school to create integrated Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) lessons that are aligned to their curriculum and the standards that the students are working on. She is always ready to help with any special ideas like Maine Day, or Screen-Free Week, and she finds community resources, such as local artists and places where students can get first-hand knowledge. Sarah also partners with community organizations such as Haystack and Blue Hill Heritage Trust to bring opportunities that otherwise our students would not have, such as using a laser cutter, or screen printing. She always goes above and beyond and her love for learning and for her students is always at the forefront of everything she does.

As part of the Maine Teacher of the Year Program, hundreds of teachers across Maine are nominated by a member of their school community. Through a rigorous application process, one teacher from each county is selected as the county Teacher of the Year by a panel of teachers, principals and business community members within the county.

Below is the YouTube video of the county teacher of the year announcement. During the ceremony, held earlier this week, Emily Paruk, Maine’s 2021 Poetry Out Loud champ recited an original poem appreciating teachers. You’ll find this at the 20 minute mark.

The Teacher of the Year program is organized by Educate Maine. Learn more about the program at THIS LINK.

Read the article in The Ellsworth American about Sarah.

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Mayers Film is a Winner

May 13, 2021

Natasha Mayers: an Un-Still Life

Vermont PBS Award for Best Documentary Film Natasha Mayers: an Un-Still Life. “This film is a delight. Mayers is a compelling character, lively, intelligent, and interesting. But what makes it award-worthy is its intelligent and playful stylistic approach, its story arc and pacing, and its avoidance of some of the foibles of bio-pics. Overall an excellent, fun, and relevant documentary.” Congratulations to Maine filmmakers Geoffrey Leighton and Anita Clearfield for their creative work on the film. Thank you Natasha for sharing your story!

See more about the film and how you can view it online at https://natashamayers.org/

Filmmakers Anita Clearfield and Geoffrey Leighton are thrilled to share the news that Natasha Mayers: an Un-Still Life has won the Vermont PBS Award for Best Documentary at the 2021 Made Here Film Festival, New England’s only competitive festival devoted entirely to films made by filmmakers of the Northern New England states and Québec. The film elicited glowing accolades from the festival judges! A live conversation with the winning filmmakers, moderated by Eric Ford, Director of Programming at Vermont PBS, will take place virtually on May 16 at 7pm. Registration is required for this free virtual event.
Congratulations to Natasha, Anita, and Geoff for this well-earned award!
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Maine Art Education Association Awards

May 5, 2021

CONGRATULATIONS

The Maine Art Education Association Member Recognitions program recognized excellence in Maine art education on Saturday, May 1, 2021, with a virtual celebration. Across the State, the recipients celebrated at this event have been an inspiration to numerous students and adults. Their voices have been eloquently presented at a variety of events this spring; and, have been heard by K-12 students, their families, artists, other educators and school administrators, as well as our private and public museum patrons. A warm congratulations to all of the recipients!

2022 MAEA Supervision Art Educator of the Year Award
Serena Sanborn, Waterville Creates!

2022 MAEA Outstanding Service to the Profession Award
Susan Bryand, Bangor High School
2022 MAEA Secondary Art Educator of the Year
Lori Spruce, Brewer High School

    2022 MAEA Middle Level Art Educator of the Year
Hope Lord, 
Maranacook Community Middle School

2022 MAEA Art Educator of the Year
Raegan Russell, Berwick Academy

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