Posts Tagged ‘art teacher’

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So Long Jim Small

October 16, 2020

Kind, dependable, consistent, committed, and considerate are words that describe Jim Small. Jim had a huge heart and soft voice and was devoted to teaching. He was one of those teachers who was ALWAYS teaching – in his classroom and throughout his day – demonstrating for students and writing and recording ideas. He had a clear and deep understanding of creative thinking and taught it as a foundation to all of his art classes. In fact, he wrote about it over many years to make it more understandable for others and was an amazing advocate for arts education. Sadly Jim left this world on October 10 at the age of 67. Even though Jim is gone he has left us all resources on his YouTube channel called Imagine Again Jim – it’s soooo Jim! Below is Jim’s obituary.

Mr. Small – Art Teacher Extraordinaire

SKOWHEGAN – James Keith Small passed away peacefully in his sleep on the evening of Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020 at the age of 67 at his home in Skowhegan.

Born on March 23, 1953 in Westbrook to his mother, Cora Ida York, and his father, Shirley Small. He is survived by his wife, Dorothy; children, Stephanie, Adam and Ricky; and his grandchildren, Coraline, Geronimo and Torrington; as well as his sisters, Linda, Judy and Valerie. James also had the good fortune of being taken in by the late Pauline and Bob Johnson and siblings Gene, Alan, Patrick, Paula, and Lisa after the passing of his parents.

A devoted father, husband and career educator, he worked tirelessly to provide a magical world for his children to grow up in. Always a kid at heart himself, he believed that the imagination was the key that unlocked each person’s individual super power.

He was an extraordinarily gentle soul who was loved by many, and had endless love to give. He touched countless lives as an art teacher for the MSAD 59 and MSAD 54 school districts. Jim made friends at every turn and always knew how to spread his joy to those in need. His students always knew that his classroom was a safe place, free of judgement, where he would do anything in his power to inspire creative thinking and personal growth.

Other lifelong pursuits included passion for the arts, film, photography, and last but certainly not least, fishing. Recently retired, Jim had far too little time to be on the water whenever he desired, catching all the trout he could manage.

James passed his unfiltered creative energy to his daughter, Stephanie, along with a good portion of his immense compassion for those less fortunate. He would graciously admit cribbage defeat and fish until the bats came out with his son, Adam, and he would always be his son, Ricky’s #1 fan.

Jim courted his beloved wife, Dorothy, after retrieving her lost barrette at the former Sandy Beach in Madison, and the two spent 43 years in love. From barrette to soul mate, James was an ever-devoted husband to his stunning wife and would wade into any sized waves to do it again.

Visiting hours will be held on Friday Oct. 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Smart and Edwards Funeral Home, 183 Madison Ave., Skowhegan. We ask that all attendees be respectful of the COVID guidelines and wear a mask while attending. Anyone wishing to virtually attend the funeral service may do so via the Albion Christian Church website – https://albionchristianchurch.com/, there will be a link located there to go to the live Facebook link starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday Oct. 17. 

Arrangements are entrusted to the care of Smart and Edwards Funeral Home, 183 Madison Ave., Skowhegan. Anyone who wishes to leave the family messages can do so on our website at ? http://www.smartandedwardsfh.com

James (Mr. Small to many) would want us all to move forward with pride and confidence, while reminding us to also Imagine Again, and Imagine More. 

In lieu of flowers, the Small family will be encouraging anyone who wishes to donate to a scholarship for all manner of creative pursuits and the arts in Mr. Small’s name.

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Peg Has Left the Building

October 13, 2020

Margaret (Peg) Maxwell, longtime art teacher at Bonny Eagle High School was recently featured in The Eagle Times, the school newspaper. Peg left her art classroom this year due to the Coronavirus but is helping out with the remote learning students.

In Peg’s words: “It was heartfelt and such an honor for me to be recognized….I sure miss all of what I had and hope to continue in another phase when this is over..I am grateful for Joann Lannin, a wonderful journalist and mentor to our students and to Kaylei Myers for her kind and thoughtul professionalism. She will do well in the world of Journalism.  Joann Lannin, a wonderful published author and journalist who often takes our students to the National Award status for our newspaper and in the past has taken them to the National Journalism Museum in Washington. We are so lucky to have faculty dedicated to student success. I so miss my colleagues, but they have found a way during this pandemic to keep us all connected.

BY KAYLEI MYERS
Oct. 1, 2020

      Ms. Margaret (Peg) Maxwel will not be teaching at Bonny Eagle High School this year due to Coronavirus concerns. She is currently still involved with school by helping out with the remote learning students. Ms. Maxwell has been an art teacher here since 1989. The beginning of this year would’ve been the start of her 38th year with us. Besides teaching art classes, she has coached tennis, advised the National Honor Society, the FACS (Fight Against Cancer Society), STAND (Students Affirming the Non-Use of Drugs), and the Outing Club. She mentored students in the GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) and had a Bible Club for a few years after school.  The Eagle Times caught up with Ms. Maxwell (remotely) for a question and answer session early last week.

Margaret Peg Maxwell in her classroom at Bonny Eagle High School

Was this a hard decision to make?
    This decision to not go back was and continues to be very difficult. It was made by me and strongly recommended by my doctor. After doing the research, she highly advised me not to enter the classroom due to my health issues.  I do not want to make the students ill and I do not want to get sick either.  My immune system is weak and I need to be aware of the current situation.

What are you going to miss most about working here?
    I will miss all of it. The students, my colleagues, the art room being such a special time for Mr. Twilley and I to share, that sacred place where so many students enjoyed making art, hanging out, and becoming great artists in the real world. Our classrooms were like open books. The door between us was never locked and students and teachers knew when and where to be in order to express their creativity and to find inspiration. Mr. Twilley was a great teaching partner. We had 30 years of collaboration, friendship and pure love of art.
    Every day I woke up ready to teach in that wonderful room. Waiting for students, walking the halls with many smiles, and hearing ‘Good Morning Ms. MaxwellI’.  I had a cluttered classroom, but I knew where everything was when someone needed something. I miss the students coming after school and needing to work on a project from another class and wanting help with posters, information, or just a cup of tea or pizza when we needed to clean the space.

​Has Bonny Eagle High School been a welcoming place for the arts?
    The Bonny Eagle community always supported the arts, our requests for materials, workshops, and additional educational resources to make all of this happen. This district rocks, including, the school board, administration at all levels, and the greater public. We have students working for CNN, Disney, North Face, Mass General Hospital, Dartmouth Press, Flowfold Inc., Illustrating for Amazon, FableVision, PBS, interned with Dale Chihuly, Nickelodeon, Wired Magazine, Burton, Rossignol, MIT Industrial Design, etc. The list goes on and on. I just had a former student, Chelsea Johnson, make me a great Wizard of Oz platter reminding me of my continued references to Dorothy and the importance of having a heart, brains, and the courage to succeed in tough times, like now.
     Our school was part of NEA grants through the Portland Museum of Art on three occasions commemorating the works of Winslow Homer ,and student work was displayed on the walls of the museum. Lastly, an essay about my curriculum during the pandemic last trimester was published in the Union of Maine Visual Artists this summer. 
     The MSAD 6 district has provided me with many opportunities to teach at the state and Tri-District levels with integrated Arts and STEAM workshops. They provided summer opportunities for me at Bennington College in their summer institutes, studying book arts with Meryl Brater, a Radcliffe Scholar. This brought much integration into the district for K-12 education. They gave me the opportunity to study at the Darling Marine Education Center in Damariscotta, as well as study Marine Biological Illustration, and many courses at MECA in botanical illustration and digital art and 3-d printing and laser cut art works. All of this enhanced the curriculum for the students when I returned each fall to share the information and my work.

Are there hopes of you coming back after this is all over? And if not, what other ventures do you have in the works?
    As for now, I will not be able to go back to the school and need to quarantine until this is over.  I am not able to have vaccines even if there is one, so I’m working at home developing a non-profit on food security. My dream is to have my puppets create an online or zoom presentation to teach children about food security. I worked with Jim Henson when I started teaching in the 1970’s at Princeton University when he was developing Sesame Street. I taught preschool in an inner-city head start program. We gave him stories and he gave us ways to teach kids through entertainment. I have a trademark in the final stages in Washington and the copyright to song lyrics that I have written to accompany a well known tune. I’m in the process of getting the rights to the music.
    I have a board started and the puppets designed. Several former Bonny Eagle students are consulting with me and helping me in the process. Our Backpack program inspired a set of puppets I do think all will like.
     My Dream is to start a production company at Bonny Eagle after I retire and work with departments who want to collaborate. I have a student interested in painting the backdrops for the puppet theatre. I would like to have students on the board and willing to work with all aspects of developing a production company. I have the drive and the expertise of great people. I was asked to go national with the idea, but I do not have the strength or the desire. My heart is at Bonny Eagle and that is where I want to end my career.  
     In addition, I have been writing a memoir and a musical for several years. My playwright teacher from New York City thinks this would be a great way to end it. ‘The closing of the BLUE DOOR’, as I see it.  I painted my house doors the same color blue as my classroom door. I have been writing silly songs since I was six years old and poetry essays and stories all my life. Now it is the time to tell my story.  Bonny Eagle has been a major part and will be the finale.

Peg – third from left in top row

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More Virtual Shows and Performances

June 18, 2020

Art, Music, K-Higher Education

CARRIE RICKER SCHOOL

Thanks to Art teacher Jen Williams for sharing her schools Virtual Art Show from Carrie Ricker School (RSU4) in Litchfield. It’s an 11 minute video on youtube showcasing the grades 3-5 student artwork – that is amazing. Two of the music tracks were created in music class with teacher Wade Johnston. View below.

AUBURN SCHOOLS VIRTUAL ART EXHIBITS

A great big thanks to Art teacher and Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Teacher Leader Lynda Leonas for providing links to two wonderful Virtual Student Shows from where she teaches in Auburn!

RAYMOND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Music teacher Patricia Gordan shared her COVID story on the blog recently. The Raymond Elementary School chorus has been working since January on five songs for the spring concert. Since being away from school she has been working on one of the songs virtually: “Send Down the Rain” by Joyce Eilers. The song has been put together beautifully! SEND DOWN THE RAIN

Davia Hersey

HAMPDEN ACADEMY VIRTUAL ART GALLERY

A section of the gallery features Paper Bag Portraits with this information: Let’s face it this quarantine has presented us with an opportunity to be creative. While looking for regular household items to use for art making, I found that a brown paper bag is a great size/ shape for a portrait study. It also has the effect of working on a piece of toned brown paper which is a nice place to start for a portrait. An exhibit with a plethora of ideas with thanks to Art teacher and Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Teacher Leader Melanie Crowe!

 

CAMDEN HILLS REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL

Guiding Light” – Text and Music by Matt LaBerge. Camden Hills Regional High School Chamber Singers and Alumni Virtual Choir. Director Music teacher Kim Murphy.

OAK HILL MIDDLE SCHOOL ART GALLERY

7th and 8th grade student artwork from Oak Hill Middle School is part of a virtual art show located at THIS LINK. Thank you to art teacher Gail Rodrigue-duBois for providing this opportunity.

USM JURIED STUDENT EXHIBIT

This special on-line exhibition was open to all USM students submitting work in any media. The juried show introduces students to a professional exhibition where they learn to prepare art for a professional setting, obtain feedback from art professionals, and have their work exposed to a wide range of viewers. Due to Coronavirus, the focus this year was on students learning how to photograph their art at home as well as uploading files – good skills to acquire for many future art opportunIties. GORHAM AND PORTLAND EXHIBIT

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MAINE

Thesis exhibits by Senior Seminar students Delaney Fone, Marissa Joly, Regan H. Mars, and Demel Ruff are now showcased online until August 15, 2020. The engagement of the public through the art, and the public presentation of students’ work are core components to the successful completion of the Art 401 Senior Seminar course, a senior capstone requirement course for the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art students, and a professional practice elective option for those obtaining their Bachelor of Arts studio degrees. SHOWCASE.

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Janie’s COVID Teaching Story

April 27, 2020

How the pandemic impacted Janie’s teaching

Janie Snider teaches has been teaching for 27 years in Washington and Hancock counties. Presently she teaches  Visual Art and is the Technology Integrator at Hancock Grammar School. Ms. Snider’s art curriculum provides art experiences for students in Kindergarten through eighth grade. The art classroom is designed as a  student-centered, standards-based curriculum. Ms. Snider has been involved with (MALI) Maine Arts Leadership Initiative since 2012, focusing on best practices that will provide all students with a successful art education.

 In this blog post Janie shares how she’s adjusted to ‘schooling away from school’ or “Art from Home” as she calls it! Janie has her lessons posted on the school website from her art classroom webpage. She is changing up her website to be more interactive.

In the early days of the closure I was in “survival” mode. I had to quickly develop some packets to go home physically with my students. I created “Art from Home” packets for grades K-4 and 5-8 considering their needs.

INITIAL QUESTIONS 

  • What are their needs?
  • Do they have supplies?
  • What can they use?
  • Do they have internet?

My goal was to try to meet these needs for at least the next two-three weeks! How can I reach them all?

I was overwhelmed by the amount of resources being offered via the web. Museum virtual openings, various websites for arts & crafts, teachers pay teachers, colleges and educational sites all available. I was busily sharing this info with colleagues, parents, friends and family until I couldn’t think straight. I spent about two weeks in my non-working clothes on the couch with three devices going and the news in the background. It was not working, my frame of mind was jumping from frantic planning to complacent non-belief thoughts.

Luckily, I woke one day with the ah-ha moment, “I AM THEIR RESOURCE!!!” What my students need is me and I need them! I need the one-to-one, class-to-class connection! So I settled in and redesigned my art studio/toy room. It has a whole new component, an art classroom! Google classrooms are evolving and with the addition of Google meets I’m feeling so much better. I can see their faces, can answer questions, make jokes and see their smiles! I must say I miss my daily hugs, so it’s (((Air Hugs)))! My 2nd grade class was amazing, they were all engaged, listening when needed, drawing with me, asking questions, muting and unmuting, giving thumbs up and showing me their work!! We were sharing an ART EXPERIENCE and my heart was filled with JOY!!

I have always known that the arts are vital to the growth of our inner spirit and our overall well-being. We see it everyday now in how people are choosing their time and self-care. They are creating artworks, listening and performing music, dancing and creating videos and performances to share with the world! However, what I have come to realize is the inequality of the playing field for my students. Not all of my students have the technology and supplies to create nor the guidance to support and nurture their creativity! As the teacher, how can I do my part to change this now and in the future? I am working on the answer to this question so that it will inform my teaching and learning.

How to raise student engagement in a digital setting is a priority! Creating best practices and strategies to enhance their art experience is essential to me! Contemplating the standards and skills are part of this new process. Personally for me, continuing to explore and use the studio habits in this digital planning and instruction is a good framework. I believe these habits/skills contribute to resiliency and that is something positive!

I am taking good care of myself! Im in a routine, daily yoga, a walk, dance three times a week, eating healthy, working in my yard and gardens. Being out in nature is really important for me, it enables great reflection and moments of insight! I find my mental state shifts between GRIEF and GRATITUDE and I allow both of these to exist as a daily part of my experience!

I think many positives will come out of this dark time, such as, light! A light that shines on many social and environmental issues. I’m thinking many people will emerge with a deeper appreciation for family, nature, arts, science, healthcare, education and the quality of how we use our time!!! I think we will look back and see how much inspiration and creativity flourished in during this time!

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Monhegan Artists’ and Educator Residency

February 3, 2020

Applications being accepted

The Monhegan Artist’s Residency is offering two residencies during the summer of 2020. One is a 2-week summer residency from June 27th through July 10th designated for Maine art teachers (K-12) and a 5-week fall residency from September 5th through October 10th.  The fall residency extends over Monhegan’s annual Trap Day event on the 1st of October that kicks off the lobstering season and provides an opportunity to experience this unique island-wide event.

The Monhegan Artists’ Residency provides comfortable living quarters, studio space, a stipend of $150 per week, and time for visual artists to reflect on, experiment, or develop their art and ideas while living in an artistically historic and beautiful location. Both residencies will be located at Elva’s Old PO, in the center of the village with a panoramic view of the meadow. The building offers both studio and living space. There is a stipend of $150 per week to support living expenses while you are on the island.

Deadline for applications is March 15. Applicants will be notified by April 13, 2020.

To learn more and to access the application go to the Monhegan Artists’ Residency website.

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In Today’s News

May 20, 2018

Christine Del Rossi – Sagadahoc County Teacher of the Year

Yahooooo for Mt. Ararat High School Visual Art teacher Christine Del Rossi is the 2018 Sagadahoc County Teacher of the Year. Read about her in the Brunswick Times Record. Written by staff member Chris Quattruci.

 

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Heartwarming

December 5, 2017

Share a story

I received an email from a former student last week who is teaching art at York High School. David Shenett was moved to action after a conversation with his mother about Jacob Thompson. What follows is the story of how York High School students responded. Thank you David for sharing!

The story of Jacob Thompson, the young boy whose only wish was to experience a final Christmas and receive as many Christmas cards as he could, made national headlines. Thousands of cards and notes of support came from around the nation. Police came from all over New England to deliver cards to this little boy who had little time left. 
While talking with my mom on the phone about this, she asked me “What do you plan to do?”
I responded that I wasn’t sure what she meant. She said: “You are an art teacher. Where are your cards?”
It hadn’t occurred to me.
The next day I explained Jacob’s story to all of my students – my Art 1 classes, my Ceramics classes, my sculpture classes, all my classes. Many of the kids had heard of Jacob and had even thought about making a card for him. That day we all made cards. We painted, we folded, we drew, we threw penguins everywhere we could. Other classes in other parts of our school heard what we were doing and contributed their own cards. And they wrote – unprompted – some of the most heartfelt wishes for a Merry Christmas and support and good wishes I’d ever heard. The true power of art was on full display and the kids ‘got it’. They saw what art can do for the soul and for others. Looking at the stack and having experienced the tremendous enthusiasm and energy the kids exhibited that day, I was moved to tears. I have a little boy about Jacob’s age. As a teacher, I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of a group of kids.
That evening I made the trip to Maine Medical Center to deliver our box of cards from York High School. The nurses were very impressed with the artistry some of the cards had, and they promptly brought our box into Jacob’s room where he was sleeping.
Jacob had his Christmas and soon passed away. He received thousands of cards and gifts. Maybe other schools did the same thing?  Did he even see ours? Who knows? But what we did will be something I will never forget. 
I just wanted to share this, especially as we near the time of the year where we put other ahead of ourselves and express, sometimes visually, what they mean to us.
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Monhegan Residencies

February 18, 2017

Open to Maine Artists and Teachers – Deadline March 17

Photo by Bradley Beukema; 2016 resident and art teacher Krisanne Baker night painting on Monhegan.

2016 resident and art teacher Krisanne Baker night painting on Monhegan.

MONHEGAN—The Monhegan Artists’ Residency is pleased to announce its 2017 residency programs. Residencies are available to Maine-based visual artists during the weeks of May 27 to June 30, and September 2 to October 7. To accommodate the summer schedule of Maine K-12 teachers, there is also a two-week residency from July 2 to 14 open exclusively to art teachers. Applications are now being accepted online at www.monheganartistsresidency.org through March 17.

Krisanne Baker, art teacher at Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro, was the 2016 Monhegan Art Teacher Resident. The body of paintings she produced during her two weeks on the island depict land, ocean and expansive skies at night that include planets and constellations.  She often worked outdoors at night wearing small LED lights, with her color palette laid out in consistent, planned manner so as to know what to reach for in partial darkness.

Krisanne Baker Little Spruce Sentinel at Lobster Cove, 2016, Oil on panel, 24 x 24 inches

Krisanne Baker Little Spruce Sentinel at Lobster Cove, 2016, Oil on panel, 24 x 24 inches

In addition to making a body of paintings during her two-week residency, she also did some underwater filming for her next water art activism short.  This continues her way of combining many of her interests through her art practice, her teaching and her environmental work focusing on protecting water sources and water quality.  She is involved with the Medomak Valley Land Trust and engages her high school art students in environmental work. Krisanne is currently showing her work at Husson University in an exhibition titled ‘Water is Life’: Art & Science on behalf of our oceans (January 20 – March 31, 2017). See more about Krisanne at http://www.krisannebaker.com/paintings_drawings__printmaking

Krisanne Baker working on the deck of her Monhegany residency studio, 2016

Krisanne Baker working on the deck of her Monhegany residency studio, 2016

Not just for landscape painters, the Monhegan Artists’ Residency is open to artists working in new media, photography, sculpture, drawing, painting, and multi-media. This year’s jurors include Chris Stiegler, curator, art historian, and chair of the MFA in Studio Art at the Maine College of Art, Portland; Hilary Irons, artist, and co-founder/curator of Able Baker Contemporary, Portland; and Kelly Finlay, a Monhegan Artists’ Residency board member and museum educator at the Farnsworth Museum of Art, Rockland.

Founded in 1989, the Monhegan Artists’ Residency program is a volunteer-run 501(c)(3) nonprofit supported by donors, art galleries, corporate sponsors, and foundation grants.     

Photos taken by Bradley Beukema.  

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So Long Ken Martin

April 3, 2016

High School Art Educator

Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 5.08.14 PMRecently I attended a reception to celebrate the life of my colleague Ken Martin who taught art at Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro. How appropriate to have Ken’s reception at the Granite Gallery in Tenants Harbor where Works From a Whole Life exemplified how prolific Ken was – the depth and breath are beyond words. On display were photos and drawings from his childhood, of and by him, all the way through until he passed in February. When Ken found out that he had ALS he started a series of self-portraits that document his feelings. They are a stunning collection that could have stood alone and been monumental. But instead, they were part of a collection of prints, photographs, and drawings from his whole life, that are magnificent. This world lost a wonderful artist and gentle soul and teacher. He touched my life as a colleague and friend. I am fortunate to know that he touched both my sons lives as their photography teacher. The seeds he planted will continue to grow!

You may read Ken’s entire obituary at http://obituaries.pressherald.com/obituaries/mainetoday-pressherald/obituary.aspx?pid=177743735.

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