Posts Tagged ‘Maine art education’

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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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In Today’s News

April 12, 2017

Collaborative work

PATHS students with some of the fence parts.

This is a very large collaborative project underway with the Wentworth School in Scarborough and the welding students at Portland Arts and Technology High School (PATHS). There are 32 students from 12 sending schools taking part from PATHS. This is a great example of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math). The students are creating a fence for the existing school garden that will become a gallery for outdoor art and science projects. Art teacher Joanne Maloney is involved along with the teachers who teach the STEM subjects.  Some of the work will focus on kinesthetic, or tactile learning, and movement.

Close up of a flower on the fence.

Later on in May teaching artist Ann Thompson will work with Wentworth students to create wire sculptures for display on the fence.

The coordination of the idea has been enormous, involving many adults and students, and a wonderful example of collaboration.

To read the entire article from The Forecaster written by Kate Irish Collins, April 3, 2017, please CLICK HERE.

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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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Brunswick Junior High School

January 31, 2016

Family Art Night – February 5, 5 to 7:30, cafeteria

Family Art Night 2016

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Who Are They?: MECA, Part 5

April 8, 2015

Maine College of Art

This blog post is part of a series called Who Are They? where information is provided for the Maine Arts Ed blog readers to learn about community organizations and institutions that provide educational opportunities in the arts. You will learn that they are partnering with other organizations and schools to extend learning opportunities, not supplant.

Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 12.42.14 PMThis is the fifth post on the Maine College of Art (MECA) which is located in downtown Portland. Below is an interview with Fern Tavalin, MECA Director of Art Education.

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Fern Tavalin

Please describe the educator training programs offered at MECA.

MECA offers a Master of Arts in Teaching that leads to initial certification in visual art for the State of Maine. Our program is accredited by the State of Maine and by National Alliance of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Receiving NASAD approval is quite an honor.

What is MECA’s philosophy on teacher education?

We believe that teachers should be both artists and educators. Our admissions policy is rigorous in that we review an artist’s portfolio as well as screening for the dispositions that we feel are necessary for good teaching and learning. Those admitted have the potential to become outstanding artist/educators. Because of this, we make sure that they are given the tools to become effective art educators who use the knowledge, skills, and dispositions acquired in our program to creatively serve children and youth in PK-12 schools, museums, community-based/alternative settings, and virtual learning environments. To ensure that our teacher candidates are prepared, we value learning as a developmental process. That means that our candidates are not graded on each assignment as they begin. Instead, we provide substantive feedback, pointing toward their next steps in learning. At key stages, the candidates undergo reviews to demonstrate attainment of Maine’s initial teacher certification standards and our program outcomes.

Each college or university reflects its institutional aims as well as having to be responsive to accreditation requirements. MECA is a studio-based college, the practices of which have much to add to the overall field of education. By maintaining our beliefs and our educational approach, we hope to add value to the research base about how students learn best.

We encourage our candidates to resist the temptation to want to see the state educator standards written in art specific terms and trust that their coursework will reflect the art specific knowledge that they will eventually being to the classroom. Familiarity with the general concepts of teaching and learning and how they translate to art education will give MECA’s teachers a “place at the table” during faculty meetings and gatherings of educators across disciplines.

Is there something that sets MECAs program apart from others?

When MECA’s teacher candidates enter the program, they enroll in an intensive one-month summer institute that integrates the frameworks for teaching and learning, student creative growth and development and how their lives of artists apply to the field of education.

On the very first day, our teacher candidates enter classrooms in Portland’s diverse public school system. They learn to begin by closely observing rather than judging. As the semester progresses, MECA teacher candidates use a variety of lenses for looking at students in a variety of learning environments. This direct experience is enhanced by collaborative inquiry through theoretical readings and shared discussions. The program emphasizes critical thinking and data gathering to question assumptions – both theirs and those of experts in the field.

What advice do you have for someone considering becoming a teacher in this century?

All learning is cumulative, so we cannot always predict the overall outcomes of our efforts as teachers. Because the future is unknown, we cannot say what it will bring. However, studio habits of mind such as developing craft, engaging and persisting and envisioning will be essential now matter what our teachers face.

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