Posts Tagged ‘Natasha Mayers’

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MAEA Spring Conference

April 6, 2021

A HUGE SUCCESS

Congratulations to the Maine Art Education Association for a successful virtual conference held this past Saturday. Iva Damon was the chair who waited an entire year to complete her task. Last year the conference was canceled thanks to the pandemic. Every aspect of the conference entitled Perceptions 2021 went really well. If you’re working on the planning of a virtual conference or workshop I suggest you reach out to Iva who is an art teacher at Leavitt Area High School. Conference planner Extraordinaire!

The conference opened with a keynote provided by Natasha Mayers and Rob Shetterly. She often explores themes of peace and social justice. Recently the film on Natasha’s life as an artist was released called Natasha Mayers: an Un-Still Life. Natasha founded ARRT! (the Artists’ Rapid Response Team) in 2012, an artists’ collective that meets monthly, creating over 400 banners, props and yard signs for most of the progressive organizations in Maine. She co-founded and is editor-in-chief of The Maine Arts Journal: Union of Maine Visual Artists Quarterly. Learn more about how Natasha has contributed to so many meaningful projects and made a difference in Maine practicing her art in a collaborative way. You can read about her contributions since 1976 at THIS LINK. Conference participants had a chance to view the film before the conference.

“…an engaging and lively portrait of an engaged and lively artist who uses her talents in the service of truth and justice, rather than fortune”
— Edgar Allen Beem
Natasha Mayers

Artist Rob Shetterly founded Americans Who Tell the Truth (AWTT) and has painted over 250 portraits of ‘truth tellers’. The Samantha Smith Project is part of the AWTT work where middle and high school students use art to build a bridge between the classroom and the world to create curious, courageous, and engaged citizens. SSC projects teach students that, no matter what age, they can be part of solving the challenges and problems they see around them.

One of the portraits that Rob has created is of Natasha so it was a delight to have them both share their stories and inspire art educators to make a difference in their classrooms.

Participants had a chance to attend three workshops throughout the day and meet with colleagues informally. The workshops were:

  • Evaluating Creativity with music educator Joe Cough
  • Update your Advocacy: New Ways of Promoting and Expanding Your Impact Beyond the Art Room with Brunswick Middle School teacher Cory Bucknam
  • Neurographic Art with Maranacook Community School art teacher Hope Lord
  • Teaching and Learning with Natasha Mayers: An Un-Still Life with Argy Nestor, Sweetland Middle School
  • AP Art and Design Network Discussion with high school art teachers Lori Spruce and Holly Houston
  • Hand-Build a Tour Up & Stamped Mug with Bioddeford Middle School art teacher Samara Yandell

The day ended with a gathering and door prizes presented. It was very clear that teachers missed seeing colleagues from other parts of the state and making art together. Comments around the challenges of the year and that the value of the art classroom became more clear to educators. Participants said what a great conference it was. More people attended the spring conference than has been the case in the last several years. The comment that placed clarity on our important roles as art educators this year was stated by Rangeley Lakes Regional School Art Teacher Sonja Johnson:

“The Art classroom is a place of awakening this year”.

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Un-Still Life Resources

March 23, 2021

Coming soon!

In one day in the middle of February I received two emails about a project to create lesson plans that would accompany the film Natasha Mayers: an Un-Still Life. After a phone call with filmmakers Anita Clearfield and Geoffrey Leighton the project sounded so fun I couldn’t say no. The film is fabulous and has messages for every grade level.

During the last month I’ve been working with retired art teacher Kal Elmore and educator Nancy Frohlich-Harris on 3 lessons – one each for elementary, middle and high school. They are aligned with the Maine Learning Results and the National Arts Standards. Also included in the resources are a glossary, lists of artists, websites and books.

The goal is to have all of the work completed and online by April 3 so those attending the virtual Maine Art Education Association conference can get the first look at them. During two workshops on that day participants will view all of the materials that we’re creating and have grade level conversations about the possibilities for teaching and learning.

Conference Registration Link Found Here!!!!

In addition to the two workshops, during the morning artists Natasha Mayers and Rob Shetterly will be providing the keynote. Natasha Mayers has been called “the heart and soul of activist art in Maine.” She is widely known for her work supervising more than 600 school and community murals from Maine to Nicaragua. Natasha has been a Touring Artist with the Maine Arts Commission Artist-in-Residency Program since 1975. She has taught students from nursery school to college and in diverse populations: immigrants, refugees, prisoners, the homeless, and the “psychiatrically labeled,” with whom she has worked since 1974, and has organized many exhibits of their artwork.

Natasha’s portrait was painted by Robert Shetterly as part of his Americans Who Tell the Truth series, featuring her words: “We need artists to help explain what is happening in this country, to tell the truth and reveal the lies, to be willing to say the emperor has no clothes, to create moral indignation, to envision alternatives, to reinvent language. We need artists to help us come together and share our voices and build community around powerful issues concerning our roles in the world and our planet’s survival. Compassion must be translated into action.”

Rob has been painted over 250 people who stand for the truth. Robert Shetterly’s American’s Who Tell The Truth series should be included in every art teacher’s curriculum. The voices of young people are strongly represented in the paintings and in this day and age we know how important it is to elevate our student voices and provide role models for inspiration. Rob is a Maine treasure.

Rob and Natasha have been friends for many years and in the film you hear and see Rob sharing his feedback to Natasha about recent art she has created. The film will be available for conference goers and is recommended you view it before April 3. It will be available until 48 hours after the conference.

They have made it available to conference goers and recommend that you view it before the conference on April 3. It will be available u

CONFERENCE DETAILS

The conference will be held virtually using zoom on Saturday, April 3, 9:00 am – 2:30 pm.

The cost is only $20.00

Conference Registration will Close April 1! 

Questions – contact Iva Damon at iva.damon@msad52.org.

Conference Registration Link Found Here!!!!

CONFERENCE PRESENTERS
Joseph Cough – Midcoast Music Academy
Cory Bucknam – Brunswick Junior High
Lori Spruce & Holly Houston – Brewer High School & Yarmouth High School
Samara Yandell – Biddeford Middle School
Hope Lord – Maranacook Middle School
Argy Nestor – Sweetland Middle School

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Maine Art Education Conference

March 16, 2021

April 3 Zoooooom!

JOIN COLLEAGUES FROM ACROSS THE STATE

VIRTUAL SPRING ART EDUCATION CONFERENCE

SATURDAY – APRIL 3rd – 9:00-2:30

This past year has held many challenges, but there are so many things to celebrate, and you are invited to join colleagues from across Maine for the annual art education conference. This year things will look a bit different as we will be apart. The conference will be coming to you safely via Zoom and we have an outstanding lineup of speakers for you and it is only $20.00 this year!

Conference Registration Link Found Here!!!!

Keynote Address Presenters: Natasha Mayers & Robert Shetterly

About our Featured Keynote Speakers: Natasha Mayers has been called “the heart and soul of activist art in Maine.” She is widely known for her work supervising more than 600 school and community murals from Maine to Nicaragua.

Natasha Mayers

She has been a Touring Artist with the Maine Arts Commission Artist-in-Residency Program since 1975. She has taught students from nursery school to college and in diverse populations: immigrants, refugees, prisoners, the homeless, and the “psychiatrically labeled,” with whom she has worked since 1974, and has organized many exhibits of their artwork.

Her portrait was painted by Robert Shetterly as part of his Americans Who Tell the Truth series, featuring her words: “We need artists to help explain what is happening in this country, to tell the truth and reveal the lies, to be willing to say the emperor has no clothes, to create moral indignation, to envision alternatives, to reinvent language. We need artists to help us come together and share our voices and build community around powerful issues concerning our roles in the world and our planet’s survival. Compassion must be translated into action.”

Rob Shetterly

To learn more, visit Natasha Mayers’s Website and Robert Shetterly’s American’s Who Tell The Truth website

Presenters

Joseph Cough – Midcoast Music Academy
Cory Bucknam – Brunswick Junior Hig)
Lori Spruce & Holly Houston – Brewer High School & Yarmouth High School
Samara Yandell – Biddeford Middle School
Hope Lord – Maranacook Middle School
Argy Nestor – Sweetland Middle School

Those that attend earn contact hours and get swag!! Conference Registration will Close April 1! Sign up today to save your spot! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. 

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Ya Gotta See This

February 26, 2021

Natasha Mayers Story

Over the last four years filmmakers Anita Clearfield and Geoffrey Leighton captured the story of Whitefield artist Natasha Mayers beautifully. Last evening almost 150 people, from all over Maine and way beyond, gathered online for the premiere of Natasha Mayers: an Un-Still Life. After viewing the 34 minute film folks joined Natasha, Anita and Geoffrey on zoom for the opportunity to celebrate and ask questions with the three of them! The film is delightful and so was the gathering! Kudos to all involved in organizing the happening.

It is always fun to see who participates in online events and especially wonderful to see among the attendees a few old friends – Nancy Salmon, Corliss Chastain, Christine Higgins, Elizabeth Watson, Deb Fahy, Rob Shetterly, and Catherine Ring. Educational and community tools are being developed to accompany the film by Kal Elmore, Nancy Harris Frohlich, Catherine Ring and myself. Natasha Mayers and Rob Shetterly will be providing the keynote at the spring Maine Art Education Association conference on April 3. More information will be provided in the future about this annual event, this year being held online.

CHAT BOX COMMENTS

Below are just some of the comments from the Zoom chat box. They provide an idea of how much participants enjoyed and appreciated the work that Anita and Geoffrey did, how well Natasha’s story is captured and how important her story is to the state of Maine.

  • Wicked awesome! Natasha and filmmakers fantastic job for a Maine Artist Icon!
  • Natasha, Geoff and Anita well done on all levels! There were so many great parts to think about. Loved the idea of incorporating war symbols with Maine symbols. Was moved by the story and the art around the buoys. The filmmaking was outstanding!
  • Great Film! Natasha you’re  inspiring. You have such great way of encouraging non-artists, I enjoyed seeing that. Important work!
  • Natasha, you are so beautiful and bring joy and pride to your Whitefield peeps!  Kudos to the filmmakers for the insights, the humor and fantastic graphics!
  • The amazing thing to me was how many more examples of Natasha’s work could have been included. It must have been very challenging to decide what to leave out.
  • I am so happy to be here and to have seen this amazing film about you!  I love it, I love you! Keep the faith and we will meet one of these days.
  • That was a beautiful film all! You are amazing Natasha! I loved all your work and sharing art with so many.
  • Bravo Natasha! Your work is an accessible voice of love and passion!
  • The visual effects are incredible…how did you do them? Too big a question, I know…but Bravo…perfect for the subject and artiste extraordinaire! The film work beautifully matched Natasha’s amazing work! 
  • Bravo for one of the most joyful films I’ve seen about one of the greatest most fun activist artists I’ve ever had the  pleasure to know. Great going Geoff and Anita!!
  • Courage Forward – you are it, Natasha.

Humor. Anger. Love. Outrage. Grief. Hear Natasha’s inspirational call to activism! The good news is that if you weren’t able to attend the premiere last evening you can access it at THIS LINK on Vimeo for FREE until Sunday evening. This film is so honest, thought provoking, creative, and humorous! It provides so much food for thought and it lands at just the right moment when we’re trying to make sense of the world. After March 25 the film will be available once again at no cost. I encourage you to make some popcorn tonight after your week at school, curl up on the couch, watch the film, and consider how you might use this in your classroom.

Now, more than ever, people want to see truthful, creative role models like Natasha Mayers, who Maine Senator George Mitchell called a “state treasure.” Natasha Mayers: an Un-Still Life presents an artist who has remained true to her passion for over 50 years, following Natasha as she takes on social, economic, and environmental justice issues with humor, irreverence, and a keen aesthetic that enlightens while it entertains. Using a non-traditional approach, the film’s animation and special effects reflect Mayers’ own art-style.

I’ll provide updates in future blog posts about the ongoing opportunities that will take place across the state. If you’re interested in learning more please email me at meartsed@gmail.com.

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an Un-Still Life

February 12, 2021

Film Premiere

We are thrilled to announce the film premiere of 
Natasha Mayers: an Un-Still Life
Thursday, February 25, 2021, 7:00–8:30 p.m.
Virtual, via Vimeo & Zoom Video Q&A
Tickets available through 
Eventbrite–FREE for all and all are welcome!

Artist. Trickster. Activist. Natasha Mayers: an Un-Still Life follows Maine’s “most committed activist artist” in her quest to engage with the questions that face people-of-conscience today. 

Humor. Anger. Love. Outrage. Grief. Hear Natasha’s inspirational call to activism; join her and filmmakers Anita Clearfield and Geoffrey Leighton at the virtual film premiere!

Now, more than ever, people want to see truthful, creative role models like Natasha Mayers, who Maine Senator George Mitchell called a “state treasure.” Natasha Mayers: an Un-Still Life presents an artist who has remained true to her passion for over 50 years, following Natasha as she takes on social, economic, and environmental justice issues with humor, irreverence, and a keen aesthetic that enlightens while it entertains. Using a non-traditional approach, the film’s animation and special effects reflect Mayers’ own art-style. 

Once the film has premiered, those of you who contributed to the Indiegogo campaign will receive your premiums — Thank you for your patience!
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