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Art teachers were STEAM-ing before STEAM was cool!

Monday, October 17, 2011

I LOVE a good conference!

This past Saturday I went to a WONDERFUL conference for art Educators at the NH Art Institute held by the New Hampshire Art Educators Association. It was my first conference with the NHAEA and it was absolutely great! They had many options for sessions, some were talks, but many were studio-based! It was so fun to learn and be able to create projects while we listened! I am blown away by all of the caring and friendly art educators we have in New Hampshire! Everyone was a joy to talk with and to learn from!

So, my brain is now FULL to the brim with all sorts of ideas to incorporate into my classes! My first session was entitled: The Art of Geometry given by Jaylene Bengtson, Integrated Art Specialist and Linda Otten, Math Educator. These ladies had fabulous ideas to create a piece that will really SHOW children (7th graders) all sorts of geometric concepts. You pretty much HAVE to get geometry while creating this piece. Also, the finished product is absolutely beautiful! My just-started sample is below, and doesn't do the project justice, but I'll post more on this project at a later date.


I went to a printmaking talk by Liam Sullivan that was very inspiring! I went away with many ideas on how to create some inexpensive printing materials for my students. He encouraged us to look at a variety of sources for printmaking fodder: hardware stores, recycling bins, craft & dollar stores, etc.

The lunchtime talk was given by Dr. Foad Afshar, Phy.D. entitled "The Brain, The Whole Brain And Nothing But The Brain, So Help Me Art."Dr. Afshar was entertaining while he spoke to us about how art engages the entire brain and how, as human beings, we are inherently creative--"we cannot not create." Definitely thought-provoking well beyond my art classes--I have four children so I had many thoughts on the practical application of his talk with regards to how I'm raising my children to be lifelong learners with inquisitive minds. I was very interested on his information about flourescent lighting and its effects on children with autism, causing their brains to remain in a heightened state of activity and how it effects them at school and in other places with "pumped-up" flourescent lighting (department stores in particular).

My final session was by Claire Provencher and was entitled "Art History-Based Art Lessons." It was a make and take session, so I was thrilled to be creating projects while I learned! We created seven pieces that I'm sure will be loved by my students. My samples are below. I will be writing more about them in future posts. Claire gave out a very comprehensive handout with a copy of the letter she sends to parents at the beginning of the year, her entire curriculum for K-5th for the year as well as the art assessment form that she uses with each student. I was amazed to see the level of quality art instruction that she is able to provide her 25+ classes on a very modest budget! Since I design my classes around art history her teaching methods resonated with me. Also very inspiring!
Front Left to right: (Left Upper) Roman Coins, (Left Lower) Chinese Calligraphy,  Andy Warhol Self Portraits, (Right Upper) Rose Windows, (Right Lower) Wayne Theobold "Cakes," (Far Right) Mythical Creature Machines
My day at the NHAEA Conference was great! It was nice to connect with other creative people in a personal and professional way! I really learned so much both in and outside of the sessions! I left there refreshed and renewed and with a feeling of certainty knowing that this is what I was born to do. Thank you to the NHAEA and all of the creative art educators who contributed!

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