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Henna Party!

This weekend I was asked to do henna for a little girl’s 9th birthday party.

I always love doing henna parties, especially for kids. They are so inquisitive, and excited to learn about henna!  When I tell them it comes from a plant they are amazed, and start asking even more questions. It is so refreshing for me to share my passion for henna with the youth, to see their excitement light up the room.  The only thing that make it better is when their parents see the henna and immediately want one of their own.

I had such a blast this weekend, and I am so grateful I am able to serve and inspire those around me through my art. <3

If you’re interested in scheduling a henna party, for a birthday or even a ladies night, click here !

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Earth Day

In honor of Earth day this year, I did all recycled material activities for our recent Arts in Action community event. In my room people were able to create sculptures from recycled materials like plastic containers and old toys.

Another station was to use plastic bottles to make flowers which were then glued to old paint brushes to be used in an installation piece on the hill by our bus loop.

Guests could also help glue down pieces of recycled plastic in order to fill three murals in the shapes of the Chesapeake Bay, a recycling sign, and the earth!

 

There was so much more happening during the event in other art rooms! Mrs. Grace had Draw and Dine station, and Ms. Kambic created a “Paint like Picasso” station!

1,000 students had artwork hanging in the show!

Down in the office lobby our musicians were showing off their talents as well!

A HUGE thank you to Michelle Dress, Lara Grace, Caitlin Kambic, and Anne Scott
for their amazing effort and awesome ideas!
I am so grateful to work with such amazing people!

 

Check out the video of the event below!

Happy Earth Day!

 

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Softball Time!

I love being the Ridgely middle school girls softball coach! This is my 6th year coaching.  Last weekend we took the middle school girls to practice with the Dulaney high school softball team, a lot of our students go to Dulaney for high school.

Coach Dave really set up a wonderful practice. There were 4 stations for batting, and we had time practice covering the field with runners.  My team learned a lot to improve their skills! I look forward to our home game today to see how it pays off!

Check out my video from the practice!

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Spirituality in Art Education

What does spirituality mean?

It is the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.

Every human possess a certain spirituality in some manner. For all of time, humans have searched for a power grater than themselves. We all have questioned and formulated a belief we had or still have in the soul. Whether is through religion or some sort of life altering experience.

So, as an art educator I naturally ask the question…how do we define spirituality in the context of art education?

Or better yet…how do I explain that the two are intertwined?

We process all of life’s experiences through the mental/spiritual and material/physical. These are the yin and yang that make up existence.

When we are concerned with our soul we go on vision quests, we seek through meditation and prayer, we call to a force outside of our material world, and deep within ourselves. We have always seeked to connect to source, creator, or our definition if God.

Art is, too, this way… deep within us. Since the beginning of time we have used art to record and to express our inner thoughts and visions.

When we are concerned with our soul, a beautiful things happens… alignment. We begin to create beautiful things without a second thought. We begin to find our authentic voice, which allows us to best communicate our truth to the world.

This alignment allows for a redefining of the word art… as an expression of ones inner self, rather than only the ability to perform a skill to create something new, such as observational drawing in order to make something look realistic. *Dive deep into the meaning of words.* When we leave words at their base definitions, we lose a whole world of possibilities. When we dive deeper into what a word means to us, and pay more attention to the intentions behind our words…we begin to find synergy.

So there it is… Art and spirituality are one in the same.

As educators we strive to assist our students in knowing themselves better, and teach them how to be creative, curious, and caring citizens. Art and Spirituality are vital parts to the human experience and should be celebrated, explored, and discovered through expressing and creating.

I would love to collaborate with you in expressing and creating a dialogue on the importance of spirituality in art education.

So, how we can assist learners of all ages to tap into their inner self to create and express themselves in whatever life experiences they have. This is the C.E.E.Q.E.R. model.

Please leave your questions, comments, or ideas….lets start a conversation!

The best way to find answers is through dialogue, with others or with self.

❤🙏

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NAEA 2019 Boston

National Art Education Association held this years convention in Boston. A place I had not yet visited as an adult, but was excited to have the opportunity to experience.

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I arrived at the BWI airport at 5am on Wednesday, and was in Boston by 8am. When I arrived it was a little chilly, but it felt like Maryland weather. I caught the Logan Express  to the Sheraton hotel in Back Bay.  After checking in I decided to take a walk to the Isabella Gardner Museum.

This museum quickly became one of my most favorite. The detail that went into the collection and the curation of the art, was in itself an art.

After the Gardner Museum, I went to the Museum of Fine Arts which was open until 10pm on Wednesdays!  The museum was just the right size… with art from many different cultures, and a Frida Kahlo exhibit. I enjoyed myself so much I walked about 10 miles that day!

The convention was fantastic, so many great presentations. I went to one about the role of Art Educators of students with Trauma. The women who were presenting wrote a book called Art for Children Experiencing Psychological Trauma. I am reading it and so far it is fantastic! So informational about the different types and effects of trauma. This is so relevant for the generations of today, who have experienced many school related as well as home related traumas.  I know art is life, so it must assist in releasing traumas and helping people move forward to create a life they wish.

Another great session  I went to was Soul Collage. This was a wonderful workshop to create cards that represent certain emotions you want to portray.  This cards can later be used to pull from as inspiration.

The exhibit hall was wonderful as always! Many make and take art stations as well as wonderful posters and opportunities to get students involved in different types of art. I also received a load of new art materials to experiment with!

I saw a session by … which was about turning science into art through basket weaving and music compositions! The correlation between data and art is so intriguing.

I also got to see Howard Gardner and Amy Sherald! Both were fantastic speakers and so inspirational!

Howard Gardner discussed the Studio Habits of Mind, along with Grit Vs. Wit and how important it was to know thyself, engage and care for others, and be aligned with your ethical compass.

While Amy Sherald talked about her inspiration for painting, and how her life has influenced her work. She speaks of photography as “Artistic DNA.”  My favorite quote from her was that portraits were more important in shaping our future than law making. This made so much sense to me and should really connect with these times.

This years convention was so fulfilling and definitely one of my top 5! I met a lot of new people and got to see some old friends!

This was a convention to remember, so many experiences and so much love. Thanks for another great year NAEA! See you next year in Minneapolis!

<3

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Nature Mandalas

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6th graders went outside and created nature mandalas with our student teacher Anne Scott, which were inspired by Morning Altars artist Day Schildkret…

I have quite an unusual mission: To make impermanent earth art every day. Ever since I was five years old, I have been creating art with the flowers, leaves, berries, and bark right outside my front door. This has always been a way for me to feel connected, both to my imagination and the whole earth. About five years ago, after a big break-up with my partner, I started this as a daily mindfulness practice to heal my heart, help me feel gratitude, connect with the earth and make meaning in my life. However, this art wanted to have a life of its own. Over the last decade, I have created over a thousand small and large earth installations that have inspired an international movement of people to get outside and make earth art. I even have a book coming out this October! And, here’s the unique thing: Every single piece of art I have made no longer exists and that is its power: Learning how ephemeral life truly is and to love what is here right now.

Students watched a video where Day describes a little about the process of morning altars and how it can transform our perspective.  Then we went outside and walked the land to gather our own natural elements.  We also provided the students with flowers, beans and strings. My student teacher lead the students to create group nature mandalas!

This was such an awesome day for this assignment. The sun was shining and it felt like spring.  The outdoor classroom tables and benches that were created by George Washington Carver Center for the Arts students created were the perfect place for the groups to work.

Each team member of the group had to direct a specific ring of the mandala, sharing with the students how to place the materials.  I found that a few groups decided on all rings together, while others really stuck to the one ring per person.

When it was time to clean up, the students were sad and disappointed that they had to clean up their mandala. Taking a picture of their mandalas before they cleaned them, seemed to relieve their anxiety of having to disassemble it.

Check out the video we made!

 

Earth Month is off to a great start!!

<3

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Family Haikus

A few of my students participated in the Team BCPS Haiku Contest! We sent in a few haikus that were also illustrated! There were a total of  over 2,000 entries!

A haiku is a Japanese poem that consists of three lines. The first line has five syllables, the second line has seven syllables, and the third line has five syllables.

“We are thrilled that our students and teachers have embraced this contest because it celebrates literacy, creativity, and the power of student voice,” said Baltimore County Public Schools Interim Superintendent Verletta White. “This year’s entries are especially moving because the theme is family, and our students’ families are integral members of Team BCPS.”

1,494 entries were received from elementary school students, 383 from middle school students, 343 from high school students

-BCPS News

Students have the opportunity to win four tickets from the Baltimore Orioles to the game on Tuesday, June 25; a gift certificate from The Ivy Bookshop to participate in a writing workshop; and a gift card from Ukazoo Books.

A winning haiku will be chosen at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Winners will be announced by press release on Wednesday, April 17, which is International Haiku Poetry Day.

Additional haikus will be selected for a book, which will also feature student artwork.  Students featured in the book will be announced by press release in May 2019.

 

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April Fools

The Fool is a card of new beginnings, opportunity and potential.

What better time than the 1st of April to do this!
Spring is here, a time for planting new seeds.

Even though you don’t know exactly where you are going, you are being called to commit yourself and follow your heart, no matter how crazy this might seem to you.

Now is a time when you need to trust where the Universe is taking you.

Have an open, curious mind and a sense of excitement.
This is about new experiences, personal growth, development, and adventure.

This is a time of great potential and opportunity for you right now.
Use your creative mind with a dash of spontaneity to make the most of this
magical time and bring forth your new ideas in powerful ways.

The Fool is your invitation to relax, play, and have fun.
Treat life like one big experiment and feel yourself in
the flow of whatever comes your way.
Tap into your fullest potential by stepping into a place of
wonderment, curiosity and intrigue.

Happy April 1st!
Step into your power & embrace your fool
<3