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Art Class

Crayola Creativity Week

Crayola Creativity Week

January 23rd – 29th, 2023 is Crayola Creativity Week! We are celebrating at Ridgely Middle School by doing creativity week activities in our STAG advisory groups. I am so excited about what the students will create today.

There is a list of resources available at the Crayola Creativity Week website.

I am especially excited about today’s lesson, which is based around Native American Dancing! I recently completed a painting that shows my personal journey with Native American dancing. This painting is called Reign Fancy, and it shows a female native fancy dancer.

Crayola Creativity Week

Author Ria Thundercloud and illustrator, Kalila Fuller, will share their book, Finding My Dance. As students hear Ria’s story, they’ll be moved to connect culture, identity, and self-expression. From pow wows to traditional regalia, Ria will captivate students with her remarkable journey. Then they can draw and illustrate nature-inspired patterns and dance poses, making their art dance on paper with Kalila J. Fuller!

Cultural Creations

After watching the video, students will create their own drawings of traditional regalia, or dancing from their own cultures. This is a great way to get to know your students and share the arts from other cultures.

Take pictures of what your students create and post them on social media with the hashtag #CrayolaCreativityWeek and you could win prize packs from Crayola!

Happy Creating!

Categories
Art

Reign Fancy

Fancy

Fancy is such an interesting word. In my mind when I hear the word fancy I think dressed up, but fancy means a lot more than just how nice something looks.

Fancy is defined as: elaborate in structure or decoration, also created from the imagination rather than from life. It comes from the word Fantasy, which comes from Greek phantasia ‘imagination, appearance’, later ‘phantom’, from phantazein ‘make visible’. 

When you are fancy, you decorate or rather make with your imagination. To be fancy is to make your imagination visible.

Reign

Reign is the quality of prevailing and overcoming opposing forces, to live with sovereignty which is a state of self governing.

Reign Fancy was painted using my imagination. Imagination is the action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses.

Intuitive Painting

Bringing my imagination to life through the use of my intuition, I created this painting without knowing exactly what it was going to be.

I first began with a lotus flower shape, and slowly added layers of colors while flipping the canvas different directions. Slowly I started to see a woman figure from the flower and realized it was an indigenous fancy dancer.

  • Fancy
  • Fancy

Fancy Dancing

When I was young we would go to powwows and I would dance the fancy dance category. Fancy dance, or shawl dance was first a men’s dance but after a while women adapted it. The women’s fancy shawl dance represents the opening of a cocoon when the butterfly emerges. The shawl is usually the most extravagant piece. The fringed shawls are colorful and flashy, often featuring embroidery or ribbon work. The fringe on the shawl have movement that coincides with the dancer.

The fancy dancers shawl represents the wings of the butterfly. The butterfly is a metaphor for transformation and hope; across cultures, it is a symbol for rebirth and resurrection, for the triumph of the spirit and the soul over the physical prison, the material world. Among the ancients, is an emblem of the soul and of unconscious attraction towards light.

When I dance I imagine that I am swirling energy up into the ether vibrating peace, love, unity, harmony, balance and bliss. I feel supported by the energy of those who came before me, the energy of lives lived on this land. The rituals of everyday life, charging the land with intention.

When I dance I feel uplifted by the energies around me, and it feels like a new dawn.

Spirit Name, Raining in the Dawn woman

At age 11 my parents sent my sister and I to North Dakota. While out there we receive our Spirit names from our tribes medicine woman in a naming ceremony. As my name was being presented to me, our giiwa had to take a moment to explain that it was unusual for our Ojibwe Spirit names to be the same as our Christian names. She said that Creator told my mother to name me Raine Dawn because that was who I am. My Ojibwe name is Raining in the Dawn woman. When I think of what Raining in the Dawn means about who I am… there is no shortage of synchronicities, it is who I am.

As this painting emerged I felt the true meaning of raining in the dawn… rising above into a new dawn. Dawn is the beginning of a phenomenon or period of time, especially one considered favorable. Dawn is to come into existence.

When I think of raining I think of the purification rain brings. I think of the ions in the atmosphere and how they change before and after a storm. How they rebalance themselves to bring back equilibrium.

The title evolved through all of this as the painting unfolded. I decided to use the word reign over rain because I’ve always had the inclination to think of the word reign just as much as rain. Being able to prevail in any situation, to have a growth mindset, is one of the most important things in my life.

Lets all reign in the dawn of our own lives.

If you’re interested in purchasing a print of this painting you can go to my Etsy Account here.

Categories
Astrological Insights

New Year – Capricorn Energy – New Beginnings

The new year, 2023 is the year of the water rabbit. The energy is strong in Capricorn. New beginnings, grounded energy and what actions we must take in order to be clear on what we intend.

Sometimes we might have to go backwards in order to go forward. Reflection is key to self awareness and self actualization. So what do we want? What intentions do we want to set for this new cycle?

Capricorn Energy

Check where Capricorn is in your chart. What house is Capricorn in, and possibly what planets. This is the place where new beginnings will be strongest.

New Year

Mercury is also in retrograde. Which will have us revisiting our foundations and getting things going. A feeling of motivation and excitement will be felt.

The first quarter moon is where we would like to change, grow or expand. Allow yourself to dream and imagine what it might be like to make a change, even if it doesn’t seem positive right now.

Chinese New Year

This is the new year of the water rabbit! A fortuitous year. According to Chinese astrology, this Chinese New Year starts on 22 January 2023 and ends on 9 February 2024. The year 2023 is symbolized by longevity, peace, prosperity, benevolence and fertility.

Spend time reflecting on where and how you desire for these themes to show up in your life. Set your intentions, and list actions you will take to achieve those desires.

Happy New Year to you all.

Categories
Art Therapy Mindfulness

Mindfulness and Art

Mindfulness is the practice of bringing one’s attention to the present moment and being fully present in the experience. It is a form of meditation that can be practiced in many different ways, including through art.

You can bring this mindfulness to any task. I enjoy reminding myself of it when I have to do the dishes or fold laundry. Being present in the moment and really being aware of the now.

Art can be a powerful tool for mindfulness because it allows us to slow down and focus on the present moment. When we create art, we are fully present in the process of creating, whether we are drawing, painting, sculpting, or engaging in any other form of artistic expression. This focus on the present moment can help to calm the mind and bring a sense of peace and clarity.

Benefits of Mindfulness

In addition to the benefits of mindfulness, art can also be therapeutic. It allows us to express our emotions and experiences in a way that words may not be able to. It can be a way to process and make sense of difficult experiences, as well as a way to celebrate and appreciate the beauty in our lives.


There are many different ways to incorporate mindfulness and art into your life. One simple way is to set aside a dedicated time each day for art-making. You can start with just a few minutes and gradually increase the amount of time as you become more comfortable with the practice. You can also try incorporating mindfulness into your art-making by focusing on your breath and the present moment as you create.

Another way to incorporate mindfulness and art is to find a local art class or workshop that focuses on mindfulness. These classes can be a great way to learn new techniques and connect with other people who are interested in mindfulness and art.

Mindful Moments in 2023

In 2023 I will be hosting more Healing Hands workshops, as well as Artist Open Studio nights. Excited about all that 2023 has to offer, and receiving all that is mine by divine right, in perfect ways under grace.

Incorporating mindfulness and art into your life can have numerous benefits, including reduced stress and anxiety, improved focus and concentration, and increased self-awareness and self-expression. So why not give it a try? Find a form of art that resonates with you and start exploring the wonderful world of mindfulness and creativity.

Use the new year energy to begin including art into your daily rituals. Consider doing a neurographic drawing during your morning coffee, or prayers. Or finish out your day by drawing out all of the energy from the experiences you had, onto paper. No end result in mind, just simply allowing the energy to flow through you and the art materials into the paper. Releasing it.

Here are a few links of different activities you can try:

Categories
Art Therapy SEL

Social Emotional Learning – How to manage Life’s Lessons

Social emotional learning (SEL) is a relatively new area of study in education that focuses on teaching students the skills they need to understand and manage their own emotions, as well as to interact with others in a positive and effective way. Many believe that SEL is just as important as academic subjects like math, science, and reading, and that it is crucial for students to develop these skills in order to succeed in school and in life.

SEL is not just about teaching students how to be happy and well-adjusted – it is also about helping them to develop the skills they need to manage stress and difficult emotions, to communicate effectively with others, to make responsible decisions, and to solve problems. By teaching students these skills, we can help them to build strong, healthy relationships, and to align with and achieve their goals.

Relationships

One of the key components of SEL is the emphasis on building strong relationships. This means teaching students how to communicate effectively, how to listen to others, and how to work together in a positive and respectful way. This can be particularly important in today’s world, where students are increasingly isolated and disconnected from one another, and where they are often exposed to negative influences on social media and other online platforms. By teaching students how to build and maintain healthy relationships, we can help them to develop the resilience and support they need to overcome challenges and to thrive. Working with community to critically think and find solutions.

Emotions

Another important aspect of social emotional learning is the emphasis on helping students to understand and manage their own emotions. This means teaching them how to recognize their own feelings, how to understand the reasons behind those feelings, and how to manage them in a healthy and effective way. This can be particularly challenging for some students, who may struggle with anxiety, anger, or other difficult emotions. By teaching students how to recognize and manage their emotions, we can help them to develop the self-awareness and self-regulation they need to be successful in school and in life.

Social emotional learning (SEL) is an important aspect of education that focuses on helping students develop the skills they need to understand and manage their own emotions, as well as interact with others in a positive and healthy way. SEL has been shown to have a number of benefits for students, including improved academic performance, better mental health, and greater overall well-being.

Imagine what social emotional learning for adults would do to the world. This is such a powerful opportunity to help our children become aware of their power.

Benefits

One of the key benefits of SEL is that it helps students develop the skills they need to manage their own emotions and behaviors. This is important because students who are able to regulate their emotions and impulses are better able to focus on learning and achieve their academic goals. SEL also helps students develop empathy and understanding of others, which can foster positive relationships and a sense of community within the classroom.

Another benefit of social emotional learning is that it can improve students’ mental health and overall well-being. SEL programs can help students learn coping skills that can reduce stress and anxiety, and can also provide a safe and supportive environment for students to talk about their feelings and experiences. This can be especially important for students who may be struggling with mental health issues or other challenges.

Holistic Learning

Social emotional learning is increasingly being recognized as an important part of education, and many schools are incorporating SEL programs into their curriculum. If you’re a teacher or parent, there are many resources available to help you incorporate SEL into your classroom or home. And if you’re a student, remember that developing your social and emotional skills can have a big impact on your overall success and happiness.

Learning about your social emotional intelligence only enhances your ability to learn intellectually. Tapping into both sides of the brain for a true holistic living experience.

Practices

From mindfulness to meditation, creating and reflecting… Art really lends itself well to addressing our self awareness, social awareness, responsible decision making, self management and relationship skills.

My classroom is full of opportunities to practice social emotional learning. Keeping an eye on not only the artmaking process but also their self awareness and social awareness. How students are interacting with each other, and how they are presenting themselves in their work.

Students are able to reflect on their emotions through mood journals, and neurographic exercises. Students also have moments to come back to the present and focus on their breathing, during our mindfulness moments. We also reflect on our work together as a group, learning how to share and receive respectfully.

To me SEL is all about creating brave spaces. Really spending time experiencing life and figuring ourselves out.

Categories
Web3

AI – Artificial Intelligence

AI stands for ARTificial INTELligence. Art Intel. Let’s dive deeper into the language.

Artificial Intelligence – the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.

Artificial comes from the Latin artificialis, from artificium ‘handicraft’. The definition is made or produced by human beings rather than occurring naturally, especially as a copy of something natural.

Artifice comes from the root words Latin artificium, based on arsart- ‘art’ + facere ‘make’. The definition says, clever or cunning devices or expedients, especially as used to trick or deceive others.

Intelligence comes from the Latin word intelligentia, from intelligere ‘understand’.

Intelligent comes from the Latin word intelligent- ‘understanding’, and from inter ‘between’ + legere ‘choose’. To choose between something and another thing means to understand that thing.

AI – ART

There has been a lot of talk lately about AI art. From how cool the images are, to how artworks are being loaded into the AI without consent. People all over are taking sides… is AI good or bad. Should we be concerned with AI producing art?

We give power where we give our energy.

There are a few really amazing things you can do with the programs that are available. Creating art has never been so available to all. No skill required, simply input your thoughts or images and AI will do the rest!

I think these programs are great for inspiration. It can be tough to see any good in these programs, however a world of duality brings us experiences that help us to grow and learn more about what we are capable of.

As artists we need to continue to grow in our forms of expression, as we grow as humans.

We get to decide where we put our energies. Do we get caught up in the media hype, of stories that are being fed to us… or do we figure out how to use the tools the universe has given us, to create a world and reality that is aligned with our higher selves.

INTELligence

Intel is information of value. Intelligence is choosing between two options, as in walking the middle way. What do we value? What is the intel that we refer to and believe in. What information is valuable to us? I believe the knowledge of self is the most vital intel there is.

When you have a perspective that sees each experience as an opportunity to thrive rather than just survive, you find all of the tools you need to succeed in living the life you desire.

AI Art

We are all connected

AI is simply another tool on our evolution through life. If we get caught up in the division and the duality of the experience we will never find the path of least resistance which is the middle way. All things are great to experience in order to learn, grow and share more. That is what life is for after all. To experience and connect with one another through sharing our stories.

There will always be the opposite of what you believe, because that friction is what causes momentum. And when you have intention, you can use that momentum to manifest.

Categories
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Art

Art Speaks – Dream House Uganda

Dream House Uganda

Dream House Uganda, founded in 2012, is a non-profit organization working directly with marginalized people such as girls and women, the elderly, street children and the disabled regardless of age, religion, ethnicity, gender and tribe streamlining programs that empowers, engages and supports them to transformative lives.

Dream

Dream House is in eastern Uganda in Mbale. Mbale has an estimated population of over 80,00 people. Over 40,000 of these people live in the Namatala slums, and over 60% of these residents are young people between the age of 4 and 30 years. Most people have settled here because of the civic unrests, drought, and natural disasters like floods and landslides, in search for a better life.

However, due to the dire poverty situation of the people living in Namatala slums, many young people are also facing challenges like; limited access to education, food and clean water, teenage pregnancies, and unemployment among others issues leading to increased drug abuse and crime rates in the communities.

As the future of their nation rests in the hands of the young people, the founders of Dream House Uganda believe that creative arts are a vital component of nourishing, educating and raising awareness of how the Sustainable Development Goals can help them create the life they desire.

Art Speaks

John Paul is the creative facilitator, assistant director and founding member of Dream House Uganda. Recently he facilitated a wonderful art event called Art Speaks, a platform where children, young people, developing and professional artists come together to share knowledge, and life stories.

Art Speaks asked participants to come up with solutions that address socio-issues, and to take ownership of their implementation. Participants came up with innovative ways to lend their voices to ensure that the entire community is knowledgeable about the significance of the 17 SDG’s such as gender equality, clean water and sanitation, and climate action among others.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

The word art incorporates diverse art forms such as painting, music, dance, sculpture drawing, poetry, photography, and fashion. These help young people to express their emotions and imagination.

John Paul Ojirot

Collaborating

Creative Balance Institute was able to collaborate with Dream House Uganda for their first annual Art Speaks event in December 2022. We collected over $500 USD. which is approximately 1,820,590 Ugandan Shillings. The funds were used to purchase all of the art supplies for the Art Speaks event. Thank you to everyone who donated! You made this event possible.

The event was a great success! There were many in attendance and wonderful performances and teachings shared with all. There was music, dancing, making art and painting murals!

Dancing and Music

Teaching about Community

The art projects were not just drawings, but also educating and engaging. The community created words like sharing, togetherness, and peace. It also involved a session where participants could explain what these words are and how beneficial they could be if they were practiced their daily lives. The participants were divided into groups and went on to draw these words around the community. They aimed to project beauty and messages of sharing, togetherness, and peace around the community

Community Murals

Future Plans

John shared that they want to start an art hub where young artists share resources, serve the community, earn skills, make and sell their art work and also use the space to connect local and international artists.

They are also hoping to have a boot camp 4 weeks before the next annual art speaks event day. Its aimed at training developing artists in the development of their artist approach, entrepreneurial and professional skills.

Categories
Art Class

Crayola Creativity Ambassador

What is a Crayola Creativity Ambassador?

To celebrate the 75th anniversary, 75 NAEA members were selected for the opportunity to be early adopters of the January 2023 Crayola Creativity Week while participating in special leadership team-building experiences in preparation of the nationwide Creativity Week celebration.

The National Art Education Association (NAEA) and Crayola Education partnered to offer the NAEA–Crayola Creativity Ambassadors Program, providing visual arts education professionals with professional learning, resources, and support to cultivate Creative Leadership Teams within their learning communities.

75 Educators from around the world were selected to participate in this program! We have been meeting virtually to learn new things about leading our communities in Creativity week in 2023!

Creativity Week

Creativity week is January 23rd- 29th 2023. There are so many perks for signing up which you can do HERE!

Free Creative Learning Resources!

Everyone who signs up will get FREE video activities and downloadable Thinking Sheets.* And the best part? It isn’t limited to just 7 days. Every educator will have free access to digital resources for cross-curricular creative learning fun all year long!

Giveaways!

With giveaways, challenges from celebrity creators, and virtual classroom visits, it’s a celebration the whole school will want to be a part of!

Create Connections!

Share students’ ideas, projects, and work in a secure online gallery, and connect with creative classrooms around the country during the live Celebration Assembly event.

Creativity Schedule

There is a fantastic lineup of creatives that will be sharing their stories, inspiring us to get creative!

Crayola Creativity Ambassador
Categories
SEL Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Creating Brave Space

Brave

… from the root work for bold, courageous, untamed, savage. It’s interesting we use the term BRAVO when we are cheering someone on.

To the Anishinaabe, bravery is one of the seven teachings of our grandfathers.

Zoongidi’ewin – Courage or Aakwa’ode’ewin – Bravery is represented as the bear. The Bear carries courage. We seek the strength and courage to face our greatest enemy-oneself. The bear will give us the understanding to seek resolutions through spiritual intervention: hence, spiritual healing to deal with anger, pain and ourselves.

To be brave means you seek to apply your spiritual truths to your life, in order to assist you in growth and transformation.

To face life with courage is to know bravery. Find your inner strength to face the difficulties of life and the courage to be yourself. Defend what you believe in and what is right for your community, family, and self. Face your fears to allow yourself to live your life.

Brave Space

Social Emotional Learning

Bravery plays a big part in social emotional learning. The five competencies of SEL are self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.

Considering that courage and bravery play a big role in our own self-awareness. Cultivating a brave space makes complete sense to supporting our social emotional learning skills.

Brave space is also recognizing the wholeness of our experiences. That we have wounds and traumas that do not always feel good, comfortable or safe.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

A brave space is a space where participants feel comfortable learning, sharing, and growing. It is inclusive to all races, sexes, genders, abilities, immigration status, and lived experiences. This is something we should strive for in all our experiences where we interact with one another. Leading towards a more inclusive way to insure all voices are heard and everyone is seen.

Living a life where we are unafraid to be who we are and share our stories with one another, is the only way to true peace and harmony.

Consider using the term brave space over safe space, and comment to let me know what you think about the difference.

Categories
Art Southern York

CULTURE ON THE LINE

Back in August I completed an artist questionnaire to be featured on Culture on the Line’s Creative Five series. I discussed how life is my medium. Art is the journey of life. The expression of self. I really enjoy expressing myself through paint, photography, henna, writing, dancing and singing… among so much more. I share my top 10 favorite books, and new ways of thinking.

Culture on the Line

An online site that brings light to local artists, and culture.

South Central Pennsylvania and Northern Maryland are separated by the Mason-Dixon Line, and this location and its settlers have had a historical impact on the arts and culture of its communities. The county lines seem to bring along their own subtle differences as well. Culture On The Line aims to share & document the area’s cultural highlights.

It is part of the Visual Realia, LLC – family, which includes the Visual Realia website featuring the art of Andrew Smith, and the Hanover-Adams-York On The Line Facebook page.

Culture
Credit to Andrew Smith, Culture On The Line. Works by Kest, Valentine, and Tompkins are part of the Hanover Area Arts Guild’s September 2022 exhibit.

Change of Perspective

I was also apart of an exhibit at the Hanover Art Guild, where artists share their unique diverse voices through their artwork. This was a beautiful example of diversity, equity and inclusion.

You can see the artists work here.

Community Asset

The founder of Visual Realia, LLC, Andrew Smith, is a true asset to the artist community here in Southern York Pennsylvania. He created the amazing online platform Culture on the Line, and facilitates so many amazing projects. I am so honored to know him and to be apart of this community!

Andrew and Deb Smith on the left.