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Creativity Spirituality

NAEA Town Hall – Leading with Creativity

Town Hall

The National Art Education Association Town Hall is a monthly panel discussion where educators come together to discuss a topic. Our topic was Leading with Creativity. NAEA and Crayola teamed up for the 75th anniversary of NAEA. They developed Creativity Week in January, and invited 75 teachers from around the world to be Creativity Ambassadors, I was one of the 75. James Wells, Crayola’s Education Manager, was leading the discussion and invited me to participate in the conversation.

Leading

Creativity Panelists

Panelist bios are available here.

  • James Wells, Education Manager, Crayola
  • Lauren E. Burrow, Associate Professor of Education Studies, Stephen F. Austin State University
  • Raine Dawn Valentine, Art Educator, Ridgely Middle School; Adjunct Instructor, Notre Dame of Maryland University
  • Mari Atkinson, Instructor, Shack Art Center; Student Teacher Supervisor, Western Washington University

Here is the recording of the discussion! My part starts at 42:00 <3

Leading with Creativity

When I got the email about the town hall and the topic of discussion I was really excited! Even more so when I received our questions and saw what I was being asked to share. Talking about how creativity is spirituality, is one of the things I am most passionate about. I love leading my live with this mindset. I had so much to say during the town hall but only had a short amount of time! So I decided to write about everything I wanted to say.

Creativity is the use of our imagination, original ideas. Creativity is Spirituality, which is the quality of being concerned with the human spirit… which is the seat of our emotions and character. Our emotions are a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood or relationships with others.

Leading with Spirituality

Art making is inherently spiritual. Art is the expression or application of human creative skill or imagination. To express is to convey a thought or feeling and make them know. We express ourselves through relationships with others, nature and the divine… connecting through sharing, reflecting and celebrating.

Creating is the means by which I form my identity and self. Through self reflection, self awareness and self actualization, I create and live. My art practice is a way of seeing, understanding and conveying what I see, feel and hope for.

I do this through my choice of ritual. Through maintaining a life if intention. Choosing my daily ritual for the highest good, then celebrating the rewards the commitment and intention will bring. Actions Rewards Truth. A.R.T.

In the teachings of the Annishinabe creativity plays a huge part in the role of original man. Waynaboozhoo was lowered to the earth and give the responsibility to name all the things. He was building relationships with all things, and learning how to see himself through different perspectives. He learned to create a canoe from the beaver, and learned to swim from the fish. He also learned about the beauty in creation and destruction, and about life and death. Through his observations with the world, and his ability to creatively live, Waynaboozhoo survived and learned many things.

He lived life creatively, to recognize every moment as a moment to reflect and form our identities which are ever changing and forming. It is our job to live creatively, and find ways as humans to keep creating a life we desire. Creativity looks like exploring, experimenting, questioning, expressing and reflecting. Laughter, learning, and love. Where we remember we are all connected. That our places in this life are just a valuable and necessary as the next.

When we start to live creatively we stop from living out of fear. I start turning the fear energy into trust and knowing. We start to allow ourselves to be vulnerable with each other, and to open up and share. When we share with each other we remember how connected we are.

LIVE CREATIVELY. REMEMBER WE ARE ALL CONNECTED.

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Education

AEMS 3rd Arts Education Symposium on Anti-Racism

Arts education refers to the teaching and learning of various forms of art, including music, theater, visual arts, and dance. It aims to develop creativity, self-expression, critical thinking, and cultural awareness among students.

Anti-racism refers to the practice of actively opposing and dismantling racism in all its forms, including systemic, institutional, and individual racism. It involves recognizing and challenging racist attitudes, beliefs, and practices, as well as promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Arts Education Anti-Racism Symposium 2023

Art Education in Maryland Schools’ 3rd Annual Arts Education Symposium on Anti-Racism focused on exploring ways to incorporate anti-racism principles and practices in arts education.

I have taken the role of Equity Liaison at my school, and being apart of the NAEA CAN network, I am excited to bring my perspective into the conversation about how the Arts helps to heal and transform.

The symposium was a wonderful experience of self care, social emotional learning, and cultural proficiency discussions. One of the best parts was listening to Paula Liz from Anti-Racist Art Teacher!

Resources

Overall, the symposium aimed to provide a platform for educators, artists, researchers, and advocates to share insights, experiences, and strategies for creating more equitable and just education system through the arts. If you are interested in learning more ways to celebrate diversity and have a more inclusive space, please reach out.

Anti-Racism is really a matter of looking within at your own experiences and how we accept our paths, find gratitude in our experiences, and learn from our mistakes, all while knowing others are a valuable part of our growth… and we are in this together. That is what my ancestors mean by Respect, knowing we are all parts of the whole.

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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!

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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
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
Art Therapy Divine I Am SEL

Mindful Lines

Mindful

How can Lines be Mindful?

Being mindful is the ability to be in the present moment, acknowledging your thoughts and feelings but not identifying with them. Meaning do not hold on to the thought and become consumed by it and the way it makes you feel.

I teach my students about what it means to be mindful, and how important of a skill it is to be able to step back from thoughts and give your brain a break for at least 10 minutes a day.

So the idea of mindful lines simply means being present with the line. Allowing the line to move as it will and be in the moment with it.

A lot of our life is spent processing experiences, but its not usually in the moment. I shared the analogy of playing a sport. When you are playing and in the moment, you are not processing how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking about. You are simply in the moment. It is not until after the moment is over that your thoughts and emotions begin to catch up.

When you create a mindful line, you want to go slow enough that your body is processing your marking making in real time… the present.

Creating mindful lines is a process oriented activity that allows a person to take 10 mins out of their day to separate their awareness from their thoughts and be present in the moment.

Power of Presence

Giving our brain time to slow down and not be inundated by processing thoughts and feelings, allows your body and mind recovery time so to speak.

I tell my students, your brain isn’t going to shut itself off for you. It isn’t going to just say, “I’m on overload, I need to shut off for a while to recover.” They understand how that would make us robots, and how important it is for each person to take control of their minds wellbeing. Self care is just as important as self actualization.

There is value in rest.

Mindful Art Process

Get a pen and paper… now take a few deep breaths to center yourself to this present moment.

Now slowly allow the pen to create a line. Without rushing, be present with whichever way the pen moves. Each line unfolding as you let go of thoughts and focus on allowing. Take deep breaths as you move the pen across the paper. Allow yourself to flow and be surprised with the outcome of each mark.

Now listen to yourself… Do you want to add color? Do you want to make lines thicker? Are you complete?

You know when your line is complete. Its in the way you feel.

Doing mindfulness activities at any age can greatly affect our ability to focus and regulate our emotions. Each time you do a mindfulness activity, you are training and strengthening the neuropathways in your brain. You are literally reprograming how you respond to situations. This is aligned with the SEL competencies: Self awareness, Self Management, Social Awareness, and Responsible Decision Making. And all it takes is 10 mins a day.

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Education Blockchain Web3

Ed3DAO UnConference 2022 in the Metaverse

Conference in the Metaverse

The Ed3DAO UnConference 2022 was one of the most interactive and inspiring virtual conference that I have ever attended.

This was a 3 day conference, full of information about WEB3 and blockchain technology, and how education can and will be affected by these new technologies.

Interactive Digital World

Using ZEP the Ed3DAO team created the most beautiful and content rich metaverse experience. They also scheduled the most meaningful presentation. ZEP is platform to create virtual spaces for events, meetings and gatherings of all types in the metaverse as if you do in real life.

We were able to explore a thoughtfully laid out metaverse and you could definitely tell it was prepared by teachers, with lots differentiating. Such a wonderful sight to see all the avatars moving around and being able to see each persons video!

Check out Ed3DAO YouTube

There are recordings of EdTalk sessions from the conference!

Also check out their DISCORD to be apart of the community!

Categories
Education Art Class

Creativity Departments 100th Podcast Episode

For the past few months, I have had the pleasure of meeting with some brilliant and kind educators. We all sign in late, usually 9pm EST and begin our discussion about a selected topic. We share our passions and stories with one another, the perfect way to remind us we are all connected. I look forward to spending these evenings with the 4 of them. Thank you Laura, Matt, Candido, and Joe for being you <3

Let’s all celebrate Laura and Matt’s achievements with the Creativity Department podcast! Go listen and follow today!

Creativity Crew

Creativity

Also Check out the k12ARTChat Podcast, there are 4 Creativity Crew Conversations.. Episode 99, 92, 86 and 78!

Categories
Art Art Class Education

TAB Camp Mid-Atlantic 2022

WHAT IS TAB?

TAB stands for Teaching Artistic Behaviors, which is a teaching method for Art Education.

TAB

Choice-Based Art Education is student centered and based around teaching through the use of the Studio Habits of Mind.

The Studio Habits of Mind are ways in which we process our experiences, here is a great project example. They are very similar to the Scientific Method, or the Mathematical Practices.

TAB CAMP

Teachers in the Mid-Atlantic area came together the first weekend in August for a retreat, to reignite the flame before school begins. When Pam Ehrenreich asked if I knew of a place to host a retreat for teachers in our area I was THRILLED to offer my studio space.

TASK Party

When everyone arrived we started the weekend with appetizers and a TASK party! It was a nice way to get into the weekend… start to make art and open ourselves up new ideas.

Silk Screening TAB SHIRTS

Tracy Skeels shared her method of silk screening. We created stencils from paper and worked together to print our designs.

We shared different projects and resources with each other, creating examples for our students. Julie Dimino shared all of her amazing resources with us!

There were presentations on Cold Finishes on Clay, Gelli Printing, Weaving, and Cyanotypes. Each presentation was so insightful and inspiring.

Cold Finishes for Fired Clay

Jen Byrne shared a few awesome tips for cold finishing clay! Mixing metallic acrylic paint with water in buckets for a quick dip in the shimmer bath!

Gelli Printing

Tracy Skeels presented on gelli printing, and we were able to explore and create to our hearts content.

Cyanotype

Kate Heuston presented on cyanotype, and her experimentation with the process as an artist. We tried new techniques like drawing on acetate, and using transparencies to create different layers of prints.

Weaving

April Pink presented weaving, and we learned quick and easy ways for our students to be able to weave on cardboard looms.

We also shared the many resource for how we structure our classrooms. The reflection and discussion time were super valuable.

Aside from all the learning, it was great to meet like minded individuals and also have time to create art of our own.

Painting Flow and Glow Party

On Saturday evening we had an intuitive painting party. Each teacher created their own work of art, and then we discussed how we could use this in our classrooms.

The weekend was so amazing. 10 art educators coming together to share and create!

If you missed out on this years, keep an eye out for next! It will be the first weekend in August 2023.