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LEAD! #NAEA16

The National Art Education Association held its annual art convention in Chicago this year! A big change from last year’s convention in New Orleans.

The convention asked us to Lead, and Share our vision for Art Education. This was a powerful convention, full of STEAM, Arts Integration and Holistic learning. We proclaimed our importance as Art Educators to the universe with Jean Houston. She was truly the most inspirational speaker I’ve had the honor of hearing. I see her vision clearly, and she is a wonderful model for creating a shift in our world.

Each session I attended was jam packed! It was great having the NAEA app to keep my schedule organized and to see resources the presenters shared.  Such a 21st century way of communicating and sharing.

At the artisan gallery I sold my dreamcatchers and some quote paintings. It was a wonderful evening meeting art educators from around the world! One of my dream catchers is living in Panama now!

Laura and Matt Grundler at #K12ArtChat and Susan Reily, who is a HUGE arts integration advocate,at EdCloset hosted a wonderful twitter meetup! It was wonderful seeing and meeting everyone I twitter chat with in real life:

Nic Hahn … the energy behind MiniMatisse
Tim Needles…Vine and Art Educator guru
Chris Sweeney… master of the MakeyMakey
Joy Shultz… an amazing teaching artist who uses choice based learning
Cassie Stephens… Art educator fashionista blogger

On Saturday I attended a hands on art workshop presented by Michael Bell and David Modler, of the Journal Junkies, The 7 Deadly Sins: Mixed Media Collaboration. All I can say is, amazing. It was by far the best workshop I’ve ever attended at a convention. I really enjoyed how Michael and David’s energy flowed and interacted with the participants! It was interactive and engaging… If you ever get the chance to attend a workshop or session by either of these teaching artists, I would definitely recommend attending.

I have been honored to represent our school at the National Art Education Association Convention for 3 years now, and every year it is an amazing learning and networking experience.

 

<3 Thank you everyone for such great resources, ideas, memories and friendship!

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Finding The Story

A few Fridays ago I was given the opportunity to take my GT art students to Hampton National Historic Site to see plays that were being put on by students at The Baltimore School for the Arts. Sophomores at the school are asked to develop a project that shows history through drama. These students used the Hampton National Historic Site for historic research and inspiration to create plays based on the theme “Find your Park.”

 

 

My 8th grade students enjoyed watching the plays, and hearing from the students afterwards about everything that went into completing their project. The quality of the story line, character profiles and costumes made this an amazing event to attend. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful experience with Ridgely Middle School.

 

 

 

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Art Class Existence Most Popular Revealing Treasures in your Own Backyard

Painting with Paul session 1

A few teachers attended the first ever teacher workshop at Hampton National Historic Site. At this workshop, teachers were given a tour of the mansion and grounds, an adaptable lesson plan, as well as a presentation from our first ever artist in residence, Paul Moscatt. After the workshop we decided as an extra bonus, teachers would have two sessions with our artist in residence, to learn some techniques as artists which we can inturn share with our students.

The first painting day with Paul was on January 31st, 2016. Three of the teachers were in attendance, and created three beautiful paintings of a costume model in order to help us with our narrative ideas for our Hampton inspired paintings. These paintings will be submitted into the HHI juried student/teacher art exhibit in April!

When we first arrived at Paul’s studio it was like I was in a movie. The elevator in this older warehouse transformed into an amazing LLC. Cork Building that artists of multiple styles call home.

Paul is gracious host, providing us with coffee and coconut chocolate bars in the morning when we arrived.  We talked for a little while about his studio space, and his ambitious and artistic daughter. He even had prosciutto ham bread with olives for lunch!

Painting model Deviana was such a pleasure. The atmosphere of the studio, along with Paul’s ability to teach new techniques in a manner that gets an artist excited about painting. He has a genuine enthusiasm for the act of painting that is contagious.

Thank you, Paul, for a wonderful day of learning and painting! Looking forward to our next paint session on February 28th, 2016.

 

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Expo Experts!

Mantle of the Expert:

Artist can research art supplies, and create sales characters and displays.

Artist will present found information, along with an activity during a class expo.

character application

Art Expo Material Notes

We spent about one whole week researching and preparing our displays and characters. The expo was held on American Education Week. Students and materials were divided between 2 days to present. When students weren’t presenting, they were attending the expo as guest artists looking for a new art material. Students used Ridgely bucks to purchase some materials from the vendors, and at the end the vendor with the most bucks one a gift card to Michaels.

After the expo we had to go over each board and activity again making sure each student received feedback from their peers on the notes packet.  If you’re interested in hearing more about this lesson please feel free to leave me a comment!

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Halfway through…

The second quarter has come to an end, that means we are halfway through the school year already. It’s hard to believe!

Second quarter was full of fun! Students created so many amazing things, using their skills and imagination.

8th grade gt students completed their mantle of the expert art presentations which were amazing.

 

They also created many amazing sketchbook assignments, practicing their drawing skills. Student chose at least 3 personal objects to draw from observation, realistically using shading to create form. Then they were able to create a background for their work.

 

8th, 7th, and 6th grade art students worked on Letting their Imaginations fly, for the PTA Reflections contest. Looking forward to finding out if any of them won awards for their work!

 

 

After flying around for a while, students landed to focus on shading and observational drawing in order to assist them in their upcoming still life drawing.

 

The art department hung a student show at the Towson Deli, like we do every December. It is so wonderful being out in our community, sharing the amazing things our students are doing.

 

Students also created Anti-Drug Posters for the State’s Attorney’s office contest. The task was to create posters to share the affects of drug and alcohol abuse. We will found in February if anyone received an award!

 

Outside of the Art studio, a lot happened at RMS! Teachers and students got together for an amazing canned food drive before thanksgiving, raising over 5,000lbs of food for those in need in our local community! In doing so two teachers got pied in the face as a result of a contest to see which homeroom could bring in the most food!

 

There was American Education Week, where students Raised their hands for SUCCESS! Each student created a hand that represented 3 goals they wanted to be successful at this year. Students and parents both created hands that were displayed in the halls.

 

And last but definitely not last, students at Ridgely teamed up to bring christmas to younger less fortunate students in our school system. Every year the SGA holds a Holiday Benefit party for about 25 kids from one elementary school in Baltimore County. It’s a beautiful thing seeing our students give so much of their love and time to these children. Seeing their faces light up when they arrive and are greeted by 100+ middle school students who are all there for them. There were stations for the students to rotate through… craft making, face painting, snacks and story time (with me!), Santa visit, and dance time. After each station, students then went back to their groups and opened their gifts!

 

So far the year has been amazing, I am really looking forward to the second half of the year!

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Art Class Existence Most Popular Southern York Wine and Painting Party

Mandalas for Beginners

The last learn to paint session I held was on circle designs. Participants learned about mandalas and techniques to create their own one of a kind sacred circle. This session was a bit different than my other learn to paint parties. Each guest was able to choose from an array of supplies to complete their art. There were even multiple resources artists could look through for inspiration! It was truly a unique and amazing experience.

 

The word “mandala” Sanskrit translated to mean “circle.” It represents wholeness, and can be seen as a model for the organizational structure of life itself. Describing both material and non-material realities, the mandala appears in all aspects of life: the celestial circles we call earth, sun, and moon, as well as conceptual circles of friends, family, and community.

I prefer to call it a Sacred Circle, one that was created with purpose by the artist and has meaning to the viewer.

If you want to begin your journey creating your own mandalas, all you have to do is start by setting your intentions.

What do you hold sacred, what resonates with you?

Once you have a few things listed, create symbols to represent those things. The symbols do not have to be recognizable and do not need to be understood by anyone other than yourself. The viewer will make their own interpretation of what they feel it means for them.

My only suggestions for materials are paper, a compass, ruler, pencil and eraser. Go from there and create something beautiful, adding colors how you wish, with whatever materials resonate with you.

Another added layer could be to research the meanings of certain colors words, and symbols that represent the energy and intent you have for your creation. For example: if you wish create a mandala to show love, you might us the color green, as the heart chakra color is green.

<3 Love and light

 

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Reflect and Create again

2015 was a year of progress, it felt as though I sprinted to the end! Everything moved forward and fast.

I like to write down all of the amazing things I’ve done in an ending year as  a reminder to be grateful for what I have and to be excited for what’s to come in the new year.

As I sit here and make a list in my head, I realize I did a lot in 2015.

I taught amazing adults how to let their creative self out and go with the flow. Meeting so many new people and making some really close friends.

The networking I did at events opened up doors and gave me new inspiration. My creativity really exploded into making new pieces of art and selling a lot of it.

I’ve learned that I really enjoy making grow with me chalkboards, and personalized art. Looking to make more art in 2016 and really market my work as well as my abilities as an artist and an instructor.

I see many opportunities to share what I know with people everywhere and amplify the creative energy in the world! In April I will be teaching a continuing education dreamcatcher class at Catonsville Community College, and have been asked to do a dreamcatcher workshop at a friends yoga studio. In July I will be teaching two classes during summer camp at the community college as well.

There were a few unexpected professional development travels. In March I went to the National Art Education Association Convention, and learned all about new art supplies and networked with new friends from twitter. The 2016 NAEA convention will be held in Chicago on Saint Patrick’s day weekend…and I will be there! I have already registered for the artisan gallery where art educators set up and sell their personal work! I visited Fort Worth Texas in June for the Balfour Advisor Workshop and Malibu California in July to attend the Balfour Ignite Journalism Workshop. I am also looking to take some students to Malibu this year for the workshop!

This year I had the privilege to become a new board member for Historic Hampton Inc.. So far this experience has been one of the best, working with amazing people to represent art and education at a national historic site! We’ve teamed up with our first artist in residence, wrote an arts integrated lesson plan to use with the site as well as held our first artist educator workshop! There is so much to look forward to in 2016…another artist educator workshop before spring, and a painting day with our artist in residence.

 

2015 started with a great softball season as my first year coaching my middle school’s girls softball team and in August I began my 7th year teaching at Ridgely Middle School, with a new principal and a whole new way of doing things. Learner centered environments are the way to go, and digital technology really does enhance learning. I am really enjoying the kids having devices available. The Seesaw app is really turning out to be a great way to keep portfolios! I can not wait to do more projects with my students and see how they use the C.E.E.Q.E.R. model to find solutions to the curriculum! Soon I will have completed my department chair training and I will be applying for the pool of candidates. Perhaps there is something new waiting for me at the end of 2016.

I also started blogging more. I made it a point to at least write once a month; I will be making it a goal in 2016 to write once a week. Using instagram to share our students awesomeness, along with what’s happening in the school, was a huge success. I also started tweeting more, and building my #PLN (professional learning network.) #k12artchat has been my favorite thing to do on Thursday nights, and has even inspired me to create a chat of my own (keep an eye out for more details coming.)

I spent a lot of time with my two amazing children this year, watching them grow and learn. They have really been a light and joy. We made a lot of crafts and went on many new adventures. I am so excited to see what we do in 2016!

I feel like I might be leaving things out, but man was that a lot!

 

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Poinsettias

A poinsettia is more than just a beautiful red petaled Christmas plant!

Did you know that it is indigenous to Mexico and Central America!

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The Aztecs used the petals to produce a red dye and the white sap from the steam is an antipyretic medication… which means its a FEVER reducer! The Aztecs call the plant is called Cuetlaxochitl, meaning “flower that grows in residues.”

Today it is known in Mexico and Guatemala as Flor de Noche Buena, meaning Christmas Eve Flower. In Spain it is known as Flor de Pascua or Pascua, meaning Easter flower. In Chile and Peru, the plant became known as Crown of the Andes. In Turkey, it is called Atatürk’s flower because Atatürk, the founder of the Republic, liked this flower and made a significant contribution to its cultivation in Turkey.

The plant’s association with Christmas began in 16th-century Mexico, where legend tells of a girl, commonly called Pepita or Maria, who was too poor to provide a gift for the celebration of Jesus’ birthday and was inspired by an angel to gather weeds from the roadside and place them in front of the church altar. Crimson blossoms sprouted from the weeds and became beautiful poinsettias. From the 17th century, Franciscan friars in Mexico included the plants in their Christmas celebrations. The star-shaped leaf pattern is said to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem, and the red color represents the blood sacrifice through the crucifixion of Jesus.

I find it so interesting that the plant comes from a specific place in Mexico, and had medicinal purposes, yet when I grew up learning about it I was told that the white sap was toxic and I could get sick from it.  Before doing a little exploring and questioning, I did not see it for anymore more than just a decorative plant!  Now reflecting on this fact…I know that all plants from this earth have a purpose that benefits the human race in one way or another. This is an important thing to be conscious of when realizing the amazing power we have to be self-sufficient.

All of this research came about because of my learn to paint poinsettia class! It was a nice party, and we created some beautiful paintings! Thank you ladies for coming!!

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First quarter down…

What an eventful first quarter it has been!

My student artists have completed a variety of projects, focusing on the Elements and Principles of Art along with other techniques. They have had multiple opportunities to be Ceeqers and to really personalize their learning.

Our first big project was our locker name tags. It was a group decision by our faculty to hang plastic sleeves on every locker with the first installation being a name tag for each student. So in art class, every student created their own personalized name tag that focused on an element and principle of design.  The results were fantastic! Our halls went from dull grey lockers to a personalized space that the students truly feel is theirs.

The 8th grade GT Artists created puzzles to represent the Elements and Principles of Design, using multiple materials and techniques!

Student artists in my studio created Zentangle masterpieces next! We did contour line drawings of objects, then artists chose any object or image they wanted, and zentangled it in with patterns and designs. After creating their zentangle objects, artists experimented with watercolor to create a fun background.

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We have had a lot of fun so far, I am looking forward to more fun!! The 8th grade GT artists are working on their Mantle of the Expert presentations where they have to create an art materials sales persona and will present their art material at an art expo. Half of the class will perform and present their materials and activities while the other half are the artists looking for art materials to work with. Each art material salesperson has to create a vendor table with at least 5 techniques, 2 art examples, a 5 minute art activity, and business cards.

6th and 7th grade artists went outside today and created nature art inspired by Andy Goldsworthy! Each group took photos of their work in progress to create a stop motion video of their art coming to life. Some artists decided that they would like to create a time-lapse video on their phones!