A lot has happened in the past month, so much I haven’t had time to keep up with writing about it all!
I taught two faculty paint nights as team building workshops! Both went extremely well and everyone left feeling like an artist! First we painted a lighthouse, because Ridgely is a Baltimore County Lighthouse School, we each hung our paintings up in our classrooms. The second party we painted cherry blossom trees, which were more for our houses.
I also taught a dream catcher workshop at my friends yoga studio Life in Balance. There were 12 people in attendance and each created their own unique dream catcher!
There was also a birthday painting party! Lots of middle school girls painting circle designs, or any designs they desired! Each piece turned out awesome, and the girls had a blast!
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:
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!
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.
Such beautiful art!
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.
Brass Performance Hall
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!
Dream catchers are sacred circles. Being that I am Ojibwa, also known as Chippewa, dreamcatchers have always been a party of my life. Growing up, there were dream catchers hanging on every wall, in every window, and in the car. We even had dream catcher earrings and christmas tree ornaments. I remember growing up making dream catchers in school and sunday school. Though I don’t remember being taught exactly where they came from. I simply remember that they catch bad dreams and let the good dreams go through.
So as I got older I started reading and researching dream catchers and found that they were believed to have been created by the Anishnabe tribe, which is where the Chippewa began. The Anishnabe people originated on the east coast, but migrated west after a prophecy about a disaster. When they traveled west, there were groups of people who wanted to stay and adapt to the places they were. So there became different bands of tribes. My tribe is the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewas, in North Dakota.
So, there was said to be a time in Anishnabe history when the people were being tormented by nightmares. There was an elder who had a vision of a spider’s web in the morning dew, and knew each drop of dew was a bad dream the spiders web had caught the night before. As the sun rises in the dawn, the bad dreams are transformed by the light and evaporated. The people began crafting these beautiful ornaments to clear their space of bad dreams. Over time grandfathers and grandmothers created them for newborn children and were hung above the cradleboard to give the infants peaceful, beautiful dreams.
So now we know a little more about the dream catcher paintings we recently made! It was such a blast! Thank you four for a wonderful evening! Your dream catchers are truly unique and each of you did an awesome job!