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Glenstone Museum

The Maryland Art Education Conference this year was split into a two day conference, with Friday being a field experience day at different museums around the area and Saturday being conference workshops!

On Friday I attended the Glenstone Museum for my field experience.  This was my first time at the museum and I was blown away. I have been to many museums from Seattle to Boston, and Glenstone is by far the most unique experience I have had a museum.

Glenstone is a private museum, owned by Emily & Mitch Rales.

We envision Glenstone not only as a place, but a state of mind created by the energy of architecture, the power of art, and the restorative qualities of nature. At the core of the museum is a collection of post-World War II art, a very personal project driven by the pursuit of iconic works that have changed the way we think about the art of our time.

Glenstone is open Thursday–Sunday 10 a.m.–5 p.m. with visits scheduled on the half hour until 3:00 p.m., always free admission. They highly recommend reservations, though they do allow you in if there is space available and you have no reservation.

The museum encompasses two buildings, several outdoor sculptures and nearly 300 acres of landscape. To fully experience Glenstone, you should be prepared to spend time outside on foot. There are many beautiful trails to experience.

The artwork inside the gallery is curated in such a way that you are forced to realize you are apart of the experience just as much as the artwork.

Between buildings are many outdoor sculptures, which to me felt like little moments in time that I am put into a different reality. The way the sculptures interact with the environment and myself as a visitor, was really wonderful.

The spiral sculpture and the sound forest were such a dynamic experiences. Words are hard to find to describe the experience.

The food was delicious and locally sourced.

One of my most favorite parts of the museum was visiting the environmental center!

Their Environmental Center is a multi-use maintenance and education facility that offers experiential learning. You can learn about composting, organic landscape management, waste reduction, materials recycling and water conservation—and how to take these practices home with you.

They planted trees, understory vegetation and groundcover flora as part of their reforestation efforts. They plant only native, regionally appropriate species, which require the fewest resources to maintain and provide appropriate food and habitat for local fauna. They use local ponds as well as three new underground cisterns to manage rainfall flow throughout the property and recycle the water for landscaping purposes.

In addition to its water recycling program, Glenstone has committed to restoring the two depleted tributaries of the Potomac River located on the property. In close coordination with Montgomery County, in 2015 they implemented a plan designed to improve water quality, reduce sediment reaching the Potomac, and renew the wildlife habitat for aquatic organisms.

I am definitely planning to visit the museum again! Thank you MAEA for setting up this amazing field experience!

Raine Dawn

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Natural History Society

The Natural History Society of Maryland is a private nonprofit dedicated to conserving Maryland’s natural heritage and educating its citizens on the natural sciences since 1929. We are a volunteer-run organization with a few part-time staff. We manage a small museum in Baltimore County where we offer programs, lectures, workshops, and courses on a wide variety of natural science subjects. The lower level of our building is a collections facility that houses over 200,000 natural history specimens and artifacts.

They recently hosted a Teachers Night at the museum, a free event for teachers to learn about and experience the museum in order to get inspired to collaborate with local organizations.

I talked with Natural History experts of fossils and geology, competed a museum-wide scavenger hunt and left with resources for my classroom.  All teachers that attended received a complimentary year membership to NHSM. During the visit I made a connection with the Fossil Curator of the museum who delivered an amazing set of fossils to our school! The students started using them right away.

Students used the fossils as a reference to create a new character for their parade drawings!

I am so glad I attended the event and excited about new possibilities with integrating environmental education into my art classroom.

Migwetch

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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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Existence

Getting Getty…

Our first day in Malibu California, we decided to go to the Getty Villa.  We had to make reservations, even though it was free, because the state of California only allows them to have a certain number of visitors each day.  They opened at 10am, and we reserved our tickets for 10:30. The tickets stated that unless we printed out our reservations, we were going to be denied entry.  Since we didn’t have access to a printer I was a little concerned when we pulled up, however they were very accommodating and used our confirmation email.  I find it interesting when the rules state one thing but when you’re interacting with people they can choose which rules to enforce. It’s definitely a good lesson to learn, it’s all about who you know and how you talk to people.

The Getty Villa is BEAUTIFUL! What an amazing place to visit on our first day! The villa was created by Jean Paul Getty, who became a millionaire by the time he was 23, in 1915. By the 1960s, his company Getty Oil became one of the largest oil companies in the world. Getty was a self-avowed non-conformist. He was always suspicious of conventional wisdom in business, art, and life. Others described him as an eccentric, a playboy, a genius, and a tightwad. He was famously married five times and had five sons.

“He collected art with the same eye for underappreciated value that he had for a salt dome covering a rich pool of oil deep beneath it. Prizing beauty for its permanence, he preferred the art of royals and aristocrats from western history: Greek and Roman sculpture, paintings of Renaissance masters, and furniture of 18th century European monarchs. Though he delighted in the tax deductions that accrued when he donated his art to museums, he also demonstrated a genuine desire to share his art with the public.

For years Getty traveled extensively in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East in search of oil and art. He converted part of his Ranch House in Malibu, California (today, Pacific Palisades), into a museum so that he could share his art treasures with the public. After 1951, he never returned to California, though he continued to call it home for another 25 years.

Late in life Getty conceived the idea of building a major museum on his ranch property. He decided that it would be a near replica of the Roman Villa dei Papiri in Herculaneum, Italy, which had been buried in the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D. Critics derided the Villa as a gimmick when it opened in 1974, but the public loved it.

From his home outside London, Getty supervised its operations, approving every new acquisition. He proudly displayed the architectural model of the Villa but kept spending to a bare minimum, refusing even to pay for climate control for his works of art. Consistently, he cautioned the Museum’s staff that the institution would have to survive on the original $40 million endowment he had provided. He never revealed that in his will he had left virtually his entire estate to the institution in trust, giving it a greater endowment than any other museum in the world.”

When Getty’s will was opened in Los Angeles later that week, it stunned the art world. Contrary to what he had told the curators, Getty had left the vast bulk of his estate, worth nearly $700 million ($2.83 billion by today’s standards) to the J. Paul Getty Museum Trust.

The energy there was amazing. Each statue had a vibration to it that resonated a calmness. Hercules is the larges statue they had, and the most famous. I saw Venus, Aphrodite, Zeus, Nemesis, Hermes, Plato, Athena, and Apollo to name a few!

The floors in the villa were so intricate, and it was a joy to see sacred geometry everywhere! Each room took my breath away from floor to ceiling. I found myself just staring in admiration at all the amazing architecture!

The gardens were magnificent! They even allowed us to pick a few of the herbs from the garden to take back with us. I collected some Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, Lavender and a few others. They had grape vines growing from trellis’, lemon trees, fig trees, and cumquat trees.

My favorite part of the Villa was the children’s interactive room.  Kids of all ages were able to draw on replicated greek vases made just for dry erase markers! This was a genius idea!! I had to play!

They also had a rubbings station with images of vases printed out, where you can choose an image and create a design.  There were raised and indented images which you created by placing your paper on top and rub a crayon over the image.

The most exciting part was this large velum screen that was lit up with a spot light behind it. They had foam props that you can choose from to create a silhouette play! I think I am going to use this idea in my classroom this year.  We could hang a large sheet and put on little plays based of certain themes.

Getty Villa was by far one of the most interesting and beautiful places I’ve visited. When I go back to Los Angeles I will make sure to visit the Getty Center Museum as well.