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Steady

Steady moving along… through the raging storm.

My trip to Minneapolis for the NAEA conference has been halted.  BCPS has restricted all out of state school field trips and work related PD for teachers due to the coronavirus.  This means I can not attend the conference. I am beyond bummed.

I look forward to this conference every year; Seeing old friends and making new friends… learning new things to bring back to my classroom and feeling invigorated with a new spark to share my passion of art… and traveling to new cities, spending time there learning about their history and visiting their museums.

My heart is a little broken today, I’m not gonna lie. When I got the message last night from our Superintendent I wasn’t surprised, but it didn’t really hit me until this morning. Things have reached my reality… and are shifting around me.

I have so many thoughts on these shifts. I could go on and on about what I think and how weird this all is… and part of me wants to, but also I do not want to debate or discuss what it could be or what should be. Neither of those things is proactive from the perspective that most of the time we allow ourselves to get carried away in those thoughts and lose sight of our own power.

So the most important thought I want to share is…

Keep your vibration up, and your self centered.

Use this time and energy to focus in on what you truly want in your life, and what you hold on to that no longer serves you. Use this time to detox and break free from the attachments you’ve made that are only holding you back. Spend your alone time, breathing deeply in and out. Teach your children the importance of sacred time, and self care. We are well when we are balanced in our ways. Spend time with mother earth, letting nature heal you and bring you back to center.

Keep moving forward… Steady now… there is something great coming. This is the calm before the storm, which will eventually produce the largest rainbow you’ve ever seen. <3

 

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2019

This year has been so abundant.

So much packed into one year.

The beginning of 2019 started off with learning more about the local connections with environmental organizations on my area, experiencing my first Maryland Association of Outdoor and Environmental Education conference, and recertifying my school as a Maryland Green school! We also were awarded two grants for environmental education projects! I also took the green club on a field trip to Sandy Point state park for a green school celebration! One of the best field trips ever.

 

In March I attended the National Art Education Association convention in Boston. I visited and fell in love with two new museums, the Isabella Gardner Museum and MFA. I learned the importance of networking and sharing who I am with others and found my place with the Caucus on the Spiritual in Art Education.

 

The spring was busy with my student teacher from Towson, who accepted a job this year! We also had our schools annual Arts in Action event!

 

Summer came and my intuitive henna took off. Sharing my gifts with many, some even had their designs become a permanent part of their lives.

 

I painted “en plein air,” at Cromwell Valley park with BCPS teachers.  It was such an awesome experience, and I am so looking forward to it again this coming summer.

I also attended an AVID one day intensive training, where I learned a lot about different ways to teach students, that I have been using this year! I am excited to say that I was asked to attend the week long training this summer 2020.

Working for St. Paul’s summer camp this year was a new experience… all camps combined, in a new location. It was a wonderful summer with amazing coworkers and campers! Visiting Irvine Nature Center and the Senator Theater were some of my highlights!

Then August came… with a bang. Breaking my wrist 2 weeks before school started for the new year. This was by far one of the most testing time for me. Testing my faith and trust that I have the power within to heal and come back stronger than before. Testing my sense of self…. am I my right hand? As an artist I began asking myself, does my identity come from my hands? Can I create even if my hands don’ work the same as they always have? This was a powerful time for a deep dive within.

I healed faster than the doctors have seen from a 30 year old. The whole process from break to out of cast took 6 weeks, and the doctor was so surprised at the amount of healing that occurred. My mobility was about 90% back to normal! I attribute my healing to my mindset, words and movement. I constantly used healing words over broken words. I visualized my wrist healing and strengthening. I stretched and stretched, and slowly got back into yoga, and stretched and stretched.

My 12th year of teaching began and I became an adjunct professor at Notre Dame of Maryland University, teaching Methods in Secondary Art Education. This was a huge milestone for me and my own self awareness. I love sharing my passion for teaching and art, especially with other passionate teachers. It was such a blessing to teach this course.

The workload for 2019 was intense, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. So much growth. Like a seedling, breaking through the concrete. Learning when to rest and when to reach. Realizing the activeness of balance. Balance in work, life, love, relationships, creating and resting. The balance of self care and self growth.

2019 was an abundant, and it was beautiful to watch the balance unfold.

Thank you to everyone who shared in this past year with me. I am forever grateful for you. <3  Excited and open to receiving all that this new year has in store.

Migwetch and Gizagiin

Raine Dawn

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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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NAEA in NYC

This year I attended the 2017 National Art Educators Association Convention in New York City. I have attended this convention more than a few times and every single year is amazing. Not only do I take home lots of art goodies, I take home new ideas and inspiration for my teaching.

Aside from attending a fabulous convention, I am blessed with opportunities to visit different cities and make friends with people from all over the world! There are so many benefits from attending the NAEA convention!

 

There are always awesome pre-conference workshops to attend, so I arrived a day before the convention started to attend the Journal Fodder Junkies workshop! Eric Scott and Dave Modler are two very talented art educators and wonderful people. I really enjoy seeing them every year, and following their artistic journeys! This workshop was a great opportunity to explore materials and learn new techniques for journaling.

 

I was blessed to stay at the Warwick hotel with a few of my colleagues and other amazing art educators! We had such a fantastic time learning and exploring NYC! My dear friend Linda made us beautiful friendship bracelets and took us on a perfect tour around the city. It was Saint Patrick’s day weekend so we ate lunch at an Irish pub called the Pig and Whistle. It was delicious!

 

I was able to be a vendor at the Artisan Gallery this year. There were many amazing artists selling their works! Its so awesome seeing art educators with their creations, very inspiring.

 

There were 7,000 attendees this year at the convention, the most ever! The exhibit hall was packed! This year, the hall was divided into three sections which I feel made it a lot easier to navigate around all of the people! There were wonderful make and take learning stations and many new art supplies to experiment with… and a few famous people I had to take photos with ..

 

The middle school round table session was one of my favorite sessions. We were able to see 7 different art educators and learn about their favorite art unit and receive resources.

 

My most favorite part of the weekend was the Caucus on the Spiritual in Art Education Issues Group studio event with Peter London. This was EXACTLY what I needed. The whole weekend was not only a great professional experience, but it was also very spiritual and eye-opening for me on a professional and personal level. The session was a hands on experience that allowed the participants to open up and see art education from a more holistic perspective.

 

The last night I was able to meet up with friends I made back in New Orleans in 2015, when I attended my first #K12ArtChat on twitter! I simply love these beautiful souls, Matt and Laura Grundler. If you are on Twitter, you should check them out!

All of this was packed into a 4 day weekend, full of learning, growing and building lasting relationships with amazingly talented artists.

 

To all of my old friends and new, thank you for being you
<3 Raine Dawn

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7 Deadly Sins: Mixed Media

Michael Bell and David Modler presented a hands on workshop at the NAEA convention in Chicago that was the highlight of my convention experience.

The workshop began with each participant in a group of 4, there were 7 groups…this would work perfectly for any classroom.  Each group received a laminated card with one of the seven deadly sins. We were asked to keep the word a secret from the other groups, as we would be guessing at the end who had which word.

To begin we were asked to brainstorm anything that came to mind when we thought of this word…this would help us start to feel the word which made it easier to visually represent the word. The group I was in had the word Greed.

Once we had finished brainstorming, each of the group members took turns making marks while being blindfolded for 3 minutes. The first two people used vine charcoal and only made geometric shapes, while the third person was able to choose any material they wanted while making lines, and the fourth person created texture with any material of their choice.

After we each blindly made marks to express our word, we discussed what we wanted to do with what we had to make it feel and look more like greed. We started brainstorming the symbolism of our lines shapes and colors, and began adding more definition to our design. Each group member had a minute without being blindfolded to add to the work what they felt showed our word. We then began to work together to finalize our piece…

The results of each group were truly unique and individual but each group really captured the energy of their word. I knew quickly this was something I had to try with my students!

When I returned to school on Monday, I had revised the activity to be age appropriate for middle school students and instead of using the 7 deadly sins, we represented the emotions Love, Happiness, Peace, Excitement, Anger, Hate, and Loneliness.

My students did an AMAZING job visually representing each word, and they all enjoyed themselves. A few students in each class asked if we could do it again! Not only were they able to show each emotion using only colors, lines and shapes…they were also able to talk about how it represented their word!

This would be a fun activity to do with teachers as well, perhaps for a professional development activity. Teachers could use the 21st century learning skills as their prompt.

Collaborating to create one piece of art could sometimes be seen as a challenge, one person might have a hard time letting go of their concepts and ideas. Blindfolding each group member worked to help everyone let go of their expectations and to be in the moment, while taking turns created a space for change. Spontaneity helps a person to let go and be present in the now.   This was a perfect example of a theme directed intuitive art making process.

<3 Thank you Michael and David!

 

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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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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.