As many of you know, I missed parent-teacher conference due to the WAEA fall conference in Appleton, WI. This past spring, I was elected to the WAEA board as the Membership Chair. It is important to me to build a professional learning network with other art teachers from across the state and nation. I thought I would update you on what exactly goes on at our conference.
When I got to Appleton on Wednesday night, The Trout Museum of Art was hosting a reception for art teachers attending the conference the next day. The museum was showing a Norman Rockwell exhibition which was AMAZING to see. I don't think I had ever seen his work in person before. I'm sure that most of you would recognize his work. His iconic paintings were often displayed on magazine covers and depict scenes of everyday life. The museum was also having caption contests for some Norman Rockwell plates that they had. I was lucky enough to win the plate below with the caption "NASA has seen better days..."
The next day I was up bright and early to help vendors set up their booths and then I helped with the conference attendees registration. I started off my day by attending a session on liquifying pencil cores so that I can paint with them. This was mind blowing to me. I had never heard of painting with lead and charcoal but I definitely want to try it out now. Next, I attended the keynote speech by Nancy Walkup. Nancy is the editor of SchoolArts and it was amazing to hear her speak. Throughout the rest of the day, I attended sessions on teaching literacy in the Fine Arts, architecture, blogging, and community engagement events. After all was said and done, we then had an awards ceremony for nominated and voted-upon art teachers. The most memorable part of the ceremony was the giving of the WAEA President's Award to Dr. Martin Rayala, Dr. Mel Pontius, and Virgi Driscoll. These three use to work as a team in the 80's and 90's in Wisconsin and are powerhouses in the art world. These three not only influenced Wisconsin art teachers, but set the bar nation-wide.They are responsible for creating the Wisconsin State Standards for Art, Visioneers, Visual Arts Classic, ARTS Propel, and much more. It was an honor to even be in the same room as them. Later that night, I met with the rest of the WAEA board to discuss our current agenda.
The second day of the conference, I attended sessions on artists-in-residences, what the WAEA can do for me, the 365 Artists 365 Days Project, and a keynote speech by Dennis Inhulsen. Dennis is the previous president of the National Arts Education Association. He was really good with incorporating humor into his speech and I loved getting to listen to him.
It was another successful year for the fall conference and I can't wait for the one in La Crosse next year with Cassie Stephens as the keynote speaker! Eeck! As many of you know, I lovvvvve to use Cassie's lessons and she is an idol of mine.
In the middle is the president of the WAEA and my former cooperating teacher Jen Dahl. She teaches elementary school in Black River Falls and is a big reason I fell in love with the elementary level. Also pictured is another former student-teacher of Jen's, Tiffany Beltz, who is the current WAEA president-elect. It's always a blast getting to see these two!
Harmony and Consolidated Elementary Art Teacher in Milton, WI. UW-Eau Claire graduate. WAEA Membership Chair.