A coupe weekends ago, I made the trek up to Tomah, Wisconsin to take part in Margi Genrich's Giving Bowls event. Margi is a 3D art teacher in Tomah. While many schools put on the Giving Bowls event, I haven't found any others that do it like Margi. For a small fee/donation, her advanced ceramics students give lessons to people who want to learn how to throw a bowl. Then you get to glaze it after you've thrown it! After they have been fired, Margi has a big soup event where you can pay to eat soup and she also holds an auction to auction off all of the bowls.
I was pretty rusty at throwing but I managed to get a bowl made on my first shot!
A few weeks back I was lucky enough to attend the Wisconsin Art Education Association's fall conference. It's always one of the highlights of my year! I love getting to see all my art teachin' friends and going to awesome sessions on art. Before the conference even started, a couple of my paintings were exhibited in the membership show!
This is Jen Dahl and I at the membership show. Jen is the president of the Wisconsin Art Education Association and was also my elementary cooperating teacher. Before working with Jen, I was pretty set on being a high school teacher. Her influence changed my mind and I decided I wanted to teach elementary instead!
These three ladies are all art teachers from Eau Claire. Kathy Bareis (on the far right) was my middle school cooperating teacher. I worked with her for a couple years before eventually being her student teacher. While teaching middle school with her, I also had the chance to experience and become certified in Adaptive Art.
This year, I presented for the first time! I co-presented with my friend, Tasha Newton, on using Mystery Skype in our classrooms. Over the last year, our classes have skyped each other and played art related games against each other. We started a Facebook page for anyone who is looking for a Skype connection! Check it out and join here! I also presented on using contemporary artist in the elementary classroom! Contemporary art is a passion of mine and I have begun to really focus on it with my curriculum. I am also presenting on this topic at the National Art Ed conference this spring so this was good practice for me! If you would like my resources for the session, email me and let me know!
I also met a couple art teacher heroes of mine at the conference! The AMAZING Cassie Stephens flew all the way from Nashville to be our keynote speaker. For anyone who follows my blog regularly, you know how much I LOVE Cassie's projects. I use a lot of her stuff with kindergarten. I also got to meet Nic Hahn (Mini Matisse) who is all a titan in the art blogging world. Nic's as cool and humble as she is an amazing art teacher!
Last but not least, my amazingly talented girlfriend was award the Best Beginning Art Educator Award!
I FINALLLLLLY got the beginning of the year collaborative project hung up. For the first day of art, everyone was asked to decorate 3-4 popsicle sticks. We talked about how small, plain, and ordinary a popsicle stick was. But when everybody contributes several of them, those simple popsicle sticks become something much more complex.
A few weeks ago I ventured up north to St. Croix with a couple other teachers to go on a super rad pottery tour. 7 different ceramicists opened up their houses and studios to visitors. Each studio hosted several other ceramicists too so I got to see 25+ different artists. It was so cool seeing all the different work they made and seeing just how different each artist was in their approach to making their pottery.
This amazing artist won the PBIS High Five a few weeks ago. As a reward, she asked if she could spend some lunch/recess time making art with me. Of course I couldn't say 'no' to that! She wanted to make a sea turtle so we worked on her beautiful painting for a few days! I saw something similar to this on Pinterest somewhere and knew she would love it. So proud of how this turned out as well as all the rest of her work she has made this year!
This past weekend, I got to meet up with my fellow Wisconsin Art Education Association board members! It's always great seeing them and catching up on their latest happenings. For this retreat, we spent a couple days in Mineral Point which is a beautiful and artsy little town in southwest Wisconsin, not far from my hometown. While at the retreat, I got to visit Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin! Needless to say, I was geeking out the entire tour. Architecture has always been my favorite thing to learn about in art and it was great getting to see Wright's work in person.
If you haven't heard, I recently set up an Artsonia account for Harmony. Artsonia is a website I can upload student work to. Parents can then go on and view their artists' work, comment, and even purchase merchandise with their work on it! 20% of the proceeds from merchandise gets kicked back to the art department too! It's a win-win situation! If you haven't already, please sign and send the slip that I sent home back to school and then verify your account through an email you will get from Artsonia.
You can view Harmony's page here: http://www.artsonia.com/schools/school.asp?id=113062
Because I am not at Consolidated as much, I have not begun an account for them yet. Hopefully next year, when I have some more experience (and hopefully time) on my hand, I will set up an account.
Sadly, I forgot to take pictures at our art show closing reception at the Milton House but everything went super well! It was so great to see all the support from family and community members for Milton's young artists! Thank you if you attended! And I can't wait for next years' show!
Over spring break, I had the opportunity to do some exploring downtown in Saint Paul with some friends. We decided to check out the train station which had an awesome glass installation hung from the ceiling, as well as a light installation. The light installation was cool because it depicts swimmers swimming across the lights. We didn't realize they were swimmers until we went to take a picture of them and the photo helped to flatten out the image so we could see what was happening.
We also swung by the new Minnesota Museum of American Art which had some work that I found really interesting.
The Twin Cities were also having a juried high school exhibition of the top 100 artworks in the city. It was amazing to see such talent!
Harmony and Consolidated Elementary Art Teacher in Milton, WI. UW-Eau Claire graduate. WAEA Membership Chair.