Sooooo..... I wrote this up quite a while ago and realized that I never posted it. Better late than never I suppose!
I'm back from Seattle on a whirlwind of an adventure at the National Art Education Association's convention! These events are always amazing and NAEA really outdid themselves this year! The opportunity to see new cities, learn about new topics in art education, and re-connect with old friends as well as new ones is something that I look forward to every year.
After touching down in Seattle with some of my Wisconsin art teachin' buddies, we spent the first day exploring Pike's Place. Pike's Place is a market with loads of different vendors who sell everything from art to fish to produce. This market is well-known for the fish, particularly because of the fun that the fish-sellers have while working. They are constantly throwing fish back and forth to each other! We also took a little walk down to the gum wall and added pieces of our own!
Our 2nd day in Seattle was spent getting down to business. As the President-Elect of the Wisconsin Art Education Association, I took part in the Delegate's Assembly for NAEA. I spent the entire day working with other delegates from around the nation to edit and revise position statements. The position statements are stances that NAEA takes on a particular subject or issue. It was a loooong day of work!
The next 3 days is when the convention took place. To start off the convention, we heard a keynote speech by Nick Cave! I recently heard Nick give a talk at UW- Whitewater so I was thrilled to hear him talk about his work again and in a bit more depth this time. My kindergarteners recently did a project based on Nick so it was cool to have that connection with him. Nick Cave creates these 'sculptures' called 'soundsuits.' These suits made from found objects make a pointed statement on race. Nick sees his soundsuits as a way to hide his identity as a black man, as well as a sort of armor.
The theme of the convention this year was “Art + Design = STEAM.” With STEM being the latest craze in education, I am glad that NAEA dedicated this convention to saying “Hey! The Arts matter.” Where STEM focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, STEAM adds Art into the equation. Many of the sessions I attended dealt with this idea of the incorporation of other subjects into Art. Golan Levin's keynote said it best when he said that we should be careful with STEAM. STEAM projects often result in cookie-cutter projects. Art shouldn't be used to bait students into being interested in the other subjects of STEAM, it needs to stand tall alongside Math, Science, Engineering, and Technology.
On my last day in Seattle, we took some time check out the Chihuly Glass Garden. It was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. While I have seen plenty of Dale Chihuly's artwork throughout my life, the gardens did such a great job of showing them. Rooms were typically dark with lights cast on the glassworks. The reflections of light and color around the rooms was incredible. It was also cool to see the incorporation of his glassworks into an actual garden, with his nature-inspired artworks growing right alongside some of the things that they were probably inspired from. 1st grade just finished learning about Dale Chihuly and I can't wait to show them all of the pictures!
With another convention come and gone, it's time to start my loooong countdown to NAEA19 in Boston!
Harmony and Consolidated Elementary Art Teacher in Milton, WI. UW-Eau Claire graduate. WAEA President. Apple Teacher.