Thursday, April 2, 2015

#NAEA15 Finding Inspiration Down in New Orleans

Wow wow wow!  So inspired.  Between being inspired from the heart to the mind, I am ready to put into motion all I learned!  Here's a recap of my favorite things..

Tim Gunn truly spoke to our hearts.  We are so often left with an island feeling.  Not the blue waters and breezy coconut tree island, but the I’m by myself and have to figure it out on my own kind of island.  Twitter and blogs have definitely helped with some of the loneliness, but there is nothing quite like human to human interaction.  Listening to Tim Gunn fueled my spirit.  He reminded us that a “lesson can be transformational”  and we are responsible for teaching the students with “the least resources or drive” to the “angels” that need inspired within their talent.  To see the passion in someone else for teaching and mentoring, and believing that “qualities of character” are as important as curriculum was exactly what my heart needed.  Thanks Mr. Gunn. 

'Truth telling, Empathy, Asking, Cheerleading, and Hoping for the best.'

Another island I like to swim to is my high school robotics team.  This year in sessions, I was finally able to find the pieces I needed to build a bridge between my elementary art teacher life and high school robotics life. During Peter Nosalik’s Art of Engineering session he said, “Think like engineers and see like artists.” Being immersed in both worlds the past two years, it was so apparent to me how engineering, art and design are interconnected. I have been so inspired by my high school students, I wanted to bring to my elementary students the design concepts and thinking skills I’ve learned. This year I spoke about creating a curriculum that caters to your students, and my students are interested in robotics, engineering and design.  They play Minecraft and with legos in their free time.  Many of my parents are engineers or science majors.  So if I follow my own advice, it’s time to put together a makers program.  I’m thinking I’ll start with a grant for materials and use my Family Art Night set up as the program.  I got great ideas from Steve Ciampaglia and his Art Makers Space he has created with the mantra, “Pop up, drop in, make art.”  Seeing how he made it work was inspiring and gave me the outline for where to start.  I can’t wait to see this project come to life and witness my students become "designer, engineer, and maker of one's own learning experience." 

Art Makers Space session by Steve Ciampaglia.  The Plug-In Studio.

The exhibitor hall is always so much fun!  I’m so excited about these new watercolors!  My students just tear up the watercolors we’ve been using.  I can’t keep up with them and it feels like every class I’m replacing the cakes.  I’m hoping this will be a good alternative.  I got a chance to play with them and the color was fabulous. I also love making palettes for the students, and this new system seems like a breeze to change.  I can even have students do it.  They are more expensive than the ones I currently use, but I’m hoping price per wear, (which is how I buy my bags!) will shake out to be more cost effective for my classroom with quality results.

These frames!  Immediately I knew my families will want them.  They will love not only the ease of changing the artwork, but how these frames really highlight the students work in a simple way, and it will work with all the non-straight edge art we produce, including our weavings.  I’m excited to share them with parents.     

I have so much material and leftover black felt!  The Ymm Art Education display on "Little Fashion Designer Class" is a starting point for inspiration!  AND I REALLY REALLY NEED TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO BUILD THESE TABLES!!!  Look at how you can fill the drawers with items, and then see the items through the clear table top!  To me, they fit right into my curriculum of giving kids choices.


Meeting other art teachers is always a bonus, and Stacey, my friend from grad school and I happened to meet Michael and Ashley, two phenomenal teachers from Wisconsin.  Their session on alternatives to drawing was awesome and I’m so excited to have these teachers in my address book.

My grad school friend Stacey.  We came across an artist
market in the French Quarters at MIDNIGHT! 
The city.  I am so happy I extended my trip a couple days after the conference so I could focus on the conference and then the city.  Southern hospitality is a real thing.  Everyone we met was warm and kind and willing to share their pride for their city. 

A Louise Bourgeois sculpture in the NOMA's
sculpture garden. A really great museum! 
Thanks for the free admission! We thoroughly enjoyed it! 

The architecture...beautiful! 

Our "haunted" hotel! 

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great conference and an awesome trip! Thanks for all you do for our kids. I love reading your inspiration for the wonder you bring to your art class!