Monday, November 22, 2010

NY State Art Teachers annual conference-Wow!

What a weekend! I have so much to tell!
As I told you a few days ago, I was in Rochester NY from Thursday evening to Sunday, for my state conference. I absolutely LOVE going to the conference, and the random images in this post are mostly of student art that was displayed there. As the lone elementary art teacher in my district, I relish the opportunity to dialogue and share with other art teachers, and find out what others are doing. I especially love the people I see every year, my NYSATA friends - ladies, if you are reading this, you know who you are and YOU ROCK! It would be lonely coming back every year if I wasn't going to see you all.

I was teaching a workshop Saturday morning, as I have done for several years now. I've been to wonderful workshops over the years, and honestly, I've been to some absolutely awful ones too, and I resent having my time wasted. So my goal in presenting a workshop is to make it a worthwhile 50 minutes for attendees, not a waste of anyone's time. I spend a lot of time preparing in order to meet this goal. Anyhow, it went great, with 57 people attending!

Later in the afternoon I planned to attend a workshop I had been looking forward to, getting there early so I wouldn't get closed out, along with about a dozen other art teachers. We waited... and waited... and the presenter never showed up, and nobody could find her. By that time, the other workshops had all been closed out, and there were people lined up outside their doors for the next session. Somebody said "I heard your workshop this morning was really good; I wish I could have gone to it." The workshop coordinator was hustling around trying to find a replacement workshop for the bunch of us, and finally I offered to present it again. I had about 20 people attending the second time around, and I think it went really well, considering I wasn't planning on teaching it twice!

Meanwhile, I had brought a work of art to enter the member art show. The mat was sort of warped so I almost didn't bother to enter it, but I figured that since the entry fee went to the scholarship fund, it was worth it to enter even just to make that donation. So imagine my surprise when I won FIRST PRIZE!!! The piece that I entered I had previously blogged about here: Because of the emotional significance of the piece, I am especially proud that my work was noticed.
Then on to Sunday, time to go home. I had plans to have breakfast with my son, go to a show of psychedelic art at the college's art gallery, and drive home before dark. But my car was DEAD. Evidently I had left my map light on and drained out my battery. Neither my son nor I are particularly mechanically inclined, nor did we have jumper cables, but a wonderful valet helped us out, loaning us cables and walking my son through the process of jump starting my car. Very stressful, since I was a 4-1/2 hour drive from home! I promised my husband I wouldn't play the radio (difficult for this public radio addict!) to avoid battery drain, and I wouldn't turn off the car for any reason (in case it wouldn't start again), so I sang old Beatles songs to myself, planned some lessons in my head, and got home safe and sound and VERY tired.
And I still am. Tired, that is, but I'll make it through tomorrow at school and then can catch up. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


  1. Congratulations on so many levels!! Sounds like a great conference. I appreciated reading your previous blog about your henna art. It struck a chord with me -- supportive friends at a time like that are soooo important!!

  2. Congratulations! We must have just missed you finding your car dead in the parking garage~ Were you parked in Pink 6? Don't know if our school van had jumper cables or not. I'm glad I made it to your first workshop & I'm glad you made it home alright.

  3. Wow Phyl I just had a minute to read this post. What a weekend. How wonderful that your art was recognized especially that piece! Beautiful just like the subject. And teaching it twice what a cool way to change your luck. Don't worry about the car stuff. It's not as hard as it seems. If you are ever poor you'll figure all that car stuff out fast (not that I ever wish it on you but it's true!) I am so happy that you had such a great weekend. Must be cool to be around professionals face to face!

  4. It was great meeting you at the conference. COngratulations on your 1st place artwork... it was a touching piece! Sorry to hear about your car! Glad you got it started. Hope to see you next year!

  5. Congrats on winning first place:) I am so glad you chose to do the altered books workshop for us Saturday Afternoon, I have been playing around with the "hiding hole book" it is fun. Art club may work on them in Jan.

  6. Kelly, if you can either email me or put your email address in your comment I can email you the handout I gave out in the morning workshop. It has a lot more detail about specifics of the project, and advice about what works and what doesn't than I was able to say in a spontaneous 45 minute workshop.

  7. I was one of the two that had been with waiting for the workshop that never happened, so you gave me one you had left over. I think I may have been lured into the blog world. There is so much in these blogs it is awesome!! I've already tried a project. I just logged in yesterday. Wow:)