Friday, November 18, 2011

A great day at my state conference!

My fabulous NY State Art Teachers Association (NYSATA) annual conference started today! These images were from a workshop I attended called The Sweet Art of Vic Muniz, the artist profiled in the wonderful movie Wasteland. (If you haven't seen it, put it on your Netflix queue!) We were given photos that we placed under acetate, and traced with Hershey's Syrup!!! The we used Q-tips and toothpicks to manipulate the chocolate and create values. The results are then photographed, as Muniz does with his incredible artwork. These are some of our results. Pretty cool, huh??

Here's someone doing her tracing with syrup. Yum yum. No finger licking allowed, though.

This morning my coworker and I attended an AWESOME workshop on Visual Journaling, presented by fellow blogger Jen. Her blog is called Art Talk. Anyhow, the workshop was filled with super ideas and was a great way to start our time at the conference. So many great ideas to use!! Here's the results of some "playtime". We used modeling medium over plastic needlepoint mesh as a great stencil, and then removed the mesh (I don't know what it is actually called) and left a nice texture, to paint over and layer. We also sprayed liquid watercolors over various stencils and doilies and sprayed with water to make it drip. Here's an 'in progress' and my fun messy result.

There's a student art display at the conference, and below are the panels set up by me and my coworker (the grade 7-12 art teacher in my district) of a sampling of our students' work. My display is on the left, hers is on the right.

We also attended a brain-numbing workshop on the Common Core Standards, Race to the Top, and associated yadda-yadda and my opinion is that this stuff is so data intensive, so dependent on assessment, so filled with lists and acronyms and theories that it will suck all the joy out of art education. I don't want to have to worry about this stuff. BRAIN NUMBING for sure. But then we got to play with some colored conte at another workshop, so the world is still OK. And it's so good to see and catch up with old friends. I wish the hotel was nicer (it's highly imperfect) and that the temperature controls worked OK, but all in all, it's a great conference so far.

Tomorrow is a VERY BIG DAY. In the morning I'm presenting a hands-on workshop on the amazing trihexaflexagon. If you don't have a clue what that is, don't worry, I'll be posting this year's student results and information about this favorite lesson of mine in about a week when the kids have completed their work. Meanwhile, if you can't wait, I posted about it here last year.

And as if that is not enough, in the afternoon I'll be presenting a workshop called...drumroll please... Come Blog with Me! (Are you surprised?!) It's a 50 minute session, and I just did a dry run in the hotel room and it took me about an hour and a half. I think I'm going to have to leave something out. Pinterest perhaps? But I'm most nervous about the fact that this dopey hotel has weird internet issues, and I'm positively panicked that I won't be able to get on line and the whole workshop that I have been planning for months will go ka-poof!

Wish me luck! I'll tell you about it when I'm back home on Sunday.


  1. Sounds like a fabulous conference Phyl. I am considering presenting at our state conference next fall and wanted to do something on blogging. Do you have anyoutline you'd be willing to share so I could figure out how to start planning? Look forward to hearing from you! :)Pat

  2. It sounds like you are having a a blast!! Good luck with the internet connection -- I HATE the feeling one gets having to rely on technology working when you have 30+ teachers staring at you, waiting, waiting, waiting... I am wishing you a glitch-free presentation!!

  3. Phyl, so funny, I just watched that movie on Thursday for my grad class on Friday! I'm last minute. AMAZING, can't believe I never saw it before. I wish you were in my grad class, you would LOVE it. I unfortunately know the common core way too well. We too are bogged down by the common core and all the people who are trying so hard to promote it because they need to support their families and keep their jobs. I've not been blogging because of our common core report cards. We had our common core report cards come out a week before we had to input grades with all these crazy literacy standards that someone plugged into the art report card. There were 12 grades for each kid and 16 for music! Finally admin met with us the day before grades were due and boy, the meeting had very little outcome except to eliminate us from grading art at all, just behavior.

    I suggested they come to our smaller department meetings and give us some concrete examples and they agreed to come to meetings. It will be nice to sit at a table with some admin and try to first see them as the people they are instead of standing in front of large groups thumping large books filled with the common core! It is refreshing that they will meet with a smaller group because it is harder to disconnect when you sit down face to face. My next suggestion of course would be to bring a few parents and students to that table. It is their futures we are playing with, so it makes perfect sense to me. We'll see.

    Oh and the admin said that the National Art Standards don't exist anymore which is why we are using the common core literacy standards on the report card? Have you heard of this? I have to investigate. . . I've been using the Art Standards.

    Meanwhile have FUN tomorrow there are so many art teachers out there who would love to attend your workshop, me first!

  4. I'll have to try to find that video! I don't care for chocolate syrup but using it for paintings sounds cool!

  5. @Erica, yes, I ready your post about your report cards. It seems totally ludicrous, to begin with, but also seems like putting the cart before the horse, at least in terms of what is done thus far in NY.
    As far as the National Art Standards, as far as I know they still exist, because the common core art standards HAVEN'T BEEN WRITTEN YET (at least in NY). What a mess.

    @Katie - definitely watch the video. Chocolate syrup is no big deal; wait until you see what Muniz did with GARBAGE. And SUGAR. Just so so so fabulous.

  6. Phyl, it was so nice to meet you again and talk with you during the conference! I wish I could have attended your workshops, but I was presenting mine at the same time! Glad you could make one of mine... I loved seeing everyone getting excited about the tips and techniques. All in all, it was a crazy, but fun conference.

  7. Yes, Jennifer, it was great - talking and laughing - a wonderful Saturday evening. As for the conference, your workshop was an absolute highlight. I was glad my coworker was there. As a beginning teacher, your ideas were especially relevant for her. See you next year! :)