So... about the people - everyone at the convention was itching to have their picture taken with two celebrities at the convention - one being the incredible keynote speaker Tim Gunn: TV celebrity, educator, and author. And the other photo everyone wanted was with art teacher/blogger/fashion marvel Cassie Stephens. I feel very lucky to count her among my friends. As much fun as it is to see what she's wearing each day, it's even more fun to spend time with her, because there's much more to her than just the fabulous outfits. I hope, between all the picture taking, she had time to attend a few workshops!
Painted Paper. The secret is out - she's fabulous! More about her in a moment.
Below, me and Raine, who I bumped into on my way to a workshop. I met her in Santa Fe last summer, for the Crizmac/School Arts Folk Art Extravaganza, and it was great to see her again. I love her red hair and my blue hair together. Wish mine was loose for this pic so you could see it better!
For my first time ever, I presented a workshop at a national convention! My workshop, called 'Design your Art Program to Say YES to the Mess', is based on a very strong belief I have, that we, as art teachers, have a responsibility to give our students regular tactile, manipulative, and kinesthetic experiences in art class. They need to develop fine motor control, and they need the regular hands-on experience in art, because in our world of portable technology they are just not developing the manipulative skills they need. If we aren't giving kids regular experiences using a variety of manipulative art materials, I believe we are not doing what we've been hired for. It is our responsibility.
Because this was my first time presenting nationally, I tried to be exceptionally well-prepared. My only real concern, besides locating my workshop room, was that the technology wouldn't work. I scouted out the room the day before, because I didn't want to take a wrong turn finding my way in time for the 8:00am start time. (It was across 'the bridge to nowhere' in what I swear was so far away it was probably in a different zip code! A different time zone! And, as my conference friends will attest, I have a bit of a problem with getting lost easily... So thanks and big hugs to those of you who rescued me and aimed me in the right direction, over and over. I needed supervision, it seems.)
Laura Lohmann, Cassie Stephens, Jennifer Dahl, and Sheryl Depp. It was an energized and motivating experience, and I wouldn't be surprised to see some new blogs cropping up as a result. I understand some people were turned away because all seats were full, so maybe we'll repeat a version of the workshop again next year. Again, a handout on what I presented in my segment is available on the Documents Weblinks tab at the top of the blog.
When I wasn't presenting, I also attended a number of workshops, including a colorful presentation by Laura Lohmann, and her friend Ginger of Paintbrush Rocket about the marvelous murals they both create with their students as an advocacy tool. Here's a little about some other favorite workshops.
I attended a hands-on workshop called 'Bead Mosaics Louisiana Style' presented by the enthusiastic Virginia Berthelot. Below is a sampling of her incredible bead mosaic work. I haven't completed my piece yet, and when I do, I'll post in detail about it and show you images of what other workshop attendees created. But that's all for another post.
And I was one of the lucky people who attended one of Tim Gunn's Design Challenge workshops. We competed in a fun group challenge, with only 1/2 hour to complete the task. The session ended with a goofy fashion show!
And this layered piece below, created by an 8th grader from Wisconsin, was also a fave.
Mrs. Knight's Smartest Artists, I absolutely LOVE your red clogs! How did I not notice them when I was sitting next to you?
And how could I forget - on a lovely sunny afternoon, convention roommate/friend Rina who blogs at K-6 Art and I took the trolley to City Park see the outdoor sculpture garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art. I'll close out this post with a few photos from the sculpture garden and one other final thing.
Thank you New Orleans and NAEA for a wonderful convention, and
thank you, readers, for getting all the way to the end of this long post!