Thursday, May 7, 2015

Decisions, decisions. What should I propose to present?

The time has come.  Deadlines are looming for proposals for workshops at both next spring's NAEA convention in Chicago, and also for my state convention in November in Rochester NY.  Even though I'm now completing my 3rd year of retirement, I still love teaching workshops and going to conventions.  As a matter of fact, having a workshop proposal accepted is a great 'excuse' for this retiree to say that I absolutely MUST attend the conventions!  So I need to decide what to present, and I'd love your opinions on some of my ideas, knowing that there's no guarantee that my proposals will be accepted.  Or if there's something I haven't thought of that you wish I'd offer, maybe something you've seen on the blog perhaps, I'd love to know that, too!

For the national convention, I'm currently tossing around the following ideas:
  • An "everything you need to know to be successful" workshop on papier-mache.  Due to the logistics of papier-mache, it cannot be a hands-on workshop; it would simply be informational.  It should come as no surprise to long-time readers of this blog that papier-mache is a favorite medium of mine, and I really LOVE to share what I've learned over the years, to help others be successful.  I'm not sure if this is a topic that would be approved for a national workshop, though I think it could be a popular choice. 
  • A hands-on workshop on flexagons, linking math and art, focusing in particular on the marvelous 'trihexaflexagon' (with a taste of the 3-dimensional 'kaleidocycle', which lately has shown up on Facebook being referred to as a 'flextangle'). I've taught the flexagon several times at my state convention.  This would need to be one of the double time slot workshops; it can't be done in 50 minutes!
  • A presentation on blogging, together with Cassie Stephens and Laura Lohmann (Painted Paper).  We were three of the five presenters at a blogging carousel at at this year's convention, and the room was so full that people were unfortunately turned away.  It was a whirlwind of a workshop, so we thought maybe we could do something in more of a classroom presentation style rather than the carousel format.
  • Other ideas?????
For the state convention, I'm considering these ideas:
  • A repeat of a hands-on workshop on tooling foil, that I presented successfully two years ago.  It's another favorite medium of mine  to teach.
  • An informational presentation on easy 3-D projects for elementary programs, since I'm convinced that 3-dimensional work is often avoided due to logistics and storage.  Maybe this would also be suitable for the national convention?
  • A hands-on workshop using roofing felt.  I did this in a regional workshop and everyone had a fabulous time and was super-happy.
  • An informational workshop with all the details about the fabulous and ridiculous toothpaste batik process.  Due to logistics of drying time, it cannot be hands-on.
  •  Perhaps some great projects using plaster bandage?
  • Possibly some sort of 'Friday After Dark' extended hands-on workshop, though at this point I'm not sure what!  I've taught sheet rock carving for 2 years in a Friday After Dark workshop, and need a different idea, as I'm tired of lugging around pounds of Sheetrock!
  • Other ideas?  Altered books?   Something to do with weaving?  I taught an informational altered book workshop maybe 5 years ago, and also taught a hands-on weaving workshop a while back. 
  •  Or, after 36 years teaching, I've got some unique ideas for collage, or for painting and working with color, or for....  Oh my.  What to do??  HELP.
 You can see I'm having a problem making decisions.  I need to narrow down my focus and just can't decide where to start, so the biggest help would be knowing what YOU would want to attend!  Please leave comments with your thoughts and preferences. 

Thanks!!

17 comments:

  1. Since the blogging carousel was so popular I submitted a proposal to state on starting your own blog. I also thought about my top blog posts and one is about doing museum activities with students- I submitted a proposal to do that at state. So think about which blog has had the most page views or comments....... And best of luck!

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    1. Good point, though it's hard to know if the people who have visited the blog are convention-goers. Many of my most popular posts, such as 'toothpaste batik' are simply the case of something gone viral on Pinterest. I don't know that the people who pin my stuff are even art teachers, let alone NAEA members!

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  2. Well, all the ideas you are floating around are good ones, so you can't go wrong whatever you choose. That said, if I were selecting a session to go to, I would probably choose the roofing tar one (and goodness knows, you must still have a TON of that roll left!!), the toothpaste batik, the plaster bandage, the . . . oh, wait, I see your conundrum -- I'm having a hard time narrowing this choice down, too, although I seem to be gravitating towards messy stuff!!!! I do think, since your blogging presentation had to turn folks away, that would be natural.
    And I LOVE the 3-D weaving that you do -- that is a personal favorite. Another interesting idea might be to take one artist, say - Matisse, and present some of your different techniques (or media) all inspired by that artist (just brainstorming here). Anyway, good luck with your decision-making.

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    1. The roofing felt is definitely something was for me to present at the state convention as a hands-on. The artist idea (Matisse is a fave of course) is a good one too. I definitely DO have a problem, don't I?

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    1. I agree - paper mache would be wonderful. However, Christie had a good point that the blogging presentation might be more popular!

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    2. The plan would be to propose both, since the blogging proposal is a group presentation!

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    3. The big challenge for paper-mâché is that while a PowerPoint is what I'd use, I like to also have physical samples. How the heck do I get them to Chicago safely?

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    1. Hahaha! I don't think that's gonna work! ;)

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  5. Geez, Phyl, you don't make it easy with that smorgasbord of choices!LOL I personally, would love to see a workshop with the flex agony, the tar paper or the 3Dweavings. These three might have a good chance of being nearly completed in the time allowed. Everyone always wants to be able to leave with a cool project to share with their students. My favorite thing about a good presentation/workshop, is leaving with an awesome handout that covers all of the material presented. I sure hope I can make it to Chicago to meet you in person!

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    1. Pat, I can't stop laughing. I know that 'flex agony' is a crazy autocorrect, but it could be a good description of the flexagon workshop for someone who is terrified of rulers and measuring!

      The tar paper is definitely easy to present at the state conference, since I'd be driving there, but not for the national. I'm not packing my suitcase full of paint and tarpaper!

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    2. Pat - oh I DO hope you can come to Chicago! It would be fabulous to meet you!

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  6. For NAEA I personally would go to one on blogging (I was probably gonna pick your brain over the summer anyway as I see a blog in my future) and doing a session with others is fun for the audience and for you! (Phyllis + Cassie Stevens + Laura Lohmann all together = I'd pay for that one!) And then just pick one of those many wonderful ideas listed above that travels well and submit that!

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    1. Thanks, Lorraine! Feel free to contact me any time about blogs!

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  7. I would love to attend 3-D paper weaving, tooling foil, or papier mache! Not to make it more difficult to decide, but one thing I love about your blog is sharing some of your tricks of the trade (paint distribution, leaving a frame on the painting unpainted, supply distribution in general) plus I would love to know more about how you planned out your curriculum to be kinder to yourself - (not painting all at once, no clay all at once, etc.) I am in my 4th year, and although I get better every year, I often find myself saying, "what was I thinking?" when I have projects covering every surface in my room and it looks like a tornado blew through!

    (Also, I live in the suburbs of Chicago, so if you end up doing a hands on workshop and need to borrow supplies from my classroom, I'd be happy to share!)

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    1. Carissa, ironically, that is EXACTLY the workshop I presented this year in New Orleans. The name of it was 'Say Yes to the Mess' and I talked about all those things you mentioned in your comment above. I'm not going to propose it again for next year, but if you meet me in Chicago next year I'd be glad to discuss all that stuff with you!

      As for borrowing supplies, be careful what you offer... I may just take you up on it!

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