Sunday, November 8, 2015

AEM Reflection

Another amazing couple days hanging with my TRIBE!! 

This weekend I attended and presented at the AEM Fall Conference.  It was held in Minneapolis this year and was close enough to drive.  Lot's of amazing energy rolling around in this building. I'll do a little recap of the weekend as I always do to review and reflect on the amazing information that I have learned about. 

Yesterday was our Keynote speaker Phil Hansen.  Stunning ideas on creativity.  For those of you on Twitter you already saw these but, here are some of the tweets I made as he was speaking. Powerful.

The message I took away with is that we are all creative people because creativity is more than just a drawing or writing or theater.  Most of us (art educators) know this.  Creativity can be found in any facet of life.  I heard Phil say creativity must be practiced, that it builds on itself and on failure.  Teaching our students (and parents, administration, co-workers, and community) that the final result is not the learning... it's the process. This is a hard idea in a product based world. I wanted to have a bottle of wine with this guy and chat more about creativity... but had more sessions to go to.  So our small-group, intellectual discussion between Phil and I will have to wait for another time.  I was happy to walk away with his signed book and quickly mentioned that students all over Hassan Elementary have been tattooing bananas inspired by him and my #ProccessPigs (click here).

The first session I had the honor to go to was Molly Wiste's, talking about Assessment in a TAB classroom.  She is so remarkable!  I have had the privilege to work 'with' Molly in a couple of different ways. We both taught at St. Cloud University last year and we are both instructors for AOE. She is also in our #PLN on twitter and has a blog I utilized often.  She's so earthy, and real, and approachable, and innovative and... well... inspiring. I took away a ton of ideas from her hour of speaking.  One of the BIG ideas was stations not having to be a physical space... but rather an online station.  BLEW MY MIND! Check out her blog Creativity, Society, and Education for so many great ideas.

The afternoon I spent with Bonnie Cutts and her presentation on painting Loose Landscapes.  She is wonderful! A wealth of knowledge... truly! It's always nice to learn from a practicing artist and it was really fun to experiment with new mediums. She has some stunning work and offers classes, so check her website out (click here).  The artwork below is not mine but rather another participant in class.  Mine was more about process... but I fell in love with this simple image of hers. 

Was pumped to present to a very intimate group... OK... the room was the size of a shoe box and so it had its challenges... but really it had it's advantages too.  It was so open and free flowing to share with this group of educators.  I wanted to make this as hands on as I could so I tossed out a bunch of mediums and we printed, and painted and drew as we were talking about ATC and the implementation of them in class.  Awesome group!! Lot's of laughs.

The best thing about this wonderful group that I presented to was that they were so creative and gave ideas to the group.  I find that in every presentation I am often not the only source of information.  I love when people share their experience.  This was a great tip that I had never seen.  Color bubble wrap with waterbased markers and transfer the print to a paper.  Brilliant! 

Today was a second keynote speaker, Peyton Scott Russell.  He is another local legend who talked about Graffiti.  His theme was very interesting and much of the information was the first time I had heard it.  I really would love to get him in to teach as an artist in residence.  He mentioned how Graffiti could be considered a Folk Art because it has a history and has been passed down from generation to generation.  I thought this was a new take on the artform and it got me thinking about bringing it into my classroom.  I know the kids would totally dig it.  I might even bring my personal minis to check out his classes at Sprayfinger if ever one works out for us.

The next session I hit was with Lockie Chapman. Her session was Art REMIX and it was a challenge to the audience to think about teaching differently.  Find our #PLN using Twitter and Facebook.  Used Flipped and Blended classes.  She gave amazing resources of places that will support your curriculum as an art teacher or maybe not even an art teacher but someone who really wants to 'art it up' in their classroom.  Lockie is a celebrated educator (and award winning this year with AEM).  It was so nice to meet her, to have conversed with her, and learn from her.

The last session of the day was creating again.  I went to the Textile Centers session on felting presented by Scarlett Larson, their Youth Education Coordinator. We made some little projects but my takeaway was the wonderful information that Scarlett shared with us about her programs.  Also the set-up for teaching this medium. Clever! Again a wealth of knowledge and a great resource for educators.

As always, I leave with an uplifted feeling, with a love for my job, and more connections than I had previously.  I adore Professional Development!! Thank you, Art Educators of Minnesota.  I appreciate your hard work.

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