Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Vermont Art Teacher's Association Conference at Shelburne Museum

This year's keynote speaker was Nacy Walkup. She is the editor of SchoolArts magazine and leader of art teacher professional development that focuses on social justice and international folk art. She shared several examples of humanitarian based art projects, some of which I have explored with students in the past.  I feel strongly that art is an effective medium for helping students feel connected to their world and feel that they can make a difference, so this presentation spoke to my passion for this. Click here to see Nancy's write-up of the conference on the SchoolArts Blog.

The first workshop I attended connected nicely with the work that Katie Babic and I are doing with a small group fifth and sixth graders around mindfulness.   This workshop was lead by artist Gowri Savoor.  She taught about the Indian art of Rangoli, which is traditionally a mandala-type pattern created from chalk dust on the ground during the holiday of Diwali.  We created our own Rangoli designs using colored rice.  The process is meditative and calming and the art is ephemeral- it only lasts for a short period of time.  I enjoyed working with other people to create a group Rangoli design. Click here for more examples of Rangoli art.
The second workshop I attended was about the Panamanian art of Molas.  Click here for more information about Molas. During this workshop, we used colored felt to create our own Molas. 
Spending a day at Shelburne Museum in the fall in such a treat!  In addition to enjoying the beautiful grounds and exhibits, I visited the European Art collection to see paintings by Monet, Cassatt, Manet and Degas. It is quite an experience to be up close and personal with such famous works of art!

 I also enjoyed an exhibit of contemporary and mostly local art called "Eyes on the Land." This is a collection of works that explore how our landscape can be viewed using a variety of arts media. This display is a collaboration between the Vermont Land Trust and the Shelburne Museum. 

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