Sunday, November 12, 2017

Planning a Great Photo Walk

One of my favorite things to do as a photographer is to take a photo walk. I love to zoom in and capture unexpected views of the places I visit. And an especially favorite aspect of photo walks for me is to capture textures. I would do this on Art Club trips whether we were visiting a museum such as the Detroit Institute of Art or wandering around ArtPrize in Grand Rapids. It's a wonderful way to view one's world from a new and fresh perspective. I love how it helps me to develop my observations skills but noticing the little things that we often overlook as we walk through the world.

Here are some tips and great resources if you are interested in planning a photo walk for yourself or with your students.

Apple organizes photo walks where you can sign up to join a group that is led with a certain focus for the planned photo walk. For example currently in the Grand Rapids area there are upcoming photo walks focusing on Street Photography and Manipulating Light and Shadow this month. In the Ann Arbor area they have planned photo walks that focus on Capturing Action and Video, Street Photography, Telling A Story in Your Photos, Portraits and People, Developing Your Style, and Manipulating Light and Shadow. There are several other areas around the state where Apple stores are organizing additional photo walks.

PetaPixel's website features their Seven Commandments for Great Photo Walks. These include things such as introducing a constraint to boost creativity, always walk somewhere new, and you should trust your instincts when it says a photo must be taken.

One way that I've done this with my photo students at the beginning of my Digital Photography class was to go over the basics of photographic composition and then get outside around the school and start trying to shoot with those principles in mind. With my beginning studio class I would have my students do an Elements and Principles walk. We'd go over the E's and P's and then go out and seek them in the world around us whether it be in the school or outside on the school grounds.

Here's a great resource to help you plan photo walks in your city. It includes information about preparing for a photo walk as well as wonderful tips for how to make the most of your photo walk.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

MAEA 2017 Conference Highlights - Tuesday, November 7, 2017

What a fantastic weekend in Detroit for those of us able to participate in the 2017 MAEA Conference! The co-chairs Lani Warner, Adrienne DeMilner, and Tanya Lockwood did a wonderful job planning our conference and making sure everyone had many great experiences to choose from during their time in the Motor City. Thank you so much!

Some of my most memorable moments from this past weekend include visiting the Detroit Institute of Art and getting to draw in the galleries. It's been awhile since I was last able to walk those halls and it brought back some wonderful memories of doing so with various student groups. It was also very exciting that there was a Monet/Church exhibit while we were in town.

It was wonderful to connect with the College for Creative Studies and be able to take workshops with their instructors. I thoroughly enjoyed Francis Vallejo's Experimental Illustration with Mixed Media. He shared so many exciting illustrators and their artistic processes. And it was wonderful to get to watch him work through one of those.

Other exciting workshops were trying out various pop up book techniques with Tamara Draper, creating Microscope Slide Pendants with Jill walker, learning about Visual Journals with Jennifer Kay-Rivera, getting to try Pyrography with Dawn Jacobson, bleaching t-shirts with Laura Todd, creating Domino Pendants with Kendra Lincourt, and hearing Endia Beal talk about her photography series and film projects to date.

Part of a Dia de lost Muertos at the DIA

Laura Todd teaching us how to bleach t-shirts

Creating Domino Pendants

Drawing in the Galleries at the DIA

Tamara Draper teaching us how to create pop up books


Congratulations to this year's winners Tricia Erickson, Tamara Draper, Donna Emerson, Eugene Clark, Pi Benio, Sandy Britton, and Steve Harryman! It was wonderful to celebrate your accomplishments at the Awards Banquet Saturday night.

We look forward to seeing you in Kalamazoo next year!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Art History Resources

Whether you are incorporating Art History into your lesson plans or teaching an Art History class I'm sure you'll find some of these resources helpful as you continually look to enhance and enrich your curriculum and instruction.
This website is a great resource for those wanting to incorporate a wide range of art historical moments into their instruction. It features really interesting articles about art history and art history instruction. There are a lesson plans for every historical moment through the history of art as well as thematic lessons. A page features many of the major art history museums and tips for planning a museum visit with your students.

Art History Bingo
This lesson featured on the Art of Education is a fun way to either pre-test or cover an overview of art history artists and artworks with a class. You can craft the Bingo squares to feature anything your classes are studying or you want to assess their knowledge about.

Khan Academy
Khan Academy has a ton of wonderful resources that include art history course content that you can sign up for and incorporate into your instruction.

TAB: Teaching For Artistic Behaviors - Art History
This TAB website features twenty-seven fantastic ideas to incorporate Art History into your curriculum whether it be through lessons or centers.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Preparing for the MAEA 2017 Conference

We're two weeks away from the MAEA 2017 Conference in Detroit, MI. I hope everyone is as excited as I am. Here are some tips to consider as you prepare for a wonderful weekend of creating, connecting with old friends, making new friends, and getting rejuvenated and inspired.

1. Bring your phone/camera 

There are always so many interesting workshops and things to see. We hope that you'll share your photographs with all of us on the MAEA Facebook page.

2. Sketchbook or Notebook

Don't forget something to write down ideas, notes, and inspirations from the workshops you attend.

3. Comfortable (yet, cute) shoes and a sweater

While in the midst of inspiring workshops and as you explore the artistic sights of Detroit you'll want to be comfortable.

4. Hydrate

Bring your water bottle so you can keep your energy up while enjoying workshops, key speakers, and tours.

5. Plan Your Days Out Ahead of Time

Map out your time at the conference to ensure you get the most out of your days and nights.

6. Get Their Early

Make sure you give yourself some extra time at the start of the conference to orient yourself to the space so you can easily get yourself settled and to your first workshop without rushing.

See you in Detroit!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

I'd like to introduce to Art Education Intern Emily Barber!

Emily is a graduate from Michigan State University. Her favorite art mediums are printmaking and oil painting. Emily is currently doing her student teaching internship at Willow Ridge Elementary grades 1st - 6th. Next semester she'll be teaching at Grand Ledge High School in grades 9th - 12th.

Her most memorable moment so far in her internship experience was having a fifth grade class beg to be able to continue discussing abstract painting. She loves talking to students about what they created, and why they made specific choices.

When asked about which art education topics she's most passionate about she responding, "I'm passionate about choice based education, as well as STEAM education."

Emily's favorite quote:

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Art Happenings Around Michigan

There is always so much going on around Michigan, especially during our beautiful fall months. Here are just a few that you might like to check out depending on your location and your travel plans.

Plein Air Pastels at Wenonah Park in Bay City
October 18th from 6 - 8 p.m.

Climb aboard a tall ship for a beautiful cruise down the Saginaw River while you explore using pastels and working plein air. All supplies are provided.

M-60 Corn Maze in Union City
Various date available

This fall marks the 54th year of the M-60 Corn Maze. This year's corn maze is in the shape of a steam engine traveling through a forest. There is also a pumpkin patch.

"Floating World" by Karen LaMonte in University Center
Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum
October 6th - December 16th

LaMonte works with rusted iron, cast bronze, ceramic, and cast glass as she explores the idea of beauty through the cultural lens of Japan and the Kimono. This is exhibit is a body of work she created as a result of the work she created after a Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission seven-month fellowship. During her time abroad she lived in Kyoto and studied every aspects of kimono making. LaMonte learned about weaving, yuzen dying, and how to properly wear a kimono. The resulting body of work took seven years to complete.

Fall on the Island on Drummond Island
October 13th - October 15th

This is one of the largest fall festivals in the Eastern Upper Peninsula. Enjoy the beautiful fall colors, delicious local food, and a line-up of talented musicians.

Please feel free to share your own fall happenings around our beautiful state in the comments section.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Artists to Follow in ArtPrize 9

There are so many amazing artists involved with ArtPrize 9. Here is one that I thought you might be interested in learning a bit more about and that you might like to share with your students. It could spark some collaborative art projects between your own students and older or younger students or between your students and a local artist in your area.

Aaron Zenz - Monsters Go

"Monsters Go" is a collaboration between Aaron and hundreds of kids from around the state. Last year he invited students to design monsters and send them to him. He received 3,000 drawings and then spent the summer choosing his favorites. Then Aaron created 100 colored pencil illustrations inspired by these drawings in his own illustration style. His ArtPrize piece is a collection of these monsters. Aaron is on site with his monsters outside the Grand Rapids Children's Museum inviting kids to continue to submit monsters which he then illustrates and adds to his ArtPrize piece. His goal is to reach 150 monsters by the end of ArtPrize on October 8th. Aaron is currently in the top five for Time-Based Artworks.

Article about Aaron's work as an illustrator.