2014 started out with updating the space outside of my classroom. Outfitted with modern Steelcase furnishings from Custer, kids utilize the area so much more now that there is a versatile and welcoming space.
February was filled with showcasing opportunities for my students. Between the MAEA Region 9 show at the GRAM and the West Central Michigan Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, my students had their pieces on display all over Downtown Grand Rapids. Both shows led to work being moved onto State and National recognition, too.
This was the 7th year we have put on an Empty Bowls event at our school. It gets better and better each year, with more turn out and more donations. Thank you again to our local Subway and School Community for helping make this such a wonderful success!
Thanks to a grant from the Michigan Youth Arts Council, I was able to take students to the Meijer Gardens. Using methods learned from fellow art teacher, Tricia Fugelstad, I put the kids in charge while at the Gardens and they led us through the sculpture park by highlighting the work along the way.
May was a month full of celebrating student success as we displayed work around our school at at the Van Singel Fine Arts Center. One thing students did to celebrate this month full of Arts, is make the images below that were in response to Governor Snyder declaring the first week of the month Youth Arts Week.
The end of the school year was celebrated with our National Scholastic Silver Medalist, Makenzie Reid, in New York City. It was an amazing time celebrating the students from across the country and seeing the winning work. I am honored to be a part of this program and hope to keep this tradition of competing going with my students year, after year.
I offered several summer challenges to students and was so pleased with the participation. Thank you again to Ava, who participated in them all! Here are the works she uploaded to Artsonia in the month of July.
It is always fun to get ready for the start of the school year. With help from donors like you, I was able to get this first project I posted on Donors Choose funded quickly. Thank you for your support over time and helping me make a positive learning environment for my students.
I have been taking students to ArtPrize annually and enjoy the way the annual competition engages the audience each time. Thanks again to a grant from ArtPrize, I was able to help fund this trip and students were able to interact with this award-winning work by Anila Quayyum Agha.
Thank you again for voting to Asia and helping make her an Artsonia Artist of the Week in October! It was fun to share her work with others and see the support she gathered over the course of the week.
I am very honored to have been named MAEA Middle Level Educator of the Year at the Annual Conference that happened in November. It was a great time to share resources with other teachers and also spend time with my sister, who teaches art in Indiana!
It is hard to pick one major highlight from the month because so much of it is a culmination of hard work and dedication over the course of the year and before. From Emma finishing her dress, to Anna experimenting with found objects for jewelry, to Gabe honing his Photoshopping skills and so many other students finding new ways of saying things through visuals... I have seen students push themselves in new ways and amaze me in the process. My favorite part is showing that at our annual December show. Every year I think that it has been the best year ever; I know next year is going to offer the same.
Teaching Visual Arts since 2004 and making images since picking up a crayon.