Sunday, November 25, 2012

News from the Area VI Meeting

We met Sunday, November 18 at 8:00 AM in the Hilton Palacio del Rio.

Area Representatives Gretchen Bell and Jean King were present and facilitating. Lee Ann Carrier was unable to attend. There were thirteen TAEA members attending. TAEA President Elect Tim Lowke dropped in for a few moments.

Here's the news:

Houston Area YAM Competition: There will not be a TAEA Area VI YAM Competition this year. There are several reasons for this: Area Reps are extremely busy. We do not have a reservation for Owens where we have done the judging for the past several years. We need to take a hiatus.

Vote in the Members Only area of the TAEA Website: Please go to the TAEA website and vote on whether you want to remain with the current system of Areas or whether you would like to change to representation by Region. Under the current system our Area contains ESC Regions 3, 4, and 5. We currently are allowed four representatives per Area. If this passes there will be one representative per ESC Region. The vote closes December 1! Tim Lowke spoke with us about this matter.

Victoria and Beaumont: We need better representation for and input from the Victoria and Beaumont areas. Currently we have three representatives, Gretchen Bell, Lee Ann Carrier, and Jean King. All are from the Houston area.

Summer Mini-conference: This last summer communications about the our Summer Mini-Conference fell through between the Museum of Fine Arts -Houston and the Area Representatives. There were a number of reasons for this including changes in Leadership/Management at the museum.

Mini-Conferences in general: We may want to consider having a mini-conference separate from the MFAH in future. If we do a separate mini-conference, we will need TONS of volunteers and help from other art educators. We would need to find a location, presenters, etc.
Possible themes for a mini-conference:
"Concepts We Teach Beyond The Classroom"
"Finding Our Place In The Community"
"Finding Your Own Place"
Teacher/Members to present and ideas/suggestions:
- Letha Guillory, MacArthur HS, Aldine ISD, 3D works with fibers and paper and other recycled materials, adapting sketchbooks and portfolios to make easier for students to transport
- Hailey Ann Booth, Cinco Ranch HS, Katy ISD, classroom procedures/ organization and planning in the art room, vertical alignment from elementary to high school, teachers visiting each others schools/classes to make presentations to students.
- Sessions on classroom management due to the growing number of students in our classes.

Newsletter/Blog to go out to districts to advocate for the programs and needs of art educators.

Pull Outs: Sarah Chapman spoke about Fine Arts state bill in the works about students being pulled out of arts classes. Stay tuned to TAEA's website for advocacy/political information (Political Palette).

TRS: The State Legislature is currently considering changes to the Teacher Retirement System. You need to stay informed about this as it directly effects all our futures.

Politics in general: Get names and info on Legislators, District Board Members in your area and share your concerns. Raise your voice. Vote.
To stay informed, most legislative news will be reported on GoArts website, It may be too early for things to be up yet on the site, but watch it for news. They may need our support. Register with them.

Katie Brown - Ceramic workshop

Names were pulled for door prizes. Laura Dickinson from Pasadena HS win a educator's membership to Lawndale Art Center. All attendees received at least one prize.

Special "Thank You's" are due to the following:
- TAEA and Abbeyville Press - Suzy Greene - give aways for the area meetings
- Lawndale Art Center - Complimentary Educator Membership
- Jean King - Dias de Los Muertos t-shirts
- MFAH - for all they do for us, including, but not limited to the TAEA/MFAH Summer Mini-Conference (where they handle registration, location, refreshments and more) and the use of the museum and Glassell Junior School as sites for our YAM Show and Reception.

If you want to be more involved in TAEA or have news to share with us, you can contact us through this blog or through the TAEA website under Area VI.
Gretchen Bell
Lee Ann Carrier
Jean King

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A funny thing happened on the way to this post

Time flies when you're having fun AND when you're teaching art!

While I was attending the TAEA Conference this last week in San Antonio several people approached me saying things like, "You need to update the web page!" "Do you know the last thing on the web page is the TAEA/MFAH mini conference in 2011?"

Hmmm, the web page? I looked at Area VI's page on the TAEA website. Nope, no sign of action there, but no mention of the 2011 mini-conference either.

I was mildly baffled, but decided I could decipher this little puzzle one way or the other. And I did! They meant this little ol' blog!

How, you might ask, could such a thing happen? More than a year without a new blog entry, how could it happen?

Believe it or not, even the author of a lil' ol' blog like this doesn't want to be a lone voice in the wilderness of Area VI. You have to let me know you're out there. Let me know that I'm not just typing messages to send out into the darkness of the great cyber abyss.

If you miss me or if you don't see updates here, feel free to shoot me an email at

Oh, well, enough of that!

The conference in San Antonio was a good one. I do believe my favorite thing was the last General Session. If you didn't stay until the bitter end, then you missed it. Sam Gilliam was the speaker and what a speaker she was. She gave a wonderful talk that inspired me more than anything I'd heard in a long time. She had me laughing and crying. I looked around and saw I wasn't the only one in the room wiping their eyes. She hit the mark over and over.

Quotes from her talk:
"That's what we artists do. We tell the truth. That's what we teach. . . ."
"One step at a time! Baby steps! Post the definition of passion in your art room, in your studio, in your life!"
"Hitch yourself to something BIGGER than yourself!"
"I want to be transformed by doing what I love."
"Passion is the key."
"Stillness is our most intense form of action . . . Passion."

I came away from her talk wanting to be the best, most passionate me that I could be.

Right now it's the Thanksgiving holiday and I'm on the road again. I wasn't intending to work, so I left all the updates I meant to post on here at home, waiting patiently beside a pile of bills and junk mail. I'll be posting again when I get back home, but hey, why not make a comment or shoot me an email. Let me know I'm not in this alone.

¡Somos el arte!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Annual Summer Mini-Conference!!!

It's that time again! Time to recharge your batteries, network with colleagues and start to think of the new school year ahead.

TAEA/MFAH Annual Summer Mini Conference for Teachers

Tuesday–Wednesday, July 26–27
8:30 am to 3:30 pm both days
Co-sponsored by the MFAH and the
Texas Art Education Association (TAEA)

At this annual two-day event, artists and art educators present multiple sessions on art-making, art history, and art education. Each session is based on works of art from the MFAH collections and includes a studio component, held at the museum's Glassell School of Art. Session topics include ceramics, drawing in the galleries, painting, photography (pinhole cameras), jewelry making, printmaking, and more. Registration for each session occurs onsite on a first come, first served basis beginning at 8:30 am each day. Ten workshops are repeated both days, with the opportunity to attend two 2.5 hour workshop sessions per conference day.

Registration is $40 per day. This fee includes materials, lunch, and a certificate of participation. Educators may register for one or both days.

The following courses are being offered:

Sketch-a-Doodle - Museum with Fahmi Khan meet in the Beck Lobby MORNING SESSION ONLY

The artist will concentrate on a variety of elements and principles of art while following the traditional method of drawing from antiquities, interlaced with doodling which will create a new way of looking at the antiquities - Doodling - the art of random drawing- will help to sharpen the creativity in the artist.

New Approaches to Non-Toxic Collagraph and Relief Printmaking with Suzanne Manns - Printmaking Studio 101, first floor, Glassell School of Art - Combining the new technology of PVC plates with easy to manipulate, self-adhesive tapes and textures as well as traditional relief cutting tools, participants will create plates that can be used to make either intaglio or relief prints. Although the process is immediate, the plates are durable with the possibility of yielding sophisticated results similar to those from traditional and much more toxic approaches to printmaking.

Cultural Exchange: Japonisme, Mary Cassatt, and the Counterproof with Kathryn Klauber - meet in the Law Building Lobby - Highlighting Japanese and Franco-American prints from the collection in the Works on Paper Study Center at the MFAH, this session will investigate Japonisme and its influence over Mary Cassatt near the turn of the 20th century. Includes viewing and discussing original prints, the ideology of cultural integration, sketching in the Beck Collection, and a hands-on activity in the creation of counterproofs.

Landscapes: Skies & Reflections with Watercolor with Ken Mazzu, Studio 202, Glassell School of Art - Realize your own vision in watercolor as you explore and create landscape skies and reflections in the studio. Work from photographic resources or imagination in composing fiery sunsets, rolling clouds, stormy atmospheres and clear blue skies. Landscape compositions that include ponds, lakes and still water will also allow for painted reflections. These investigations into landscape will include blending, blotting, hard & soft edges, light quality and combinations of wet and dry brushwork.

Pinhole Cameras and Developing Prints in the Darkroom with Amy Blakemore - Photography Studio, Glassell School of Art (12 spots available only) - Learn strategies for teaching students about positive and negative space and photographic processes. Using pinhole cameras and photographic paper, create original shots in the sculpture garden, and develop prints with an easy darkroom chemical process.

Abstracting the Narrative - Painting and Cubism with Patrick Palmer - Painting Studio 204, Glassell School of Art - With acrylic on canvas board, think like a cubist to build out a painting from an abstracted drawing of two points of view. This process combines sketches from a still life to create a complex abstract composition.

Fold-Up Frame Pins & Formed Acrylic Bracelets with Sandie Zilker - Jewelry Studio, First Floor, Glassell School of Art - Use thin textured copper to encase designs painted and applied on the back of acrylic shapes. Create bracelets from heat formed acrylic sheets. These two projects can be adapted to a variety of age groups and skills with a minimal amount of tools.

The Serti Technique: Silk Painting with Emily Anmuth - Studio 201, Glassell School of Art - Gutta or water-based resist acts as a barrier for paint on silk - keeping color within outlined areas of the design and allowing you to achieve sharply defined borders. The Serti technique is the silk painting technique in which gutta or water-based resists are applied to white silk on a stretcher, dried, and dyed.

Extruder Constructs with Jeff Forster - Ceramics Studio, First Floor, Glassell School of Art - The extruder creates a perfect, cylindrical, and even wall with which to build a sculpture. What you do with a cylinder is almost limitless. This workshop will focus on using extrusions as a starting point for various projects. Altering extruded cylinders, learn how to make lidded jars, pouring vessels, baskets and other utilitarian forms.

Cai Guo-Qiang's Odyssey Project as inspiration for Mixed Media Classroom Collaboration- with Angela Guy, Studio 207, Glassell School of Art AFTERNOON SESSION ONLY - Using Cai Guo-Qiang's "Odyssesy Project" as inspiration, will create a large-scale collaborative artwork using unexpected and inexpensive art materials and unusual techniques.

We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It's that time again!!!

Saturday January 29th will be the annual judging for the Houston Area Youth Art Month Competition and Exhibition. It will take place at Owens Middle School.
Owens Intermediate School Map
You must be a TAEA Member to participate.
TAEA Membership Application
The following are the new, modified, updated guidelines and forms.
YAM Local Guidelines Acrobat Reader Only Nov 2010
We're hoping to see you there!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

NAEA Balitimore

The national convention in Baltimore is off to a great start. I spent yesterday in sessions from early morning through to the Crayola extravaganza in the evening. I made it back to the hotel absolutely worn out.

So far a number of Texans have been spotted here including: Samantha Melvin, Sarah Sanders, Sara Chapman and Cheryl Evans.

Tricia Fuglestad (creator of Young Sloppy Brush) of Illinois and our own Samantha Melvin at their session yesterday
Photo by Craig Roland of Art Education 2.0

Start making plans for the TAEA conference in Austin and the NAEA convention next year in Seattle!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Youth Art Month!

Keep an eye out here for news about Youth Art Month Events in our area. There's a lot of good stuff going on. You should know about it.

Youth Art Month! Believe it or not!

If you are a Houston area art educator, please join the Ning site, H-Town Art Teachers
At present there are 141 members. Check it out.

From the H-Town Art Teachers:
I'm sitting here at my computer wondering what in the world you are doing out there.

I started this Ning site as an alternative to sending out the twice weekly News From The Art Room. I had started to feel as though I were spoon feeding everyone. I went for long periods without any response. About the only time I heard from a lot of folks was if I wasn't sending out the news. Occasionally someone would e-mail or call with a question. Many folks seemed to assume that doing the News From The Art Room was my job. News From The Art Room was a labor of love. There was never any monetary reward. I kept it going out of frustration with an educational system that didn't seem to understand that every child needs art. Those of you who contacted me and let me know that you appreciated the News boosted my spirits and were my source of energy and drive.

I've been the gatekeeper and manager of this Ning site for almost two years now. Every month I ante up twenty dollars to keep it ad free. I'm not complaining. I do it for the same reason that I did the News From The Art Room. I need you to do something for me, for us really. I need you to participate. Share what you're doing. Tell your peers what you know. Use your voice.

I spent several hours today adding events and thinking about the state of art education, particularly in my district.

This last Thursday I sat in the HISD board room and listened as impassioned teachers tried to communicate to the school board that using EVAAS as the basis for firing teachers was a bad idea. Maybe it doesn't seem like a big deal to you, after all, we don't teach one of those subjects that are measured with standardized tests and EVAAS. I'm here to tell you, it is a big deal.

If EVAAS is the be all, end all, the Alpha and Omega of the public educational system here in my district, then there is a lot to worry about. If EVAAS is the measuring stick then we are not going to be measured. It seems to me that what can't be measured is assumed to not matter.

"So what?" I hear you saying to yourself. Here I am, playing Cassandra one more time. Well, my friends, the emperor is running around naked again. You can hide your head. You can turn your eyes away. You can close your door and teach. I don't think it's going to help.

What are you doing to advocate for art today? How are you putting your program out there in the world.

You say, "I don't even work in HISD". It keeps being said that as goes HISD, so goes the country. The HISD school board is proud of pointing that out.

Are you going to wait for art positions to start disappearing? Oh yeah, the arts are mandated - for right now anyway. The state law doesn't require art specialists in elementary school. If elementary art positions disappear, how long do you think it will be before it's your turn, no matter whether you're in middle school or high school?

Let me paraphrase the Martin Niemoller quote:
First they closed the elementary art positions, and I did not speak out—because I was not an elementary art teacher;
Then they closed the middle school art positions, and I did not speak out—because I was not a middle school art teacher;
Then they closed the high school art positions, and I did not speak out—because I was not a high school art teacher;
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me.

It's not a joke. The emphasis on only those things that are measurable puts us all in harm's way.

Use your head. Open your eyes. Take a look around.

March is Youth Art Month.
What are you going to do about it?