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Lesson Plans

NAEA--DC was great--LA here we come!

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Scurfield (scurfield)
Wed, 31 Mar 1999 11:02:01 -0600

Don't know why I feel obligated to put my two cents in, but here goes.
Actually I do know why--I do appreciate hearing which presenters are
good ones. I am developing a list of favorite people I look for year
after year.
I was very lucky this year. I went to very few events which weren't
excellent. My only regret was that I couldn't divide myself into
several clones to go to more things at once.
I usually send in my registration too late to get into any workshops,
but this year faxed it back the day after it came and got first choice
for everything. I wrote a grant this past fall to create books with all
grades in my elementary school, so chose four of the bookmaking
workshops. The first was an off-site workshop at the National Museum
for Women in the Arts, entitled "Binding Together: A Novel Approach to
Bookmaking". In this jam-packed afternoon we had a tour of an exhibit
by book artist and concrete poet, Mirella Bentivoglio, then made samples
of SEVEN different book formats--all very beautiful and doable with
kids. The second, "The Book as Personal Adornment" was very well
organized. The presenter, Luci Mauricio-McMichael had gone to great
lengths to prepare materials so that the workshop ran very smoothly and
we all felt success with our final product. The third was "The
Concertina Book, 2-D Concepts and Critical Thinking Skills". This
started off a bit slow, but picked up great momentum when the presenter,
Mary Ruth Smith, shared her personal examples which intrigued and
inspired us. The final book workshop was the one I was most looking
forward to and it did not disappoint in the least--"A Simple
Surprise--The Pop-Up Sculptural Book" with Ann Ayers and Ellen
McMillan, two teachers from Florida who have taken the ideas of Clem
Pennington and done amazing things. We purchased their video at the New
Orleans conference for the Wichita Art Museum Art Resource Center. I
will be buying their book when it comes out from Davis Publications.
They went to a tremendous amount of work for us. The results from the
workshop attendees were amazing! Nobody wanted to leave when our time
was up.
One of my two non-book workshops directly followed the Sculptural
Bookmaking one. What a contrast! I picked the "Baubles, Bangles and
Beads" because I am interested in wonderful ideas with recycled
materials, but left thinking, "How can we create art from junk that
doesn't look like junky art?" I almost picked "Bookmaking: Sun or Moon
Book", but decided I'd signed up for enough books. Wrong! A friend was
in that one and I wandered next door to check it out since mine was a
wash. It looked terrific and the presenter, Betty Tisinger, had recived
many donations from the vendors--marbelizing kits, Fadeless Paper. Oh
well--can't win 'em all and I'd really had such good luck up til that
Wish I'd known Bunky was in the "Parade of Multiple Drawing
Strategies". It was also one of my favorites. For years one of my
"dirty little secrets" was that for an art teacher I really don't draw
that well. This workshop helped me alot to think about what promotes
drawing skill in others. Since I have little or no natural "talent" I
am closer to my students' abilities. Actually, in looking about the
room, my drawings were not the best, but not the worst either, so the
workshop actually affirmed my skill. This workshop will have impact on
my teaching at the elementary and pre-service college teaching levels.
Drawing ability is what people most associate with art, and what
frightens people the most in art.
Reports I received from other people were that anything by David Chang
is outstanding, and the "Let's Play with Clay" by the Kemper Co. people
was excellent, especially if you were a beginner.

This is getting long--it is getting late and I will discuss the free
workshops and museums, etc. around DC at another time.

I'd love to have more pics and pans from the rest of you--Marcia