Reflections of the National Art Convention

3 04 2014

Wow! My feet could not get me to all the sessions I wanted to attend, but I did enjoy the ones I was able to squeeze into my busy schedule. San Diego is beautiful and my anticipation of presenting was sent to the back of my mind for one day. I reconnected with teachers from my old school, met up with dear friends on my PLN, and I was able to gleen knowledge to fuel my art teaching philosophy. One observation I made after I already selected my sessions on the Spark App. was, I was either in the Advocacy realm or Research. Interesting?! but not surprising.
Sunday was the Art 2.0 meet up or Tweet up and it was great to see so many faces connected to people who I follow, tweet, or read their blogs. I also love that Davis Publications supported our gathering with great Starbucks coffee. Much appreciated by the art educators who do not often get such nice perks. The photo of all of us in our PLN shirts was twice the size from the previous year. And this leads me to my big “take away” as Craig Roland put it. We need to continue to do more to reach out and include more art educators. We are a unique and talented group that serves the biggest variety of students. We juggle and problem solve all day long, and into the night, we create something wonderful, thought provoking out of nothing. We make garbage beautiful, we put smiles, hope, and purpose, on so many faces during our regular day. We need to do the same for each other. Children are in the center of what we are doing…not our egos, endorsements, twitter followers, or accessories. It’s about elevating art education, connecting what we do in the studio to real life applications. We are the makers of change and we need each other to keep us on our path. I’ve never been big on cliques and I want everyone to know they have valued. As I observed the group of us, I noticed people watching. I wanted them to feel welcomed.

photo (30)

It’s a part of who I am…I cannot turn it off. I look, I see, I observe. I pull from my observations as much as I do my conversations. Samantha Melvin and I had the best conversation at the airport for the trip home. We both were exhausted and our minds wandered to our classrooms and our students. I know she is a fighter for her students and a advocate for art education so I loved our visit. We discussed real issues we face with our programs, community, but also our successes and opportunities. I have a feeling if we worked in the same place we could do some real damage. It’s always about the students. How we do our jobs may vary, how our studios look, our budgets, and our programming may all vary but placing children in the center should never change.

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