October 27, 2004

A busy week

I cannot believe it has been a week since my last post...I honestly have been that busy. Sorry for you guys who check this blog every day. Last weekend was awesome and totally exhausting. The conference was everything I expected and more. I got to hang out a lot with Julia and we got to know each other a little better. When I have attended this conference in the past, I have gone by myself. It was a blast to go with a friend and made it so much more fun. I learned all kinds of neat things that I will be able to use in my classroom, but I haven't been able to sort it all out, my mind is still on overload from everything I soaked in...and as far as processing it...well, the three huge piles of papers, pamphlets, lesson plans and such are still sitting on our buffet, if that tells you anything. One of these days...

I wanted to post a few things from the conference. One workshop I went to was Creativity in the Classroom...sponsored by the DIA. It was fun because we got to make something. That's one thing that I really like about the MAEA Conference...it's not just lectures and stuff...the workshops are usually led by artists, or at least people who know who they are talking to...and the best workshops are the hands-on type where we get to make something to take with us. Anyway, the presenter, Tracy Sellers, layed out all this stuff on the table and said "use what you want to make anything you want." I was immediately under pressure to create something...but at the same time I felt free to use my imagination to create anything. Well, I have to say, that I do not work well (typically) in these situations. I don't consider myself to have a great imagination, so I was intimidated...thinking I had to come up with something good...and fast because time was limited...and there was the added pressure that we would hang them all up and discuss them when we are done. I didn't know what to do...I did paper mosaics in one of my classes at school before I came, so I just started cutting squares and gluing them down, with no plan. After I got tired of doing the mosaic design, I grabbed some markers and added some designs and lines...and as I did it became a bird...not realistic...not even finished...but it just happened which is kind of cool...and it was so different from everyone elses creations...I should have taken a picture because it was very interesting to see what the other people in the class came up with.

Another really cool part of this conference was that Sandy Skoglund came and lectured in one of our sessions about her work and the development of her art and the process of making it...it was so interesting! She also did an installation with 30 people who attended the conference and signed up to participate. Kellogg's donated boxes and boxes of cereal for the installation which you can see below. The lady in the sleeveless blue shirt is Sandy Skoglund. They each had a glue gun...they didn't finish it...that is why there is so much white left on the walls...it was a very time consuming process and my friend, Kathy, who participated it said she wouldn't mind if she never used a glue gun again! It was fun to watch...I wouldn't have wanted to do it.

In case you are curious, this was at the McCamly Plaza Hotel in Battle Creek, Michigan.
I also attended a workshop with textile artist, Sarah Kaufmann. She was so much fun...and very inspiring...I created this little book in her workshop. We all did our own thing with a bunch of really cool materials that Sarah brought for us to use. I am not any great book maker...and didn't really intend for this to mean anything when I made it, but the more I look at it and the way I created it, the more I see of me and how I feel about life right now...kind of interesting, huh? The book is an accordian style booklet. The first picture is the cover and the other two are the inside, which took two scans because it is pretty long.

It's also one of those things that I think I could have developed more if I had more time...the workshop ended and I had to meet Julia, so I didn't probably do everything I would have liked to.

I found out that Sharpies now come in a 24 pack of colors...with colors of pink, baby blue, mint green, peach, lavender, and yellow orange! Not available yet, but I got a free sample from the SANFORD booth!

I got back in touch with the art teacher I did my student teaching under. She used to live in Jackson, but moved away (I didn't know this until I talked to her there) in 1998 and now lives in Kalamazoo and teaches art at a Catholic school. She was so awesome, and I was sad that I had lost touch with her. She came to our wedding, and I think that may have been the last time I saw her...we talked on the phone a few times after that, but then we moved and she moved and neither one of us knew what had happened to the other. So it was cool to see her, although we had little time to talk...but, now that we have exchanged addresses and email, hopefully we can stay in touch.


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