The Michigan Art Education Association is a group dedicated to providing strategies, connections, and professional development opportunities to art educators in the state of Michigan. I have been a member since student teaching. The group has a yearly conference, and this year it was in Grand Rapids! Downtown is full of art and provided a beautiful backdrop for a wide variety of seminars. I had the chance to explore the Grand Rapids Art Museum, tour Meijer Gardens, and see some of the art installations left from ArtPrize the week before!
I was able to register for a number of really interesting, relevant lectures and seminars. One was on jewelry making from recycled materials, which has applications for first grade’s expedition on garbage and recycling. One was by art teachers from a very collaborative district. They gave great insights about the planning of a successful art program. Another was called “Secrets for Successful Watercolor Pencil Painting;” a supply that we have at DAA and I am excited to guide the students with using more.
At a participatory seminar on abstract expressionist group drawing I learned a new technique for prompting collaboration. I got the chance to try out ballpoint engraving, and to see the materials required to accomplish that. Those are just some of the ones I attended! Various vendors for art supplies were present throughout the conference to speak to and experiment with merchandise. At the MAEA members breakfast I was able to hear updates and participate in discussion and voting about art education in the state of Michigan. The conference culminated in an event at the Grand Rapids Art Museum where art teachers dressed up as their favorite artists or artworks!
It was a great opportunity to connect and share with colleagues from all over Michigan, and to learn from their experiences!