Professional Craft

As a teacher it’s important to show students that not only you know your “stuff” but that you also participate in which ever field that you gravitate towards.  For example, I have a co-worker who is the language arts teacher in our building and he has written a book.  He can now relate this personal experience for his students and be a professional example.  It doesn’t necessarily need to be something that you have created it could be something you have experienced.  I have another co-worker who loves history and has visited several historical places.  She takes these experiences from her travels and brings this into the classroom.  She also has taken her fifth grade students on trips out West to visit these places first hand.

You might ask what I have done that is in my professional craft.  I am so glad you asked.  I’m not world famous, and you don’t need to be for this idea to work.  When I graduated from college I set out a goal to have my own show in five years.  Well, I did that in a little gallery called the Blue Hour Gallery in Marshall, MI.  It was beautiful.  I didn’t sell a thing.  But what is important is the process of creating the art, framing it, writing artist statements, hanging the work, and then having an opening.  I can now relate this experience to my students.  I can also encourage students know that sometimes you don’t always sell your work and that there will be other opportunities.

I didn’t stop there (another lesson) I also enter my artwork into other shows.  Every year the Michigan Education Association holds an art exhibit in conjuncture with the Michigan Art Education Association.  I entered a few times.  Each time I had a piece that was exhibited and some that didn’t.  They actually purchased one of my pieces one year. To me this was really cool.  I can now give this bit of experience to my students.

I currently have two of my pieces of artwork hanging as part of a show in Kalamazoo, MI.  The processes for the show was to photograph your art and fill out an entry form, wait to see if it was chosen, bring the art to the show ready to hang, attend the show, and finally take your artwork home.  Artemya 2011 was available to K-12 Art teachers in Michigan. Two of the three pieces I entered were accepted into the show.  The show is running from June 3rd until the 23rd.

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Here is the press release for the show.  If you get a chance visit.

Kalamazoo, Western Michigan University, Richmond Center for the Visual Arts, DeVries Gallery hosts Artemya 2011

Artemya 2011 is a juried exhibition of visual art created by Michigan’s (k-12) art educators. This is the second year that Artemya has taken place at the Western Michigan University Frostic School of Art. This year’s juror is Tami Miller, Director of Exhibitions at The Krasl Art Center in St. Joseph, Michigan.

The art displayed will contain a wide variety of artistic mediums from educators all over the state of Michigan. It sheds light on the truly talented individuals that teach art to our children, and yet still find time to be artists in their spare time.

Artemya 2011 will have an opening reception with award announcements at 6pm on June 3, 2011 in the Eleanor R. and Robert A. Devries Gallery in The Richmond Center for the Visual Arts at Western Michigan University’s Frostic School of Art. The exhibition runs until June 23, 2011. Parking is available at visitor parking in the Miller Parking Ramp. GPS coordinates for the gallery area are Latitude: 42.280055, Longitude: -85.616723.

It’s important that whatever your passion you experience it first hand and bring it back into the classroom.  I encourage you to go out find what you love and bring it back and share with your students.

-Mrs. Berry


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