January 25, 2011


I spent my Saturday at (Dis)Order: Creativity and Control, A Workshop for Art Educators.
It was wonderful- incredibly cohesive and inspiring! Olivia Guide from the University of Illinois-Chicago was the presenter. She is the founder and director of the "Spiral Workshop" an inner city arts program for middle and high school students. Her presentation was colored by her experiences 'working in the trenches' which made it so much more real- and possible. Those of you who are teachers probably get what I'm saying...you can go to workshops and hear amazing ideas, but actually being able to implement them within curriculum and time constraints, is another story. I love incorporating the arts into all curriculum areas so it was great to have some fresh new ideas and support. Olivia has lots of lesson plans on her website here! I can't wait to check them out.

Olivia explained her process and how she's rethinking arts education to be more reflective and relevant to the students. It has a post-modern flair but is rooted in community and collaboration.  She starts her students out with these reflective worksheets in which they generate ideas and emotions on a certain response. She showed us her (Dis)Order series and what the students produced from a prompt about punishment. We discussed a little how disorder and order can shape our lives. Olivia is big on having teachers do a "teacher model" not for students to copy, but for you as an educator to do the same as your students (don't make them do things you yourself would not do) and to realize the potential issues with the project. At the end of the day we all created a project using tracing paper and magazine collage to create our meaning out of disorder. The prompt we were given was "In the Marvelous Future..." in order to help us process what a better world would look like.

Clockwise from top: In my own world looking at art, Focused on curator's lecture, My "In the Marvelous Future" Creation...in progress, The whole group working on our projects with Olivia.
{Perfect Day!}

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