As I reflect on the Art Summit I attended at Troy University, I am overwhelmed with the ideas and opportunities presented; many are developing as I write. For my students who are reading this, I hope you find an outlet to reflect on your journeys. Whether it be visual arts, writing, or a conversation with others, the art of expressing yourself brings deeper meaning to the experience and can inspire others through your communication.
I was inspired by the art and interpretation offered by the artist "Nall." He indicated his work is autobiographical and expresses his "truth." Interpretations of political messages he shared in his art were fascinating as well. I will see his work with enlightened eyes. Nall was born in Troy, Alabama and has become an internationally known artist. Locally you can find his work in the Mobile Museum of Art and the Battlehouse Hotel. Check out his work and think about sharing the work and life of this regional artist "Nall" with your students. (pictures above: Nall's art and Paige & Nall)
Dr. Thomas R. Bice, Deputy Superintendent, ALSDE, presented innovative ideas for 21st Century Learning. I was thrilled to hear that he is an advocate for the arts in the curriculum. He specifically indicated that "art education integration classes should be a part of every teacher preparation program."
I was not aware, prior to the conference, of Bill Strickland's work or of the Manchester Bidwell Corporation and Manchester Craftsmen Guild. WOW! Strickland is among the most dynamic speakers I have ever had the privilege of hearing; furthermore, Mr. Strickland's story and accomplishments inspire me to want to do so much more professionally! He indicated that "environment drives behavior", and "the way you think about and treat people drives behavior." He stated that "if you build world-class facilities, you get world class behavior." His philosophy about environment has been put into practice and made such a difference in the lives of at-risk students in Pittsburg. His story is worth reading. I have ordered the book! The links in this paragraph lead you to video of his presentations.
The USA Arts in Education integration model (in its 5th year of funding and implementation) was presented to an audience of about 35; many have contacted me for additional information. Jeannette Fresne (Assistant Professor, music education), Linda Dean (Executive Director, Alabama Institute for Education in the Arts) and I shared our programs and facilitated interesting discussion.
Presenting with Vicky Cook (Baldwin County Fine Arts Supervisor), Ricky Trione (Blind Artist) and his wife Bonnie Trione is always a privilege. I value the friendship we are developing and am increasingly inspired by their passion for education, the arts, and LIFE! We are all very excited about fine tuning our stories and sharing our presentation with art educators from all over the world at the National Art Education Association Conference in Minneapolis this Spring. Ricky's message of perseverance, creativity, and life-long learning is an inspiration to all who attend.
As a result of the innovative work Ricky and Vicky have accomplished, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in partnership with Daimler Financial Services, selected Foley Middle School as one of only 10 schools across the country to tell their story of the arts in their community: in this case, the impact Ricky has made. Our Summit presentation on the USA/Across the Bay collaboration has been forwarded to the Kennedy Center as well. I look forward to witnessing the process as On Location: Spotlight On Your Community is produced and then shared worldwide.