Blogs Field Guide Contest

Asking Art: Global Change

Every four years, the September energy of a new school year coincides with political intensity leading up to national elections. Influenced by this moment and last night’s opening of The Living Years, we’re drumming up conversation about art and global change. Educators—we’re inviting you to share your insights into this topic by mining ArtsConnectEd. Through […]

Every four years, the September energy of a new school year coincides with political intensity leading up to national elections. Influenced by this moment and last night’s opening of The Living Years, we’re drumming up conversation about art and global change. Educators—we’re inviting you to share your insights into this topic by mining ArtsConnectEd.

Through the month of September, educators participating in Asking Art (details here) will receive one complimentary gallery pass for two adults. To participate, begin at ArtsConnectEd’s Art Finder. Ponder these questions from any angle—economic, political, environmental, societal, informational, technological, etc.:

When you think of global change, what artwork comes to mind?

How are artists making art that investigates our complex world and offers ways to reflect on globalism?

We believe that exercises such as this “asking art” prompt can help us as educators teach a generation of informed global citizens. Educators, join us in this conversational exploration.

The 40th Sleep Position: WE HAVE A WINNER

June 4th marked an explosion of arts activity in the Twin Cities—the eve of the all-night, city-wide nuit blanche Northern Spark festival. At least one invention came out of the spectacular event—a 40th Sleep Position. As part of Nightshift, the Walker Art Center’s contribution to Northern Spark, we partnered with McSweeney’s Publications, author Evany Thomas, […]

June 4th marked an explosion of arts activity in the Twin Cities—the eve of the all-night, city-wide nuit blanche Northern Spark festival.

At least one invention came out of the spectacular event—a 40th Sleep Position.

As part of Nightshift, the Walker Art Center’s contribution to Northern Spark, we partnered with McSweeney’s Publications, author Evany Thomas, and artist Amelia Bauer to bring to life their book, The Secret Language of Sleep: A Couple’s Guide to Thirty-Nine Positions.

Many of the 4,500 people who came through the Walker between 9pm – 6am on June 4 tried on some of the positions printed as larger-than-life illustrations. They also had a chance to enter into a contest for a 40th Sleep Position. Some highlights from the night include the Supported Dreamer (most acrobatic), Bow and Arrow (sleeping grace), Gordian Knot (conceptual star), and Dominating Bear (as slapstick as a sleeping position can come). See more of the positions here, http://www.flickr.com/groups/1662795@N24/

From an array of these and other ingenious positions, Amelia Bauer and Evany Thomas have selected the “T-Square” as their winner—a pose developed by sisters Jenny Immich and Rebecca Immich Sullivan.

Jenny, a PhD candidate in Anthropology at the University of Minnesota, enjoys hedgehogs, medieval archaeology, Lady Gaga, and Russian literature. Rebecca, currently pursuing a Masters in Divinity at Luther Seminary, enjoys running and watching TV show marathons. The “T-Square” is, in fact, a position employed by Jenny when she has the urge to sleep in an “L” (which happens often).

Amelia and Evany both leaned immediately towards the T-Square. Why? Amelia explains: “Perhaps it is because I was raised by an architect father that I first fell for the T-Square. It s a simple but perfect pose. One body shapes itself into what actually appears to be a cozy position, and uses the other body to align itself. It’s something of an odd-couple’s pose. There’s a “straight man” in this story, paired with an odd-ball. And yet, look how perfectly they fit together! I’m going to try out the T-Square will napping on a square-shaped pic-nic blanket in the grass.”

Evany says: “Although it’s too early to draw any official conclusions, preliminary sciencing seems to indicate that the T-Square is in fact the long-sought-after daytime pose, the true oasis of stolen afternoons and gray Sundays. Amelia and I must conduct our own field studies and data-crunches before we can confirm these early findings, but we expect to have a fully ratified classification to share within the next week or so — clear your calendars!”

We urge you to try to T-Square for yourselves, and stay posted for Amelia and Evany’s write-up and illustration for this winning pose.

ArtsConnectEd + iPads = win-win for teachers

It was a win-win situation for Therese Cacek, the winner of the first ArtsConnectEd iPad Challenge. She had been trying to come up with a lesson that would inspire her 6th grade art students at Holdingford Elementary, a little less than 2-hour’s drive northeast of Minneapolis, to use the ArtsConnectEd website as part of an […]

It was a win-win situation for Therese Cacek, the winner of the first ArtsConnectEd iPad Challenge. She had been trying to come up with a lesson that would inspire her 6th grade art students at Holdingford Elementary, a little less than 2-hour’s drive northeast of Minneapolis, to use the ArtsConnectEd website as part of an assignment to learn to use Photoshop Elements.

“In past years I had taken the students to the ArtsConnectEd site and encouraged them to find an image that they could manipulate and then digitally put something about themselves into the artwork. One frustration was that the students did not seem to ‘look deeper’ into the website. … That’s when I saw the ‘iPad Challenge’ with the direction to create a set as an introduction to the museums. It was a perfect. It was exactly what I wanted the students to do—become familiar with the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and Walker Art Center as museums and then compare and make choices about the works. The creation of the art set worked as a perfect teaching tool to guide my students into deeper consideration of a choice for their digital manipulation project.”

The possibility of winning an iPad was interesting to Cacek as well because of her growing passion for bringing technology into her art classroom. She muses,

“Technology has added a whole new dimension to teaching in the art room. Like paint, clay or pastels, technology also offers another avenue of creative expression. Today students are less intimidated and more willing to experiment with computer software used to create and manipulate digital imagery. The emergence of YouTube brings a keen awareness to the need to teach and understand media’s power and influence. Technology is exciting. It challenges and is continually changing.”

You can view Therese’s winning Set “Minnesota Museums Tour” on ArtsConnectEd.

While you are at it, take a look at the honorable mention Set “Photograms: A Cameraless Image” by Edina High School photography teacher Kim Raskin.

With ArtsConnectEd, users can not only access over 20,000 works of art and resources from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Walker, they can use the materials they find to build customized Art Collector Sets, save them, and share their work with others. Building an Art Collector Set is fun, but it is also a perfect lesson planning tool for teachers. The iPad Challenges are incentives for teachers and other users to produce outstanding Sets and share them with all ArtsConnectEd users.

iPad Challenge #2!
The next round of the
ArtsConnectEd iPad Challenge is underway. Any K–12 teacher, active substitute teacher, home school educator, teaching artist, student teacher, and college education major is eligible to win an iPad. Just submit an original Art Collector Set that is relevant to a lesson plan by midnight January 7, 2011.

You could be the next ArtsConnectEd iPad Challenge winner!

ArtsConnectEd iPad Challenge #1 winners Therese Cacek (center) and Kim Raskin (right) with Susan Rotilie at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts Educators’ Evening October 21, 2010.