Sunday, July 20, 2014

What the Art Teacher Wore #106 During the Craziest Summer Week Everrrr

Just Another Manic Monday: But it was a good kind of manic, if you know what I mean. Arts Academy was in the morning and it was fantastical. That evening, I was reunited with a buddy of mine that I'd not seen in seven years -- not since we attended the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program (I'm thinking they need to shorten that. That's more than a mouthful of sushi right there). We spent hours catching up over plates of sushi and just having the best of time.
hair clip: made by me; felted ballz necklace: The Paper Source; Jackson Pollock-y dress: made by me, DIY here; sandals: Target
 Well, hello there friends, old and new! I come to you thoroughly exhausted and yet somehow extremely energized thanks to some "ridiculously relevant professional development" (has Jessica of AOE gotten that trademarked yet, cuz she needs to!) and to my annual week-long gig as a facilitator (read: errand-runner) at the Tennessee Arts Academy. Y'all, this week was so thrillingly exhausting that I collapsed on the couch at 5pm on Friday only to awake hours later to find myself still wearing my Crayon shoes and contacts. And the only reason I was roused was cuz of an obese kitty sitting on my chest demanding a lil dinner. Me-oooowwww, kitty!

Did y'all attend the aforementioned ridiculously relevant AOE online conference? Because I was also attending (and teaching a mini-course in weaving!) the Arts Academy, I could only attend the AOE conference during my presentation to answer questions. I'm slowly making my way through the presentations and loving them all. So many great ideas and just in the nick of time as we start back to school in a matter of (gulp!) weeks. 

Now some of y'all might be scratching your noggin, wondering "what in the world is Tennessee Arts Academy?" Well, lemme first of all tell ya that it's not just of us Tennesseans. In fact, a buddy of mine came all the way from Seattle (hi, Julie!) to attend. Because it's really that amazing, y'all. It's a week of art-making, performance-attending, Ted Talk-esque lecturing and, my personal favorite, eating. Lots of eating. I'll be sharing an official blog post about the event with y'all later this week but for now, I've sprinkled a bit throughout this post. Enjoy and I'll be back Monday so we can chat Artsy Book Club!
 Okay, y'all. I apologize if you are viewing this here image bright and early in the morning as this sight will give you a jolt stronger than a cuppa coffee. Lemme give you the story behind the Behind: on Sunday evening, the Tennessee Arts Academy had a fancy opening reception with a performance, hors d'oeuvres and a run down of the week. The Academy has a photographer who documents the week and posts photos on Facebook. I had no idea this photo was even taken until a coupla buddies told me they had seen it on FB (one telling me she knew it was me because of my "grandma purse" and my "Mr. T in my Pocket" keychain, ha!). I thought it was quite hilarious until the fancy banquet that was held Wednesday night. At the banquet, they have two huge movie screens where a slideshow of images is shown. Whilst enjoying my lobster (yes, the Academy feeds you LOBSTER, y'all!), I hear someone say, "Cassie, your butt!" only to look up and find THIS IMAGE on two large movie screens. Yeah, always keepin' it classy.
 Soup-er Tuesday: Usually the week of the Academy is unbearably hot, being in the middle of July in Tennessee. Howevers, on Tuesday, some much needed rainy weather rolled in and brought glorious lower temps with it. I decided it was a soup-er day for some, well, soup. necklace and black t-shirt: Target; shoes: the perfect shoe for a rainy day that includes walking across a college campus, Crocs; Campbell's Soup Dress: DIY, made by me after Andy Warhol
 On Monday and Tuesday of the Academy, I took a clay class with the awesome art educator and clay artist Gus Miranda. He and his talented and hilarious wife Miranda own a clay studio in Miami, Florida where they teach classes when they aren't at their art educating day jobs. More details on this project soon...I can't wait to share it with you, it was so much fun! 
 Screamin' Wednesday: During the Arts Academy, they offer short classes called "interludes". Me and several other art educators taught these 50 minute classes and it was so much fun albeit intimidating. It's always a little spooky being a teacher teaching teachers (say that 10 times fast!). The Scream Dress: made by me, DIY here.
 I had a great group of art teachers show up ready to weave. Over the course of two sessions, they created a woven pouch, sewed on a button and created/attached a cord. For a complete set of those directions, you can visit here
 Y'all might remember my art teacher buddy Stephanie on the left, she was my Pee-wee Baby Shower co-host! AND, you recall I mentioned someone coming all the way from Seattle? That's Julie there in the middle, all lemon-y fresh. You can find details of my Starry Night dress here, if you wanna.
 Still Standing Thursday: The AOE Conference was on this day and I had to be available to field questions about my short session. That was really tough, ya'll. Answering questions about my kinda-sorta controversial prezzie (I chatted for 14 minutes about why I don't believe in having the kids work with technology in MY art room) was difficult especially when some of the questions weren't always friendly. Turns out saying, "because I'm right and you're wrong!" isn't the way to go. I shoulda known, that line doesn't work on el hubbo either. sweater: thrifted; palette pin: gift from a friend, thanks, Paul!; shoes: Shoe Carnival; Great Wave Dress: made by me, deets here
 You wanna know what's worse than sticking sharp sticks under your fingernails? Listening to your own presentation. That's what.
 Last Day of the Academy Friday: I'm, like, literally asleep here, kids. By the way, it's funny the different kind of responses one gets when wearing a get-up like this. At the Arts Academy, among art teachers, it's great! Take one step inside that hipster coffee shop and they're all "OMGaahhhh, is the circus in town?!" crayon clip: made by me; necklace: the Paper Source; crayon dress: made by me, details here; crayon shoes: made by me, details here
 After the Academy ended Friday afternoon, I decided, in my delirious state of exhaustion to go to SMART!, Scrap Made ART Supplies in the Berry Hill area of Nashville. You guys, this place is AMAZING! Here's what they state on their website: "SmART! Supplies is a repurposed art supply store where artists, school teachers, craftspeople, seamstresses and anyone in between can purchase unique, recycled items for any arts and crafts project. Along with providing a cool new art store for Nashville, SmART! will benefit Progress Inc.'s mission of giving people with intellectual disabilities meaningful employment opportunities." 
And here's just a small peak inside. The place hosts two rooms full of INSANELY ORGANIZED boxes of popsicle sticks, bottle caps, fabric, patterns (sewers, this really is the place for you!), cigar boxes, yarn, stamps, stamp pads -- y'all, if you need it, this place has it! I've been there twice now (in three days) and have walked out with armfuls of goodies under $15. In the future SmART! plans to hold art classes and provide gallery space. 

And that's all, folks! Be back attcha soon. Til then, enjoy the rest of your weekend, kids!


  1. I LOVED your presentation at the AOE conference! It was humorous and informative with a fresh perspective. The person that can't take-in someone else's opinions, suggestions and/or experiences is someone who is insecure in their own methods and abilities. Don't mind the haters.

  2. As you know, I didn't attend the conference and therefore, sadly, didn't get to see your presentation (I'd love to see it, but I'm assuming you're not allowed to share it with non-attendees like moi), but you know where I stand on the topic anyhow! While it's perfectly OK to disagree, I think it is sad to hear that that there were people who weren't nice about it. What you are doing is right for you, right for me, and right for a lot of others if only they'd step back and realize where we are headed if we don't preserve those things that make art rooms the place that every kid wants to be! (Did that sentence make sense, or did I run on too long?) Anyhow, long live hands-on art education!!

  3. I'm exhausted just reading about your week! Sorry to hear you had some not so friendly attendees at your session... I'm sure all the receptive, creative individuals made up for it! I do not have the kids use technology in any way in the art room... it's the art room, not the technology lab... I know that there is a big push for the kids to be using IPads but I just don't have time to be running my classes down to the IPad room when we only have 30 minutes for studio art... when the kids start coming with their own IPads to art class then that's something different and i would find a way to utilize them ( Google apps, record artist statments etc...) I know there are people who will totally disagree with me on this one but, I really don't like using my IPad... (there I said it!) I would say I mostly use it to take pictures. I have tried different art apps but I prefer to draw, paint by hand... I like to get my hands dirty and dig into what I'm doing, and I want my students to experience art that way also...I can't do that with an IPad... ( sorry all of you that love your IPads! I respect that but, they're not my cup of tea!) :)

  4. Oh my gosh, your week, you are so busy, but so busy with such good stuff. Loved hearing from you at the Conference! I am also so inspired to sew some skirts this summer for this coming school year!!!

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  6. Yo Cassie "baby got back" Stephens! It was a magical week at the TAA! Your weaving interlude was dreamy (dream weaver- get it? )! Love how you present really relevant and useful information with charm and humor. I might even be inclined to join the Artsy Book Club! Thank you again for keeping it real and inspiring all of us art teachers from coast to coast!

  7. Oh my gosh !! There was a place like this in Michigan and I have missed it so much ! Used to get all sorts of things there ! Thanks for posting this !


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