TAEA Annual Fall Conference is coming.

Save the Date! 

October 26 - 28th 

Memphis College of Art and Design 

Every year, the Tennessee Art Education Association hosts the fabulous Fall Conference. In addition to earning plenty of hours to meet those professional development needs, the Fall Conference has inspiring workshops, informative super sessions, and happening entertainment. 

This year, TAEA welcomes Professor Olivia Gude as our keynote speaker. Professor Gude works with art teachers to foster the collaborative creation of new curriculum and assessment models in urban and suburban school districts, including the Chicago Public Schools, Atlanta Public Schools, Cobb County School District in Georgia, Fort Worth Independent School District, Naperville School District, New Trier High School, Tampa public schools, the Los Angeles United School District, and the Singapore Ministry of Education. She served as a member of the Visual Arts writing team for the Next Generation National Visual Arts Standards. Professor is a member of the Council for Policy Studies in Art Education and of the Educational Advisory Board of the PBS series Art 21. In 2009 the National Art Education Association awarded her the Viktor Lowenfeld Award for significant contributions to the field of art education.

Registration opens SOON! 


• Early registration: $225 

• Late registration: $250


• Early registration: $310*

• Late registration: $335

Student or Retired Member:

• Early registration: $175

• Late registration: $200

NO on-site registration

*The non-member price includes the price of a TAEA Membership ($85)....  So why not join NAEA/TAEA today and enjoy the many other benefits? Check out what you'll receive at Join YOUR Community!  Then come back and register with your new member ID number!

Registration includes ALL of the following:

• Thursday night Awards Banquet ($25 additional cost)

• Reception/Party at MCA Friday night
• Featured “Amurica Trailer” Photobooth
• Vendor provided Demos and Workshops
• Breakfast and Lunch on Friday and Saturday
• Super Session Presentations
• Hands-on Workshops by World-class Presenters
• Keynote Speaker
• Artisans Market
• Access to Vendors
• Most Studio Supplies
• Swag Bags! 


Summer PD at the Appalachian Craft Center

            Are you looking for a summer PD opportunity where you can make art alongside your students, meet amazing art teachers from all over TN, and learn new techniques from incredible skilled artists all week long? Then, you need to check out the Appalachian Center for Craft’s High School Summer Art Intensive in Smithville, TN! I went for the first time this summer and I only wish I would have went sooner! It is only for high school, but if you teach another grade level, don’t tune out just yet, just skip ahead and check out the bookmaking trick I learned that is sure clever.

            As a high school teacher, you can take two of your students to this intensive. I picked my favorites, duh! Just kidding! I chose two students who were adventurous, responsible, respectful, and hungry to learn more about art! We chose to do glass and fibers, but metals and wood were other options. We also got to take shorter night classes in blacksmithing, bookmaking, and screen printing. Most of these mediums were new to us and that’s what made it so incredible! Seeing your students take risks and get outside of their comfort zone is so rewarding and fun!

            In glass, we worked in both the hot shop and cold shop. We were all pretty nervous about handling fire, but it quickly subsided under the care and instruction of our amazing teachers! We made tons of stuff including sun catchers, pendants, paper weights, flowers, and bowls. My favorite was blowing the glass to create suck bowls. Sounds strange, but they certainly didn’t suck. My students loved it and one of them is now interested in studying glass!

            In fibers, we worked with Shibori techniques. We tried our hand at various ways of folding, scrunching, twisting, wrapping, and even hand stitching the fabric before dipping in the beautiful indigo dye. It is definitely a process you can do in your classroom and the students love the results! It really is like magic seeing the cloth transform!

            We got to attend these classes all week and as a result, made some incredible new friends from all over TN. (Shout out to the peeps from Craigmont High in Memphis who were in our group!) Each night, there was also a different class in a different medium. My favorite was bookmaking. Claudia Lee let us in on a secret she uses for punching the holes. You use a box and mark the width of one of your signatures as it is opened and held against a corner of the box. Punch the pre-marked holes with a needle tool, allowing it to poke all the way through the cardboard. As each signature is lined up with your marks on the box, you can punch the holes in the same spot by not only seeing it, but also feeling it go through the holes in the box from the previous signature. Clever, right?!

            I hope you enjoy the pictures of our experience and will check it out for yourself! Here is the link for more info. https://www.tntech.edu/craftcenter/outreach/hs-art-intensives

You and your students will have a blast and you will get in some quality PD points. Win, win! Feel free to email me any questions about this opportunity and experience at andreah2@wcs.edu. Happy summer!


Travel is Essential for Art Educators

By Janis Nunnally, TAEA President

Traveling is a passion of mine. I have just come back from a trip to England and Ireland. Last year I traveled to Munich and Bavaria, Germany and Salzburg and Vienna, Austria.  I had another trip to Barcelona and Madrid on fall break.  I have been motivated to travel to see my daughter who lives in Garmisch, Germany. For conferences, I have traveled around the United States.  These trips have taken me, for example, to New York City, Chicago, Seattle, San Diego, Santa Fe, Washington DC, Minneapolis, Atlanta, and New Orleans.   I have discovered that traveling has benefitted me professionally, as well as personally.  

Traveling gives art teachers an amazing new perspective on art, art history, and expands their world. When I come back, I am ready to share my experiences with my students, who are so excited to hear of my travels. They also start to realize that there is much more to the world than their small community.   They want to see my photos and know what it was like to be in another city or another country.

Each year the trip fills up, I take 7-8th graders to Washington DC.  Just getting to travel to their nation’s capital is almost overwhelming to the students.  They are seeing places they have learned about in school in person!!  Of course, we talk about architecture as an art form and encourage them to visit the National Gallery of Art along with the other Smithsonian Museums in our time allotted.  The student’s come back to our small town with a sense of accomplishment. They have seen things in person that they studied about. The students are excited to talk about the trip to the other students.  They feel a bit more interested in their country and the world outside of their little town.

Travel experiences open teachers and students to new possibilities, new ideas, and a foundation to try new things. I find it is an essential aspect to my approach to art education.

The Arts Make Us Strong

Written by Jody Stokes-Casey

This week the Memphis public art organization UrbanArt Commission (UAC) faced serious budget threats and potential closure from city council. While the decision is put on temporary hold, UAC’s position near the legislation/funding chopping block is alarming. It reminds us of a very real threat not only to public funded art, but also to arts education across our nation, state, and schools.


Art teachers are in a precarious position of simultaneously having to be great at our jobs – teaching art – and strong advocates for our subjects and ourselves.  As we enjoy our much needed summer vacation and begin planning for the next school year, let’s consider how we are incorporating advocacy into our practice.


TAEA is working diligently by dividing the board into sub-committees to develop position statements and seek partnerships to advocate for our members and all art teachers in Tennessee.  Our current and ongoing advocacy initiatives encourage teachers to consider participating in TAEA regional and state conferences to advocate for professional development for fine arts teachers, submitting artwork to the annual TAEA Member Art Exhibition, participating in the Sargent Art Youth Art Month Flag competition, and nominating colleagues for TAEA awards.


Americans for the Arts provides a plethora of art education advocacy tools for teachers to peruse for ideas. The Art of Ed has also compiled advocacy resources. I recently downloaded this coloring sheet to use as an advocacy activity at my school’s fine arts night.


Several members of TAEA are major advocates for art education. Check out Jackie Spaulding Wright’s “Step Up, Speak Out for Art Education” project. Cassie Stephens and Ted Edinger are two of several excellent Tennessee art educators who use social media and blogging to advocate for the arts.


Do you have an advocacy project or tool to share? Consider submitting a proposal to present a Super Session at the October 2017 TAEA State Conference in Memphis. Download the proposal form here.








3) https://www.theartofed.com/2014/03/27/10-awesome-advocacy-resources-for-art-education/


4) https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/1e/74/8f/1e748f1bdd70089c7a75406c2b82b266.jpg


5) https://cassiestephens.blogspot.com/search?q=advocacy&max-results=20&by-date=true


6) http://www.artwithmre.com/p/about-me.html


7) https://www.dropbox.com/s/j6aj5extyb2epj2/TAEA%202017%20Super%20Session%20Proposal%20Form.doc?dl=0




The ArtEffect - Art and Social Justice

Each year, I look for new social justice projects that will get my students excited about making a difference through art.  I want them to know that art can influence, speak, and move people to become better for themselves and better for each other.  For the last two years, my students have participated in an unsung heroes art project/competition that has impacted how they see the world and moved them to believing that one person can truly make a difference. This year, I am ecstatic to announce that one of my students, Molly Cahill, received the grand prize of $7,500 for her artwork celebrating unsung hero Mitsuye Endo!

This all started with my good friend and former Tennessee art educator, Brad LeDuc, who now teaches in Topeka, Kansas, when he shared with me The ArtEffect, a project/competition he initiated through the Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes. In this project, students can choose to celebrate an already discovered Unsung Hero throughout history or discover one of their own.  They spend a significant amount of time researching and immersing themselves in the chosen Unsung Hero’s story.  The invaluable information that they discover on their own inspires them to create an interpretation that celebrates the extraordinary life of the Unsung Hero.  Their artworks are supported with an artist statement where the students verbalize their process, thinking, and vision behind the artwork; a true cross-disciplinary experience! 

Part of the Lowell Milken Center arts initiative is to teach students the power they hold to creative positive change in the world.  It has truly brought excitement about learning and a sense of community and humanity into my classroom.  A free 10 step lesson plan can be downloaded to guide your instruction every step of the way.  I highly recommend participating in this experience!

The Lowell Milken Center graciously awards cash prizes totaling $13,500 to winners in this competition.  It is open to U.S. and international students in grades 6-12 and is free to enter.  Details can be found at www.lowellmilkencenter.org/arteffectproject/.

I’d love to see or hear about your results from this project!  Feel free to contact me at andreah2@wcs.edu.

Tennessee Art Education Association Annual Awards

You’ve completed all of your end-of-the-year tasks and you’re ready to start your summer break, but there’s one more thing to do . . . .  Nominate a fellow art teacher for an award!

Do you know an outstanding art teacher who is making a difference in their school and in their students’ lives?  I bet you know a few of them.

Each year, the Tennessee Art Education Association has the great pleasure of recognizing outstanding art educators from across the state, in a variety of categories.  These amazing teachers exemplify the qualities and standards of what it means to be a great art educator, going above-and-beyond for their students. 

However, to receive one of these well-deserved awards, they must be nominated, and that’s where you come in!  These outstanding teachers need YOU to nominate them so that TAEA can give them the recognition that they deserve. 

Please consider nominating one or more of your peers, mentors, or mentees by sending in your nominations by July 10, 2017 to TAEA Awards Chair – Kathy Dumlao, kathy.dumlao@brooksmuseum.org.

To nominate a great art educator for an award, please submit:

1)         A nomination letter, explaining why this person is a good candidate for an award.  Please keep in mind that this letter and the accompanying nomination form are what we use to write a description of your nominee.  So please be sure to include as much detail as possible so that the write-up can properly reflect how terrific your nominee is!

2)        The NAEA Nomination Form and Vita for the nominee.*

To download the Nomination form and Vita form, please visit


The Vita form is where you list all the amazing things that this teacher has done.

You can ask your nominee to send you their resume, or you can ask them to fill out this

part on their own.

3)        A digital photo of the nominee

A high-resolution  jpeg is preferred because if your nominee wins, we’ll use this photo in the

awards program booklet.


*Nominees must be a member of TAEA.


Categories for nomination are:

Tennessee Art Educator of the Year

West Region Art Educator of the Year

Middle Region Art Educator of the Year

East Region Art Educator of the Year

Elementary Art Educator of the Year

Middle Level Art Educator of the Year

Secondary Art Educator of the Year

Higher Education Art Educator of the Year

Supervision Art Educator of the Year

Administration Art Educator of the Year

Museum Art Educator of the Year

Special Needs Art Educator of the Year

First Year Educator of the Year

Retired Art Educator of the Year

National Art Honor Society Sponsor of the Year

Student Chapter Sponsor of the Year

Higher Education Student Achievement Award

Distinguished Service within the Profession

Rising Stars Secondary Recognition Program

Friend of TAEA (only award available to non-members)


We Want Your Proposals

This year the Tennessee Art Education Association is requesting proposals for presentations at its annual conference from Pre-K-16 art educators, pre-service teachers, museum educators and the academic and administrative communities.  Super Sessions presentations should address one of the four areas of TAEA’s mission:  learning, community, advocacy, and research and learning, in addition to connecting directly to the conference theme, “Every Artist Tells a Story.” The conference is designed to present outstanding teaching models and provide an opportunity to learn new skills, to renew the attendee’s personal love of the arts through networking, creating works of art, and learning new teaching strategies. Presentations and hands-on workshops will focus on interdisciplinary curriculum development, innovative instructional strategies, arts assessment, arts advocacy, and arts integration. Museum and cultural institutions will be asked to present arts integrated lessons that address core academic subjects and the arts.

If you are a current member of TAEA and would like to present a 50-minute session addressing one of the above areas, now is your chance during the 2017 TAEA State Conference at Memphis College of Art in Memphis, October 26th-28th, 2017.  The Super Sessions will be held on either October the 27th or 28th.   

Submission details are on the Proposal Form. 

Education Policy: Not at all like creating art, or is it?

During the 2016-17 session, the Tennessee legislature is working through 150 separate bills concerning changes to education. To make sense of where they are in the process, it might help to envision the creation of 150 separate paintings for an exhibition. Four of the paintings are already completed, signed by the governor, and are hanging on the wall, six of them have been approved by the house and senate and are awaiting signature, about 70 of them did not pass approval, and about 60 of them are still under revision. One of the bills currently under revision will impact art educators. Let’s give it a working title of “teacher accountability”. Teacher accountability is the reason we have observations, growth measures, and achievement scores, and the state is looking to make changes to what teacher accountability looks like.


Under current law, (Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 49-1-302) the State Board of Education is assigned the responsibility of creating policy to support teacher evaluation. Therefore, teacher accountability is governed first by law and then by policy. There is a current proposal to amend the law so that it reads: (viii) By the 2018-2019 school year, in order to provide individual growth scores to teachers in non-tested grades and subjects, LEAs shall use at least one (1) appropriate alternative growth model that has been approved by the state board of education. (ix) The department of education shall work to develop valid and reliable alternative student growth models for the grade levels and subjects that do not have models as of the effective date of this act. SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law, the public welfare requiring it. This has already passed in the House and is waiting to be heard in the Senate.


This is one place where teacher voice is important. The Tennessee Department of Education is also invested in teacher accountability and has convened an Educator Effectiveness Advisory Committee. This committee was tasked with examining current evaluation policies and practices and making improvements within the guidelines of law and policy.  Thanks to everyone who responded to the Educator Effectiveness Survey, the TDOE has heard critiques from art educators about what we would like to see the teacher accountability “painting” look like. Based on the responses to the survey, teachers requested refining evaluation practices in three main areas: teacher ownership of the process, accurate feedback (portfolio and observations), and allowing differentiated evaluation criteria. The results from the survey were sent Tuesday to the TDOE already responded that they appreciated the feedback very much and would use it to inform their plans for the TEAM evaluator training this summer. 


While it is not certain what changes will be made, changes are coming. Let’s continue the conversation about how to design a teacher accountability model that empowers us to be more effective educators. The “teacher accountability painting” will likely be turned into signed and numbered prints that will hang in all of our classrooms. Let’s do everything we can to make sure it inspires us.