2020 TAEA Awardees

By Melody Weintraub, TAEA President Elect


Congratulations to our 2020 Tennessee Art Education Association Awardees! The review committee had a difficult time with the decisions this year due to multiple nominations of highly qualified recipients in several of the categories. However, this year, we designed a rubric that was posted with the nomination information to aid not only the nominators in providing the information needed, but it also helped the reviewers make more objective decisions.

As always, it is an honor to even be nominated by a colleague for an award, so please do not hesitate nominating someone you believe should be recognized as soon as this information rolls out again next Spring.

The Clay Lady Campus will host a reception for the 2020 Awardees on October 24 at 6:30. Tickets are $15 each. Awardees are free. Each recipient will be recognized with a beautiful plaque. They will also be recognized during the conference on Friday.

This year we will also have a fundraiser during the event to help support a scholarship for Pre-Service Art Teachers. Our plan is to sell items made by students. Last year, we sold clay cottage luminaries and raised $540 for the hurricane relief effort in North Carolina for art teachers who lost supplies. I was able to meet one of the teachers who benefitted from our donation. It was a such a rewarding experience. Our donation was also featured in the NAEA Advisory Newsletter under the Southeastern Region Report.

Hope to see you at the awards reception and conference. Be sure to congratulate the following:

2020 TAEA Awardees

Tennessee Art Educator of the Year………………………….        Carol Eckert

West Region Art Educator of the Year……………………….       Melanie Anderson

Middle Region Art Educator of the Year………………………     Terri Barton

East Region Art Educator of the Year………………………….      Paige Burchell

Elementary Art Educator of the Year……………………………     Cheryl Burchett

Middle Level Art Educator of the Year………………………….    Gulcan Demirtas

Secondary Art Educator of the Year………………………………   Heather McHugh

Supervision/Administration Art Educator of the Year……   Allison Ross

Museum Art Educator of the Year…………………………………   Kate Renner

First Year Art Educator of the Year…………………………………  Brendalynn Triplett

National Art Honor Society Sponsor of the Year…………….   Cheri Jorgenson

Higher Education Student Achievement Award………………  Reese Kougher

Friend of TAEA……………………………………………………………….. Danielle McDaniel/The Clay Lady


Hands On Clay

TAEA Middle Region 2019 Summer Conference Wrap-Up

By Michelle Vinci—TAEA Middle Region Chair


On June 18, art educators from all over the state of Tennessee came to the Middle Region for our annual Summer Conference. This time it was held at the Clay Lady’s Studio in Nashville where we learned “Advancing Your Clay Curriculum” and “Printmaking in Clay.” 

The day began with a light breakfast and coffee as well as a Keynote with Danielle McDaniel—well known as the Clay Lady. With the title “Wonderful World of Ceramics” Danielle (also proprietor of the Studio and MId-South Ceramics) led us in understanding more about various clay methods offered at the Studio as well as some of the scientific processes in creating clay and glazes. 

We began workshops where Danielle shared how to Advance Our Clay Curriculum. She taught several methods and projects that can be adapted to various levels: Elementary, Middle and High School. We all had fun experimenting with problem solving, textures and glazing. In the other workshop, Lyndy Rutledge shared at least 10 different methods of Printmaking in Clay and print transfer.  This was very insightful as there were methods that involved layering techniques and thinking through this was wonderfully creative.  All participants rotated to both workshops one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. Everyone walked away with at least 4 clay projects and lots and lots of new ideas!!

Lunch provided a great time for Janis Nunnally—past president and Melody Weintraub—president elect, to share about our State Conference: October 24-26 at Watkins College of Art in Nashville and how to nominate great art educators for this year’s TAEA Awards.

Participants all received swag in their conference bags and prizes in the drawing due to generous donations from the following:  Jerry’s Artarama, Plaza Artist Materials, Staples of Bellevue, Frist Art Museum, Cheekwood Estate and Gardens, Trades of Hope Artisans (Gretchen Shea), and Clay Lady’s Studio.

Past-President's Thoughts....

What a great time to be in TAEA!  


Last November, 2018,  TAEA had the state conference at Arrowmont in Gatlinburg.  I was the TAEA Conference Chair, and this was my first conference. I was so happy that the conference was so well received and all participants left with many ideas and memories to bring back to the classroom, museum, district, etc.  It was a wonderful weekend, with Cindy Foley, of the Columbus Museum of Art, as our keynote speaker! Such a great message on the importance of creativity and thinking like an artist.  Keeping ideas generating, not just the art. Become visible and share how you can benefit the entire population at your school.   We also were graced with the now current, then President-Elect of NAEA, Thomas Knab, who spoke to us on Friday morning in our keynote time. We honored some well deserving art educators on Thursday night with a banquet and awards presentation.  It is such a great experience to receive an award from your peers!  


We had 9 workshop artists who joined us in our experience, with workshops including encaustic, woodworking, clay, oil painting, printmaking/design, mixed media collage, Day of the Dead workshops, Fibers, metal.  We had Supersessions that were led by TAEA members on a variety of relevant themes. We had “Artivism” Keynote session on Saturday that covered advocacy opportunities and what to say when advocating. TAEA Policy Statements were discussed in another session, and one dealt with the strategic planning of our organization.


Oh, yeah, did I mention it was at Arrowmont??  Which, of course, meant great food at the dining hall and wonderful ambiance!!  And we had Kris Bakke from Nasco who made it so much fun during our reception on Friday night. None of this happened by itself and I did not do it alone.  I had a Conference committee, which including non-board TAEA members and well as other TAEA board members. And we did look at the Evaluation forms and have made adjustments as needed! I had some wonderful angels help me clean up at the end of conference!


Now it is time for the next conference, the TAEA State Professional Development Conference   Is heading to Watkins College of Art in Nashville, TN on October 24-26, 2019!!  Great central location for the whole state. Included in your conference fee on Friday, will be keynote speaker, Sanford Greene, Marvel Artist, Higher Educator, and author of own series of graphic novels.  Continental breakfast and boxed lunch will be included in your conference fee. You can also choose one workshop a day from a variety of workshops using a variety of medias. If you can only come Friday or only Saturday, we have one day workshops available to choose from for that one day. If you are coming for both days, you will have a choice of 2-one day workshops or a 2-day workshop.  We will have Supersessions lead by TAEA members on Friday, and keynote sessions on Saturday, for important information on TAEA and State of Tennessee. A Friday night reception with food and hands on art, along with an Artisan’s Market!! Saturday will also include our members meeting.  And, of course, a swag bag and door prizes will be given out all through the event!


Workshops will include Dr. David Meade with fibers, Paul deNarrass with his fabulous oil sticks, Judy Klich with encaustic, Danielle McDaniel with clay, hands on and information on the science of clay, Melody Weintraub with altered books, Wayne Brezinka with mixed media, and Sanford Greene will do a one-day workshop on Friday. We are adding more to this list soon!!


We always need volunteers to help put on this event.  Please email me at nunnallyj@pcsstn.comto let me know you want to help us during the conference. We can use help at registration table, helping out the workshop artists-which you could do in your own workshop, picking up water, reception set up, lunch set up, etc, etc.  We will have an artisan’s market, so start gathering your art to sell during the Friday night reception!  There will be a nominal fee per table, so look for the sign-up information.


Keep watching the website and look for TAEA emails and social media posts for more information on your TAEA State Professional Development Conference.  I am so happy to have this experience of coordinating the conference one more time!  


Janis Stivers Nunnally

TAEA Past President

Conference Chair


Support and Love in the Related Arts

By: Alexis Hamnett

…when you find that group of peers that defines support and love, hold on to it.

The same wonderful woman has either been across the hall or next door to me since I started teaching 15 years ago.  She is our school’s music teacher, and the Ying to my Yang. That’s 15 years of listening to Hot Cross Buns during recorder practice, and 15 years of Christmas carol practices that begin in September!   

In spite of such “torture”,  I would do anything for this woman; she is the one who is there for all of my moments.  My laughter, my tears, my stories of the ridiculous and the profound have all made their way to the rocking chair in her room.  We have covered for each other, happily trying to figure out how to teach combined classes when personal emergencies arise. She and I regularly make fools of ourselves together in costume and in song for the enjoyment of our elementary students, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Our Related Arts team is close and, while we are so all so profoundly different in philosophy, temperament, and teaching styles, our respect for each other triumphs everyday.

There are others, others equally as important, in my school building too.   Those that are sounding boards, confidants, each the others substitute teachers.  We are available to give 5 minutes, or the extra 5 cents, that one may need to buy a chocolate bar at the end of an especially crazy day.  Our Related Arts team is close and, while we are so all so profoundly different in philosophy, temperament, and teaching styles, our respect for each other triumphs everyday.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that when you find that group of peers that defines support and love, hold on to it.  Our job as teachers has us heading down wild roads everyday. Recognize when you have something special, and return the love to those around you who are willing to help you navigate it safely.

YAM Flag Winners!

2019 TN YAM Flag Design Contest Results

Thank you to all who participated in the TN Youth Art Month Flag Design Contest!  We had so many great entries.  Here are the results of the 2019 contest.  Sincere thanks go out to the members of the Fairfield Glade Art Guild for being our judges.  They are all enthusiastic artists in their own right. All participant names and schools were hidden during the judging of the flags.  And a big thanks to Sargent Art for all of the great prizes!!  Winners will receive information about their prizes soon.

Grand Prize Winner:

Kassidy Gray 11th Grade L&N STEM Academy, Knoxville Cheri Jorgenson

Kassidy’s flag design will be used for the TN flag at the 2019 NAEA Convention in NYC!  She will also receive $1000 in cash from Sargent Art.  Her teacher will receive $1500 worth of art supplies from Sargent as well to use in her classroom.

Elementary Level Winners

1st Place winner receives $100 in art supplies from Sargent, and their teacher receives $300 worth of art supplies from Sargent!

1st Place John Wilson 4th Donelson Elem, Arlington Natalie Morgan

2nd Place Ocean Thatcher 2nd Joseph Rogers Primary, Rogersville Dr. David Meade

3rd Place Jaxon Wooton 5th North Comberland Elem, Crossville Tristessa Howard

Middle Level Winners

1st Place winner receives $100 in art supplies from Sargent, and their teacher receives $300 worth of art supplies from Sargent!

1st Brenner Olson 7th Houston Middle School, Germantown Hanna Wroblewski

2nd Madelyn Myhre 8th Upperman Middle School, Baxter Janis Nunnally

3rd Lily Cheree Hamlet 8th Upperman Middle School, Baxter Janis Nunnally

High School Winners

1st Place winner receives $100 in art supplies from Sargent, and their teacher receives $300 worth of art supplies from Sargent!

1st Paige McConnell 11th Cumberland County High School Ginger Slate

2nd Ashley Burke 11th Cumberland County High School Ginger Slate

3rd Cassandra Housley 12th Dayton City School, Dayton Nela Swiney

HM Ian Rainey 11th L&N STEM Academy, Knoxville Cheri Jorgenson

West TN Art Teacher Forum

By Melody Weintraub 

Recently a group of West Tennessee art teachers decided to create a professional development day geared for Middle and High School Art Teachers interested in increasing the skills and engagement of their students. Melanie Trout Anderson, Carrol Harding McTyre, and Leanne Wilson of Arlington High School and Jenna Fergus of Briarcrest approached TAEA President Kathy Dumlao with the idea and what transpired in late January was the West Tennessee Art Teacher Forum hosted by Arlington High School and planned and presented by these dynamic award-winning art teachers. I attended this fun and meaningful event along with several TAEA members from our region. I have already been applying what I learned in my classroom! 

I have already been applying what I learned in my classroom! 

After a welcome by Jenna Fergus, we rotated to Leanne Wilson’s classroom for a monoprint workshop. As we enjoyed art making with collograph-type printing, we also enjoyed sharing ideas with one another. Leanne’s use of recycled and repurposed materials gave us all many practical take-aways. 

Next, we moved to Melanie Anderson’s classroom for a workshop in painting still-life on gessoed posterboard. Melanie’s experience as a working artist and classroom teacher inspired us all. 

Carrol McTyre lead the next workshop, sharing her Sketchbook “Starters and Finishers.” Carrol also shared slides of how her students had applied these sketchbook prompts. We were then given time to “play” in our own sketchbooks applying some of her awesome suggestions. 

Jenna Fergus wrapped up our time together by sharing how she develops her students’ writing and critique skills through her CRIT method. She also shared how her AP student’s writing advanced as a result of learning to Describe, Analyze, Interpret and Judge not only famous works of art, but their own work as well. 

We all left the event recharged, refreshed and ready to see this event repeated!  

Youth Art Month Contest Announced!

We can all see the Winter Break Lights just around the corner…. We are almost there!


While you are dreaming of relaxing hot chocolate by the fireplace with your favorite Christmas music playing, TAEA is getting ready for Youth Art Month!

But wait, isn’t YAM in March? You’re right! But submission time is fast approaching!

This year’s YAM Flag Contest theme is “ Your Art, Your Story.” You’ll notice a new Youth Art Month Logo and a new entry form, all available on our website!

Mail entries to arrive no later than Jan.18,2019 to:

Ginger Slate
c/o CCHS
660 Stanley St
Crossville, TN 385555

Or email in .pdf format to slateg1@ccschools.k12tn.net

The winning student will win $1000 cash prize and the winning teacher will win $1500 in Art supplies from Sargent Art. Winners in each category (Elementary, Middle, and High School) will also win prizes, including $100 cash prize for the student and $300 in supplies from Sargent Art for the teacher.

We can’t wait to see your wonderful entries!


Fall Conference Wrap-Up


By Melody Weintraub

Our members always love to return to the mountains of Gatlinburg for our TAEA Fall Conference every third year. This year we met November 1-3, our theme was, “Celebrating Community Through Art.” Expectations are always high as we settle into the coziness of Arrowmont to learn, to make and to fellowship with one another. This year was no exception. Janis Nunnally and her Conference Planning Committee worked tirelessly to make this conference a meaningful experience for everyone! 

As we approached the grounds the leaves were ready to dazzle us with colors that made cadmiums blush and each day we were there, they continued to change and become even more brilliant.  

Some of us arrived early on Thursday for the Board Meeting which met in the Common Room at the Staff House. Following our Board Meeting we gathered in the dining hall for our 2019 TAEA Awards Dinner. Our guests at the Awards Dinner included not only our awardees, but also NAEA President-Elect Thomas Knab and SchoolArts Magazine Editor, Nancy Walkup. The tables were decorated with 25 luminaries called, “Clay Cottages of Hope.” These cottages were made by Melody Weintraub’s students at Briarcrest in Eads, TN and sold at the conference to raise money for the hurricane relief effort in North Carolina. The houses sold out at $20 each during the conference. Including a donation, we raised $540 for our fellow art teachers in North Carolina to rebuild their supplies! 

Those who received this year’s awards included the following: 

Rachel Motta  

2019 TAEA Elementary Art Educator of the Year 

Michelle Vinci  

2019 TAEA Middle Level Art Educator of the Year 

Andrea Howard  

2019 TAEA Secondary Art Educator of the Year 

Cathy Wilson  

2019 TAEA Higher Education Art Educator of the Year 

Christan Allen  

2019 TAEA Museum Art Educator of the Year 

Kelly Hatton 

2019 TAEA Administration Art Educator of the Year  

Beth Affolter  

2019 TAEA National Art Honor Society Sponsor of the Year 

Donna Anderson 

2019 TAEA Distinguished Service within the Profession Award  

Nancy Walkup  

2019 Friend of TAEA 

Phyllis Ball  

2019 TAEA East Region Art Educator of the Year 

Amanda Galbraith 

2019 Tennessee Art Educator of the Year 


Our conference began Friday morning with another recognition of our awardees at our general session meeting led by Janis Nunnally. Our first keynote was given by NAEA President-Elect, Thomas Knab shared a bit of his personal art journey and then used the acronym and metaphor of W.A.T.E.R. to remind us of the importance of our roles as Writer, Artist, Teacher, Enthusiast and Researcher. We left his keynote inspired as we headed for an expo of Super Sessions. Thanks to the organizing efforts of Carol Eckert, we had a plethora of sessions ranging from advocacy to classroom and curriculum management, community-based class projects to a crash course on the new standards and more! Then after a second round of super Super Sessions, we gathered in the dining hall for another delicious meal and lots of conversation! After lunch, we had Divisional Meetings. Then another round of Super Sessions before we headed to our amazing Hands-On Studio Workshops which included Printmaking with Bryan Baker, Oil Painting with Lisa Line, Woodwork with Heather Askwork and Clay Pottery with Rebecca Buglio. One Day Workshops included Grace Eckert who taught a Fibers Workshop, and Nancy Walkup shared a Lesson on Day of the Dead. Whew! Dinner followed our workshops and then we had a chance to change into our ‘80’s gear for a fun party planned by Dr. David Meade! The opening night party included over 5 Make-and-Take Demos to choose from, delicious munchies and our some of our incredibly talented artisan members set up shop with everything from beautiful jewelry to hand-woven scarves. 

Saturday morning began with a powerful keynote by Columbus Museum of Art’s, Cindy Foley, who encouraged us to become the center of creative thinking in our schools. Afterwards we had the opportunity to participate in an Artivism Keynote divided into three sessions. Following lunch we reconvened for our Member’s Meeting, led by our President Kathy Dumlao. The meeting ended with amazing door prizes gathered by our amazing Vendor’s Chair, Rozz Martin! 

The conference ended with our final session of studio workshops. We all left loaded down with swag from vendors, knew knowledge for best practices, new skills and an art bag of new memories having celebrated community through art!