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

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!

Conference Agenda

Have you been wondering what the agenda is for the Conference? Well, here you go…

Thursday, November 1

3:00–6:00                    TAEA Board Meeting- Arrowmont in Staff House common room

4:30-6:30                     Early Registration and Check-in-Dining HALL

7:00–9:00 pm              Awards Dinner – Arrowmont Dining Hall (Separate ticket)


Friday, November 2

7:30 -8:20                    Breakfast in Dining Hall

7:30–8:30                    Registration in Main Building Lobby

Vendors open in Main Building- upstairs hallway

8:30–8:50                    Conference begins In Auditorium:    

Welcome-Janis Nunnally, TAEA Past President/Conference Chair

Nick DeFord, Program Director for Arrowmont-Welcome greeting

8:50-9:00                    Melody Weintraub, TAEA President-Elect/Awards Chair-Introduce award winners

9:00-10:00                 Thomas Knab, NAEA President-Elect/ Key Note Speech

10:00 -10:10                Break/Vendors

10:10–11:00                 Super Session  #1 see program for details

11:10-12:00                  Super Session #2 see program for details

12:00 –12:45                Lunch at Dining Hall

12:45-1:20                    Division meetings:

Elementary educators/Alexis Hamnett-Auditorium

Middle Level educators/Beth Perthel -Fibers Room/2ndfloor Main Building

Secondary Level/Andrea Howard- Lounge 1stfloor Main building

Higher Ed/Student Chapter, Dr.Joy Bertling Textile Room, 2ndfloor Main building

Administration/Heather Casteel-Library 2ndstory Main building

Museum/Christan Allen-Glass Room 2ndstory Main building

1:25-2:15                     Super Session #3 see programs for details

2:15-2:30                     Break/Vendors

2:30–5:30                   Hands-on workshops- see program for details

5:30-6:30                   Dinner at Dining Hall

6:45-8:30                   Reception- 80's Night Theme

Wear your Righteously Rad 80's outfit (prize for the Most Tubular).Hands on art activities-amundo. Grindage of wine and snacks! Totally Awesome Vendors, will be open.

Don't have a cow, if you have stuff to sell.  Bring your totally gnarly wears and sell at the Artisian Market.(free to set up...just let us know if you would like a table).


Saturday, November 3

7:30 -8:20                    Breakfast in Dining Hall

8:00-8:20                    Registration-Lobby of Main Building

8:00-8:20                    Vendors open-Main building upstairs hallway   

8:30-9:50                    Janis Nunnally, Past President/Conference Chair

Keynote speech: Cindy Foley, Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH                                                           

10-12:00                      Artivism Keynote Sessions 1-3, Auditorium, check your sticker on your badge for group 

12:00-12:45                  Lunch in dining hall

12:50-1:30                    Artivism Keynote Session 4      

1:35-2:20                      Member Meeting-Kathy Dumlao, TAEA President

Evaluations/Door Prizes-Rozz Martin, Vendor chair, Janis Nunnally, Past President/ conference chair

2:30–5:30                    Hands-on workshops

5:30-6:00                   Clean up

Brushing Up!

On May 30 art educators from all over Tennessee came the Frist Art Museum to "Brush Up" on their painting skills and hear the inspirational Melody Weintraub-- they attended the 2018 Mid-State Summer TAEA Professional Development Conference!

A thank you and shout-out goes to my committee who helped so much: Beth Perthel and Jennifer Baltimore. 

Anne Henderson, director of education at the Frist, and her staff were most welcoming hosts. 

Painting was the focus with 3 choices for the day-long sessions: 

Enjoying Watercolor led by artist Dean Shelton. Dean, a member of the Tennessee Watercolor Society, shared with participants what makes his painting style such a success. So many strategies and tips were shared. Margaret Brown, an intuitive abstract painter, led a session helping participants "Go With Their Gut" and shared ideas on how to get students "unstuck." It was truly amazing to realize methods on how to accomplish successful paintings with several media and in turn be able to teach students as well!

Finally, artist/teacher Beth Affolter presented her realism techniques using texture with conference-goers while showing her process with gesso and using acrylics. She also demonstrated how she accomplishes many of her works with water-based oil paints as well. 

To begin the day, artist/teacher, Melody Weintraub, delivered a keynote sharing how important it is to connect with our students and that until we do this, learning really isn't occurring in the classroom. She showed us in many ways how we have to demonstrate we care for them. At one point, we were all encouraged to take a little ceramic heart from a basket and write down a student's name on the back-a student that kept coming to mind for us-as she spoke about challenging situations she encountered over her years of teaching. We all could relate to her stories! We were to place this heart somewhere to remind us. Melody began her talk with almost a disclaimer saying "Michelle introduced me as if I'm Oprah...", well, Melody, you made us laugh, tear up, you challenged us and you encouraged us...

Oprah's got nothing on you. 

TAEA Joins New Tennessee Arts Coalition ArtsEd TN

ArtsEd TN

TAEA has entered into a coalition with other Tennessee arts organizations to help keep an eye on our Tennessee legislature and their bills that effect arts education in the K-12 classroom.  This newly founded organization is called ArtsEd TN.  While TAEA President, I was at the first meeting on this new group and now I am on the Legislature Committee for ArtsEd TN.  I will be keeping TAEA members and all arts educators in the loop of all findings of this group. Right now the focus is K-12 arts classrooms, in the future we may add to this overview.

Your TAEA board debated this decision to join this coalition. Through our investigation we have decided it is important for us to participate with this group.  All the arts groups are represented and we want to be there with them. The CMA, music vendors, and other stakeholders are getting involved to help fund the firm we use to get us the reports.  As visual art educators, we are looking for our visual art vendors to help us with this worthy cause. 

Stephen Coleman, from the Tennessee Arts Academy Foundation, is the Chair of this coalition.  He comes from a music educator background, but is dedicated to supporting all arts education in Tennessee.  With his leadership, we have all the arts organizations pulling together for the good of the students in Tennessee.

With the new ESSA law, music and arts education are part of the well-rounded education and some Title money can be used to support arts education.  Hopefully, Tennessee legislators will see this as the foundation for new legislation in the future. Ensuring arts education for all Tennessee students. We are encouraged by banding together with our arts brothers and sisters to keep an eye on the Tennessee legislature’s activities that will effect arts education in our classrooms.

By participating in this coalition, TAEA receives regular reports on the activities in the legislature during their session.  I will put those updates on the TAEA website to let you see how your elected officials are supporting legislation that supports Arts Education. Please let me know at if you have any questions about ArtsEd TN or Tennessee arts education issues.




Janis Stivers Nunnally

TAEA Past President/State Conference Chair

ArtsEd TN Legislature Committee