My Tai Chi Journey

Tai Chi and Qigong have been instrumental in guiding me as I find my path–my way forward at this stage of life. I have been making art and working as an art educator since 1979 when I completed my BFA in art education at Boston University. What you may not know is how much I have [...]

#Me Too–The Sexual Politics of Art School

What does it mean to be a woman and an artist? How did being a woman affect my experiences as an art student in some of the most prestigious art schools in the country? Now that “Me Too” has exploded across the media, powerful women are talking about the humiliations and abuses they have endured to simply learn [...]

Imagination Everywhere

Stopping by the art room one morning on her way to kindergarten, Harper Marie, age six and a half, exclaimed out loud, “I wonder if you have imagination everywhere?” Harper and her sister Willow were absorbed with seeing what was on the walls and noticing the bookshelves full of interesting objects. Harper’s hands gravitated to [...]

The Five Senses: How We Come to Know our World

As a young child, feeling the warmth of the sun on my face, reflected from the Cabana Club pool, my feet dangling in the cold pool water. My summers were spent poolside while my dad worked his summer job of Pool Director. At home, being tucked in under the covers at bedtime. My bedtime ritual with [...]

Inviting many cultures into the art classroom through handcrafts: weaving as an example

December 13, 2017 “We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color. -Maya Angelou” A few of my friends know that I once majored in weaving and textiles. For three semesters, I was [...]

Why I teach art the way I do–A Q & A session with Ms. Brooks

Dear parents and interested others:  I am addressing this post to you, the parents of my students. I want to help you understand why I teach art the way I do. Prior to joining the staff at Williams-Cone I spent eleven years cultivating relationships with the community at Lincoln School in Augusta. Before that, I was [...]

Saying “Yes” to Children’s Ideas–Teaching vs. Learning

TEACHING VS. LEARNING: One of the scariest things about transitioning to a choice based approach to working with children is a teacher’s fear of losing control.  Many of us are operating under the false assumption that if we control every possible variable, we will ensure that our students are learning. Today, there are whole texts [...]

Art Teaching: Braiding Strands of Theory into Practice

Every teacher-in-training takes theory classes in preparation for entering the classroom.  Over time, our theories about children and learning become the foundation for our practice–the daily life of working with children in the classroom.  As I have matured in my teaching I have integrated various strands of theory into my own unique hybrid of classroom [...]

Speaking out about School Reform

Public education, teachers, and unions have been under attack ever since the report entitled “A Nation at Risk” came out during Reagan’s presidency.  Most lay people–those not directly involved in K-12 education– simply assume what they hear in the media is true–that our schools are failing our children and that, as a country, we are [...]

mid-year musings from the elementary choice studio

This photo gallery shows student work completed in the last six weeks.  With three snow days to interrupt our flow, students nonetheless have shown great focus and persistence in creating original works in a variety of media.  My students are working hard to prepare work for our annual art show on March 31 in the [...]