Convention + Connections


Phew, talk about a busy convention! I felt like my brain was about to explode. And that was just after the first day!

There were connections, of course, including chats, both online and in person with LOTS of other arts educators, vendors, bloggers, artisans and designers.


But, the connections made with amazing people weren’t the only ones that stuck with me. Now that it’s been a couple of days since the NAEA ’15 Convention, I’ve had some time to review and reflect on some experiences.

And, while processing the weekend, I seemed to make some memorable yet
unexpected connections…

1. Glitter + Tim Gunn

After the first general session, as Tim Gunn finished speaking, a bunch of us locals marched in a Second Line parade from the big room to the exhibit hall. We wore lots of beads, and I wore TONS of glitter.

There may or may not have have been a tutu and a hat with a fascinator involved….


And, yes, one of these items was made from empty duct tape roll glued to an ice cream tub lid… “Hello, my name is Stephanie, and I am an upcycle addict”, I mean Art Teacher. Well, maybe the two are synonymous.

2. General Session + a “Spiritual” Experience

Just look at this crowd. It is absolutely incredible to think about the collective impact of the people in that room!


photo compliments of Allison Miller

3. Tears of JOY + the New Arts Standards

First off, let me just say that I am SUPER excited for this app!


I was so excited, in fact, that I practically cried tears of joy during the demo session at convention…


My husband is a full time software engineer, so I have seen behind the scenes enough to know that this app took incredible amounts of time.

The Art Standards Toolkit, which is scheduled to be released this summer, is an invaluable tool, that at the minimum, will save me tons of time and tedious copying and pasting. My shoulders are oh so happy that I won’t need to lug so much work back and forth from classroom to home.

Props to Tom Story for designing a tool to help us art teachers create evidence of the process that will enable us to validate the work we do to people who don’t quite realize the crazy amounts of planning, prep and reflection that go into our jobs as teachers, or the extensive growth our students make as they create in our classrooms.

Now share what connections you made at NAEA Convention 2015!

Share or follow more convention moments over on Twitter:
@picassaspalette #NAEA15