Monthly Mentor

Natalie C. Jones (February)
Each month, a different member is the guest writer for the NAEA Monthly Mentor Blog. Natalie C. Jones is an artist, small business owner, and the director of education at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture. She has 10 years of experience working as an art teacher and teaching artist throughout the east coast and the Midwest. Click "GO" to read her full bio.



Join the largest creative community established exclusively for visual arts educators, college professors, researchers, administrators, and museum educators.

Join NAEA Renew Membership

« December 2010 | Main | February 2011 »

Thursday 01.27.11

Embrace the Face-to-Face

What does the concept of creativity, imagination, and innovation mean to you, and to your students? Does it mean exploring uncharted territory? Does it mean working in new ways? Does it mean creating your own reality?

Actually, I don’t want you to answer that… not just yet. Because in another
month, when you come to the NAEA National Convention in Seattle—where the theme is “Creativity, Imagination, & Innovation in Art Education”—you will be exposed to such powerful stimuli and influences that your thoughts on the matter are sure to evolve. We have lined up a potent cast of keynote speakers and a staggering array of sessions that will challenge your preconceptions and open your eyes to new perspectives.

And, of course, there will be several thousand other minds to meet with as our community comes together on its annual pilgrimage to fresh thinking and new initiatives. To learn more about this, I invite you to experience an interactive Prezi illustration exploring the possibilities for our community that the 2011 NAEA National Convention in Seattle holds. You can view it now at


At the end of my last two Palettes, I’ve asked for you to respond to a Prezi—first by writing, then by sharing a design. This time, I think the best possible response you could make would be to attend the Convention! Every year, our Convention gets better and more stimulating. Every year, the community-building is more fruitful and inspiring.

And this year, it could make a big difference in your ability to bring new levels of creativity, imagination, and innovation to the way you work with students… or design your research… or advocate for the cause of visual arts education. Join our adventure in Seattle! I look forward to seeing you there.

-Deborah B. Reeve, EdD, NAEA Executive Director, NAEA News, February 2011

Monday 01.24.11

Seattle Convention Update: Focus on Innovation

By Sandra Kay, EdD, 2011 Convention Program Coordinator

Innovation as 1: the introduction of something new; 2: a new idea, method, or device: novelty (Merriam Webster’s online dictionary, retrieved 5/3/10)

From tubeless toilet paper rolls to the revolutionary concept of a daily logo inspired by Google, innovation drives business. [I am so looking forward to the artist’s talk describing the new logo process by Google!] Yet innovation is often playful. Whenever I see the word ‘innovation’ I smile at the thought of how much a Madison Avenue Art Director influenced the field of creativity in the 1950s. In his seminal book Applied Imagination, Alex Osborn brought brainstorming strategies to the forefront of psychological research influencing researchers for decades.

As an educator, Bob Eberle took the brainstorming techniques that Alex Osborn taught and arranged them into the famous acronym: SCAMPER--Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Magnify, Put to Other Uses, Eliminate & Rearrange (Retrieved from These tools continue to remain useful for generating ideas. Whether the ideas are for new products or new ways of teaching content, whether used by elementary students to stretch ideas, or by business executives altering their products or processes, the SCAMPER technique is still found in new books on the subject of creative thinking. There are other tools as well (those taking the Root-Bernstein workshop will learn quite a few). Many of these ‘tools’ are familiar to art educators but are also often used in creative problem-solving processes outside of the art studio classroom.

Like art directors, art educators need to continue to be innovative. Innovation can include finding new ways to use expertise. Two successful programs that are research-based, and involve teams for creative problem-solving—Paul Torrance’s Future Problem-Solving (FPS) and Destination Imagination (DI)—mirror the 21st-century skills currently in demand and will be introduced to those who have chosen to attend those pre-convention workshops. These creative problem-solving programs provide some ways of connecting the dots between what we know and what we need to know as art educators in the 21st century. Leading by example, an innovative team, comprising an NAEA art educator and a creativity researcher who developed a joint university course for art and engineering students, will conduct the FPS workshop.

The general sessions and invited super sessions are also designed to help Convention attendees make more of these connections—whether it is finding out what a NASA visual strategist does or attending a super session with a multi-disciplinary panel that will address the question: If 5% of art students may become artists, what do the other 95% need to know and be able to do? Your answers to these and other questions posed by the Convention theme and presenters will enrich the multidisciplinary conversations at NAEA.

Innovation is a part of our beings. Novelty excites, amuses, and inspires. We are all looking forward to being a part of the innovative culture of the Northwest and learning firsthand what it feels like to be a part of NAEA in the exciting city of Seattle. No doubt many have employed new methods of obtaining the funding to come to the Convention. I know some graduate students spent some of December selling their art to attend their first NAEA Convention. The promise of new ideas, new materials, and new resources always inspires efforts to attend—as does the likelihood of meeting new friends and acquaintances. And for some of us, new opportunities to reunite with colleagues we have known for a lifetime will bring us to Seattle.

I would like to thank all those NAEA members who answered my request for film suggestions, TED talks, or other resources that address our Convention theme for our new NAEA screening room. I am especially grateful to those who sent copies of their favorite resources to share. As of this writing, we have the requisite permission to show two hard-to-find gems: Andy Goldsworthy: Creating his Storm King Wall 1997-1998 and Sculptors at Storm King: 7 Modern Masters Reveal Their Creative Adventures (Kenneth Snelson, David Smith, Mark di Suvero, Alexander Calder, Richard Serra, Louise Nevelson, and Isamu Noguchi). Other permissions will have been obtained including films about some of the outstanding artists in our Artist Series this year! We do plan to provide you with information needed to acquire any of the resources we showcase for your classroom/library. Please be sure to participate in this new feature and let us know if it is worth making it an annual event at the NAEA Convention.

Eberle, B. (1996). SCAMPER on: Games for imagination development. Austin, TX: Prufrock Press.
Osborn, A. F. (1963). Applied imagination (3rd ed). New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons.
Root-Bernstein, R. S., & Root-Bernstein M. M. (2001). Sparks of genius. New York, NY: Houghton-Mifflin.

Thursday 01.20.11

Professional Growth. Extraordinary Experience.

This is YOUR opportunity to share in the most comprehensive professional development experience worldwide for educators engaged with the arts in learning. Connect with colleagues representing all teaching levels and explore creativity, imagination, and innovation in art education through a selection of over 1,000 sessions, workshops, tours, and events. Discover Seattle, a city that thrives on art, design, and innovation. Recharge your creative spirit and gain a fresh perspective in your classroom and profession at the 2011 NAEA National Convention.

You can still register online and save!
Discounted Earlybird Registration is extended through February 7.
Visit to register, view the full schedule, and purchase tickets through February 7, or register onsite at the Convention.

SO MUCH to see and do!
With over 1,000 sessions, events, tours, and workshops, you can create the professional development experience that works best for you—no matter what your teaching level or areas of interest may be.

Keynote Speakers
Mark Dion
Co-sponsored by Art:21
Dion’s work examines the ways in which dominant ideologies and public institutions shape our understanding of history, knowledge, and the natural world. His work question the distinctions between ‘objective’ (‘rational’) scientific methods and ‘subjective’ (‘irrational’) influences.

R. Barry Shauck
NAEA President
Join Barry Shauck as he highlights the accomplishments of our professional community over the past year while looking forward to the vibrant future of NAEA Next! Celebrate your colleagues who will receive 2011 NAEA National Awards at this session!

Dr. Robert Root-Bernstein
Professor of Physiology, 
Michigan State University
Dr. Robert S. Root-Bernstein, author of a number of books on creativity, speaks about his current work highlighting an investigation of the ways art education has impacted elite scientists.

Dr. Rex Jung
Research Scientist, Mind Research Network
Dr. Rex Jung studies the manifestation of creativity in the brain. His research has been widely featured in popular media outlets including CNN, BBC, Psychology Today, New Scientist, The New York Times, and Newsweek.

Young Innovators Panel
Co-sponsored by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers
That which does not grow, dies. Join Colleen Macklin, Design Director of PETLab; Dan Goods, Artist and  Visual Strategist for NASA; and innovative panelists for new ways to view art education.

Offsite Workshops and Tours
Get an inside perspective on some of the Seattle area’s most creative locations while learning something new!

Seattle Museums
Art is at the heart of this city! Experience these museums and more: Seattle Art Museum, Frye Art Museum, The Henry Art Gallery, Bellvue Arts Museum, Olympic Sculpture Park, The Museum of Glass, Seattle Asian Art Museum,  Tacoma Art Museum

Museum Exchange at Convention!
Share ideas and gather free materials at the NAEA Museum Exchange for Teachers! Hosted by Art Museum Educators, this event showcases museum-developed educational resources for teaching and learning with works of art. Join us on March 17 at 5:00 p.m. in Grand Ballroom A in the Sheraton Seattle Hotel.

Hands-On Workshops
Gain hands-on experience while receiving quality instruction in an intimate, small-group setting with the dozens of Hands-On Workshops available at this year’s Convention!

Crayola Opening Night Event
Kick off a great Convention by celebrating everything art with colleagues and Crayola! Take a shuttle to the Experience Music Project at the city’s creative hub—Seattle Center. Hear live music, make art, and enjoy coffee and dessert while connecting with old friends and making new ones! Visit to register, view the full schedule, and purchase tickets through February 7, or register onsite at the Convention.

Super Sessions
Connect with some of the most innovative minds in visual arts and education to gain deeper and fresh perspectives on the most timely topics in the field.

Connecting the Dots: Art Education, Imagination, and Innovation
Laura H. Chapman
Does art education promote imagination and foster innovation? Take a closer look at the role of imagination in thinking, and values attached to innovation within and beyond the visual arts.

The Heart of Art Education: Holistic Approaches to Creativity, A Closer Look with Mark Dion
Mark Dion
Expand your outlook on creativity, imagination, and innovation in the 21st Century with Art:21 artist Mark Dion.

Co-sponsored by Frederix Artist Canvas
Acclaimed marine life artist Wyland is an accomplished painter, sculptor, underwater explorer, photographer, filmmaker, and educator. Capturing and championing the raw power and beauty of the aquatic universe, he has been recognized as an official artist of the 2008/2010 U.S. Olympic Teams; appeared on the Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet Network and PBS; and been honored in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Exhibit Hall
There is no better place than the NAEA National Convention Exhibit Hall to discover the latest innovations in teaching resources, classroom supplies, techniques, and more! Meet with hundreds of exhibitors, get great samples to take back to your classroom, and try out products on the spot!

Find this and more in the Exhibit Hall:
•     The newest art supplies and classic favorites
•     Curriculum resources
•     Art education technology
•     Services for art educators
•     College and university programs
•     The Art Materials Giveaway

Art Materials Giveaway
On your mark, get set, get free stuff! Each year, our exhibitors show their dedication to visual arts educators by offering some great giveaways through a random drawing. You must be present to win, but that’s no problem because this event is a blast!

Hands-On Demonstrations
Test drive some of the newest products and services offered by leading brands, while gaining inspiration for new classroom projects. Interactive Demonstrations are open to a limited number of participants. Get there early to secure a spot!

Tuesday 01.18.11

Creativity , Imagination , and Innovation in Art Education

With the 2011 NAEA National Convention just months away, I thought this article from the 2011 Convention Program Coordinator, Sandra Kay, will help build your interest and excitement for the upcoming Convention. It first appeared in the October 2010 issue of NAEA News.

Seattle Convention Update: Focus on Creativity
Did you read the article on Creativity in the July 19th issue of Newsweek? If you read on after the comments about “art bias” and that “Researchers say creativity should be taken out of the art room and put in homeroom” (both p. 46), you found a wealth of interesting research being done by a myriad of people from different fields. The neuroscientist mentioned in the article (also p. 46), Dr. Rex Jung from the University of New Mexico, will be one of our keynote speakers in Seattle. His research includes a study of images of the differences in brain activity when a person is engaged in divergent thinking or in metaphorical thinking. His preliminary findings of an extensive investigation that includes a study of artists will provide much thought and conversation, provoking further questions from art educators.

To anticipate the variety of opportunities and surprises being prepared, it might help to see a frame of reference for a theory that loosely guides our planning. I. A. Taylor (1975) described five levels of creative thought:
• Expressive (somatic): with examples such as children’s drawings, free dance, improvisations of Louis Armstrong
• Technical (productive): proficiency in creating products such as Stradivarius
• Inventive: novel plots, cartoons, Edison, Marconi, Bell
• Innovative: Jung and Adler’s innovations to Freudian psychology
• Emergentive: Einstein, Freud, Picasso, Frank Lloyd Wright

This was proposed long before the research in expertise brought further clarity and complexity—but it is a sketch that can be a useful guide to fruitful conversations and a variety of opportunities to expand our notions. Vision for the Convention, like any creative endeavor, is always aided by physical constraints and possibilities. When the NAEA Convention committee, the local WAEA committee members, and I joined forces for the pre-Convention meetings in June, we were impressed by the location we will briefly inhabit next March. The Convention center, city, and people are full of life and art. Being there and working with our Executive Director Deborah Reeve, NAEA staff, current WAEA co-presidents Lisa Crubaugh and Carl Clausen, incoming co-president Ginny Lane, and members of the incredible WAEA committee, was and continues to be an exhilarating, cooperative experience.

Everyone is working hard to make your visit to Seattle a memorable one. A few highlights to entice your planning:
• Young Innovators’ Panel (a General Session highlighting a few novel explorations worth knowing)
• Film/Media Room (showcasing mostly free media resources like TED Talks that address the Convention theme)*
• Dr. Robert Root-Bernstein General Session (science supports the arts)
• Dr. Laura Chapman’s Invited Super Session (always provocative)
• Artist Mark Dion’s General Session (cosponsored with ART21)
• Local Artist Series (the amount of artists considered “emergentive” here is stunning)
• Celebration of Youth Art Month
• Tours of glass studio & museum
• Art Map of the city
• Other innovations to be announced

And that is not counting the wealth of knowledge and opportunities provided by our membership! Special acknowledgement must be mentioned to all of the readers who took on the most difficult role of rating the submissions to be selected, as the number of available presentations is limited by one less meeting day and the standards for presentations continues to be raised by NAEA. Hopefully, the use of roundtable formats will provide an innovative solution to this challenge.

I believe the need for ‘ownership’ of who fosters creative thought, as mirrored in the Newsweek article, will give way to a much more integral approach to the issues. As a researcher of creative thought for the last 30+ years, I believe the complexity of this content requires a multidisciplinary focus that combines scientific and artistic perspectives to address the breadth and depth involved. An understanding of the art of creative thought enhances the science of creativity as well as the reverse. This approach could strengthen the essential knowledge and understanding necessary to further everyone’s vision of encouraging creativity, imagination, and innovation in all education.

As a last comment, Seattle is amazing! Although some humorously suggest it is the coffee culture, there is an energy there that is not to be missed! There are more reasons to be sleepless there.

-Sandra Kay, 2011 Convention Program Coordinator

Bronson, P., & Merryman, A. (2010, July 19). The creativity crisis. Newsweek, pp. 44-50.
Taylor, I. A., & Getzels, J. (Eds.) (1975). Perspectives in Creativity. New York: Aldine Publishing.

Tuesday 01.11.11

Shaping the Future of Your Professional Association

In NAEA Executive Director Deborah B. Reeve’s Cleansing the Palette column from the October 2010 issue of NAEA News, she stated that the “the many successes achieved by a committed and engaged professional community are truly a testament to the depth and breadth of NAEA. We are rethinking how we work together to advance NAEA’s mission and realize the vision we all hold for visual arts education. Find what inspires you to continue to evolve as a leader and art educator and…If you are so inclined, I hope you’ll take the message of community and belief to heart and check back on our website to take part in the great community conversation about NAEA Next! Explore the challenges and opportunities we face as an organization… as a profession…and as individuals.”

Naeanext NAEA Next! Shaping the future of your professional association. Visit the virtual home of the future of your professional community—NAEA Next!. This space on the NAEA website is designed to keep members informed of both process and progress of the development and execution of the 2011-2014 NAEA Strategic Plan. Gain insight into each phase of the development process. Here, you will find links to the 2007-2010 Strategic Plan; the link to Deborah B. Reeve’s first Prezi illustrating the important role of our strong professional community in NAEA Next!; the NAEA Strategic Opportunities Report; and the NAEA Strategic Framework.

Many members participated in the Strategic Planning Studio in Baltimore in April 2010. You are invited to continue to think about the future of visual arts education and NAEA’s mission to advance art education by joining the discussion online! Visit the NAEA Next! Facebook page to share your comments and suggestions.

-Linda Scott, NAEA Web & eCommunications Manager

Thursday 01. 6.11

The Power of Community

What is it about community that is so powerful? That enables us to accomplish things we wouldn't have thought possible? It is the seemingly "impossible" challenges in our work that make me such a fierce advocate for community. Your input has made it abundantly clear that you agree with me. Community has been given the top priority in the NAEA Next! strategic plan, with a powerful commitment to making our professional community ever stronger and vibrant.

There once was a fundraising organization whose slogan was "I'mpossible Dreams." That phrase perfectly captures the transformation of the "can't be done " to the "can't be stopped." But what I find most profound about it is the idea of empowering the individual through community. There's interesting yin and yang in that idea-and since we had so much fun with the Prezi format last time, I'm using it again to further explore the rampant potential of community and what it means for you and for NAEA!

In my first Cleansing the Palette Prezi, I asked you to share your thoughts about my visual Palette experiment, and you did, but your responses were almost entirely written comments. So this time, I invite you to be visual in your feedback-and I'll give you the tool to do it: the green "community tree" graphic that is featured in my second Prezi.

By empowering yourself as an individual in your educational community, you give yourself a voice and identity that is a powerful force for change and educational success. By bringing your individual empowerment to our NAEA community, you make everyone around you stronger and more able to take on the impossible.

That's a lot of potential accomplishment being released into the world-and I can't wait to engage with each of you and our increasingly powerful community. Join me in lifting our glasses to a 2011 filled with extraordinary promise!

-Deborah B. Reeve, EdD, NAEA Executive Director
From Cleansing the Palette, NAEA News, December 2010

Engage in our vibrant professional community by viewing and responding to the "Cleansing the Palette" Prezi. View the Prezi at or click here.

To return to Palette on NAEA website:

To download the community tree image:

Upload your Visual creations to the NAEA community Wiki:

Saturday 01. 1.11

Students and the NAEA Convention

NAEA is comprised of various types of members and one category that both of us fit into is ... Students. Many people, especially students themselves, wonder how we fit into the big picture of NAEA.

As a part of the NAEA community, there is a NAEA Student Chapter which represents all individual student chapters at the colleges and universities and even those individual art education students who do not have a chapter at their college. The NAEA student chapter provides opportunities for pre-service educators, museum and community educators to connect with each other.

The NAEA student chapter provides mentorship for individual university student chapters that are established, those that are just starting out, and seeks out universities who have not established a student chapter yet.

The NAEA Student chapter is comprised of a small group of individuals from across the nation with a leadership team comprised of the presidential team, an advisor, and student outreach coordinators. But the most important part of the student chapter is the members. Our membership has grown and includes students from universities across the nation who are passionate about arts education and the organization.

This group of individuals works year round, but their work is most visible to all at the NAEA National Convention held every spring. At the national convention, the student chapter provides various events such as business meetings, forums, receptions, etc.

All this information and more can be found at the Student Chapter welcome table that is open throughout the entire convention. Make sure to stop by to say hello, pick up a student chapter convention guide (filled with convention tips, guide to Seattle, and student chapter events), share pins, and NETWORK!!

Melissa, Kristen Peck (NAEA SC Past-President), and Amanda at NAEA Western Region Summit visiting a museum in Omaha, Nebraska.

Students at the Student Chapter roundtables making ‘Artsy Beads’ at a presentation.


10. Opportunities for networking with art educators from all around our nation!
9. Learn about awesome leadership opportunities
8. Grow Professionally
7. Visit new museums with great NAEA discounts and attend the Museum Preconference!
6. Choose from over 1,000 informative conference sessions to attend
5. The opportunity to explore a new city
4. Huge exhibit hall = Free Art Goodies!! Great discounts too!!
3. The chance to make new lifelong friends that share your passions
2. Gain access to unique, ticketed hands-on art experiences
1. Student Chapter Activities!!

Students at the Student Chapter reception

- Amanda Batson and Melissa Schaefer