K-12 Art Educators Attend Workshops at ATU

A partnership between Arkansas Tech University and the Windgate Foundation yielded a new professional development opportunity for K-12 art education teachers during summer 2018.

Twenty-four educators representing 23 schools participated in the inaugural Windgate Summer Art Launch for Arkansas Educators July 15-19 at ATU in Russellville. Full-day workshops covered topics such as traditional and experimental techniques in watercolor, embossment, paper cut and Chinese/Japanese bookbinding, air dry clay sculptures, paper mache “clay” sculptures and an introduction to Adobe Photoshop.

Participants chose one class per day, with six hours of instruction and a two-hour open studio in the evening. ATU alumna Kristin Pearson, teen and adult services librarian for the Pope County Library, offered an additional lecture entitled “Designing Creative Social Media Content: Tips and Tools to Stand Out Online.”

“This format is unique because other professional development events tend to provide short windows of time without in-depth hands-on experience,” said Jessica Mongeon, director of the Windgate Summer Art Launch for Arkansas Educators and visiting assistant professor of studio foundations in the ATU Department of Art. “The teachers enjoyed having more time to work on their projects and to get familiar with new processes and materials.”

Teachers from Atkins, Bergman, Clarksville, Crossett, Dardanelle, Dover, Fort Smith, Greenbrier, Heber Springs, Hot Springs, Jacksonville, Little Rock, Russellville, Van Buren, Warren, West Memphis and White Hall were among the participants, each of whom attended free of charge and received all of the art supplies needed for the workshops at no cost as a result of a grant from the Windgate Foundation.

“Participants learned and practiced new art studio techniques that they can teach their students,” said Mongeon, who noted there are plans to offer the program again in summer 2019. “They created original works of art. The social media presentation helped teachers think about how they can promote, market and advertise themselves and their products, and will allow them to pass this knowledge of entrepreneurship on to their students. The event provided the opportunity for art teachers from across the state to network and share ideas.”

Visit www.atu.edu/art to learn more about the ATU Department of Art.

2018 Windgate Summer Art Launch

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