Visual Art Sessions

The visual art component of the Academy explores art from the perspective of production, history, criticism, and aesthetics.  Instructors, whose work has influenced current educational practice and theory, come from around the country to provide stimulating and practical instruction. In addition to the visual art sessions, all participants attend performances, musings, special events and other activities.

Please check back regularly for updates and information about the 2021 Tennessee Arts Academy.

Elementary/Lower Middle Visual Art

Participants will attend each workshop listed below for two consecutive days and a summary workshop for both sessions on Friday morning.


Taking Shape Further with Movement and Texture

Instructor: Ashley McKee
In this workshop, elementary school educators will learn ways to help their students develop their drawing skills by practicing dimensional drawing, movement, and textures. Pivot points will be added to two-dimensional art so that drawings come to life. These sessions will use a variety of budget-friendly materials that students may already have at home and that are easy for teachers to get for their classrooms. Participants will create classroom samples as well as personal art pieces. Lesson plans and visuals will be provided.

Using Voice and Choice to Promote Cultural Awareness in the Art Studio

Instructor: Wynita Harmon
This workshop will address the importance of promoting cultural awareness in the art room and show how supporting student voices and choices in the classroom can help foster it.

Upper Middle/Secondary Visual Art

Participants will attend each workshop listed below for two consecutive days and a summary workshop for both sessions on Friday morning.


Connect, Create, and Reflect: Art Making in 2021

Instructor: Drew Brown
Connections are often the key to student success, so join the presenter in these sessions and take a deep dive into connecting, creating, and reflecting. Participants will explore the creative process through painting and mixed media and will leave with ideas they can take into their classrooms. This interactive workshop will explore a variety of traditional and non-traditional materials and will offer secondary art educators the opportunity to create work for themselves as well as examples to use in their school studios. Topics will include how to grow students’ skills, artistry, and creativity.

Wire and Fabric Sculptures: Line into Form

Instructor: Leslie Pearson
In this workshop, high school art educators will create sculptures out of wire and sheer fabric. Participants will make individual pieces that will become one installation when displayed as a grouping. Conceptually, each piece will be loosely narrative—representing the individual self among the other sculptures.