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 2017 Tennessee Arts Academy.

Elementary/Lower Middle School

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

Me for My Neighbor: Exploring Global Citizenship through Portraiture and Bookmaking

Instructor: Kat Morgan
In this workshop, participants will explore the theme of being a unique contributing member of a global community. Teachers will work with colored pencil, paint, and various methods of collage to create narrative self-portraits and handmade books that detail their place in the world and their role in its future. Special focus will be placed on storytelling and personal interpretations of what it means to be a neighbor. Participants in this workshop should expect combinations of illustrative and bold visuals, a committed work ethic, and a healthy dose of not-taking-yourself-too-seriously.

Fabulous Forms within Spectacular Spaces

Instructor: Ginger Bowerman Pacer
In this workshop, participants will create unique and meaningful sculptures using a variety of media that is common in elementary and middle school art rooms. Participants will then design the spaces in which the sculptures are displayed. Cultural and folk art will provide inspiration as participants creatively connect these two types of three-dimensional art. Materials used will include tempera paint, air-dry clay, felting materials, and other media.

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.

Developing Impressive Designs for Slab Building in Clay

Instructor: Roger Smith
In this workshop, middle and high school teachers will “find” and develop personal designs, which they will then impress into clay for slab building. Symmetrical and asymmetrical patterns will be explored; and a series of pieces will be created that will fit into the curricula of ceramics classes of all levels—including Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs. Participants must plan to fire their pieces at home.

Designing with a Purpose: Developing the Visual Narrative

Instructor: Grant Whitsitt
In this workshop, participants will learn how to unlock the power of masterful storytelling and explore the reasons storytelling is important to all forms of artistic expression. The group will study narrative patterns through the heuristic of the Hero’s Journey and talk about its many versions and how it can be applied to visual narratives. By introducing a simplified model of the standard story structure, called the chromatic cycle, participants will discover an easier-to-memorize way of teaching story and concept development. By limiting themselves to the most fundamental of drafting materials, they will also use the chromatic cycle to create their own visual narratives. Collaboration among participants will be crucial, as any story is only as potent as the impact it has on others. Participants will work in blue pencil, ink, and two-tone marker on Bristol board. A sketchbook, eraser pen, sharpeners, scissors, and artist tape will be provided. At the conclusion of the workshop, the webpage where this lesson may be accessed by the public and for free will be made available to participants to share with their students.