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 2019 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.


Creating with Unity and Variety

Instructor: Lauralee Chambers
In this workshop, art educators will learn new ways of using the central design principles of unity and variety to create art lessons with strong visual impact. Participants will use various media—including alcohol ink, tempera sticks, tissue paper, and watercolor—as they engage in creative play, fine motor skill development, and mixed media exploration.

The Connect Effect

Instructor: Nicole Hahn
Art is the bridge that connects. It connects artists to themselves, artists to each other, and artists to the world. This interactive workshop will focus on the role of connection (the “connect effect”) that art plays in schools and communities. Throughout the week, participants will explore drawing, painting, fibers, printmaking, and digital arts. Visual arts teachers of all levels will be able to apply the ideas inspired by these sessions in their classrooms and art studios. Many of these ideas will be applicable in both traditional, teacher-led and choice-based classroom settings.


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.


Wheel, Hand, and Image Transfer for the Classroom with an Introduction to Raku

Instructor: Julie Hearn and Harry Hearn
This workshop will enhance the ability of participants to teach wheel throwing and hand-building in the classroom. Image transfer techniques and drawings made in class will be applied to glazed clay and then re-fired for permanent design. Ample time will be given for hands-on experience with Raku firing and an introduction to glaze management.

Print and Bind

Instructor: Kelsey Wiskirchen
This workshop will be an exciting blend of cyanotype photographic printing and bookmaking. Also known as sun prints or blue prints, cyanotypes are made by directly exposing prepared print surfaces to the sun. This means they can be created without using any photo equipment. Students can make images on both fabric and paper with a wide range of objects such as leaves, lace, stones, stencils, and photo negatives. In this workshop, participants will learn about cyanotype printing: from how to use photo-chemistry to prepare the print surface to creative ways of tinting and toning prints to achieve variation on the traditional cyan blue. The prints that participants create will be incorporated into the pages and covers of handmade artist books.