Posts Tagged With: fiber art

“Fitting” a residency into your classroom

One of the programs that the Kentucky Arts Council is most proud of are our Teaching Art Together grants, which provide assistance for Kentucky schools to bring teaching artists into their classrooms. These grants provide students with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to experience the creative process alongside a professional artist trained in the Kentucky and national education standards.

Even so, we often have a hard time “selling” this opportunity to schools and teachers due to misconceptions about the nature of a residency. Classroom time is tight, and it gets tighter every year. So, the most frequent concern we hear about having residency is, “I don’t have a even a couple of hours – let alone a week or more – to give up to a residency if I’m going to get through all of my content this year.”

We understand! That’s why we insist that residencies complement classroom content. Residencies are a school or teacher’s chance to bring in a new voice to teach content through the arts. It’s also a way for teachers to learn new methods and techniques in these subject areas to use in the future. Take, for instance, this example from Tichenor Middle School in Erlanger.

Tichenor was awarded the Teaching Art Together grant in the 2012-2013 school year. Fiber artist, Pat Sturtzel, partnered with art teacher, Scott Fairchild, to add a fiber arts component to the Tichenor Middle School art curriculum. Pat facilitated a series of fiber arts projects that built each previous activity while also reinforcing art concepts, cultural connections and math and science concepts. Over a seven-week period, Pat worked with four core classes and provided four hours of professional development to the rest of the faculty and staff.

Mr. Fairchild and students learned surface design techniques (fabric dyeing, fabric printing, stitched embellishment) and textile construction techniques (construction of pillows, wall-hangings), each linked to various cultures (African, Southeast Asian, Japanese, Euro-American).  The residency enhanced the arts curriculum at Tichenor by giving students the opportunity to work directly with a professional artist. This firsthand experience gave students knowledge about how a professional artist works within their chosen field.  Interaction with the artist, visualizing her techniques and then being encouraged to explore their own interpretation of the creative process, enabled the students to engage in activities outside their daily instruction.

Another way the residency enhanced the arts curriculum was through the introduction of a new art medium (to both the school art teacher and students).  Mr. Fairchild had little experience working in this particular medium.  The visiting artist worked to provide the school art teacher with an authentic experience to expand his knowledge and skills.


“During the residency I was excited to see the students work and learn with Mrs. Sturtzel. The students were up for the challenge of working in a new art process and came away with quality art projects and a basic understanding of what all goes into fiber arts.” One project the 8th grade students made were hand-dyed backpacks with a personal printed design. The 7th grade created throw pillows. The final group project consisted of a dozen 8-foot banners displaying various techniques and a mystical-themed appliqué project.


Since the residency, Mr. Fairchild has taken what he learned and taught several lessons in fiber arts including, a pennant project, dying and printing projects, and a class quilt.  “From this residency, I am still learning and being challenged.  I remember calling Mrs. Stutzel saying, ‘You’ll never guess where I am at…  Joann’s Fabric!’  Remaining in contact with Mrs. Sturtzel and expanding the concepts of embroidery, fabric dying and screen printing, to other projects, has made a valuable addition to my art program at Tichenor. “

Artist residencies do not “take up” valuable classroom time. Artist residencies are the proverbial “stitch in time” that saves nine. Inviting an artist into your school and classroom is an enriching experience for students and teachers. Each will learn a better way of understanding the world around them and exploring the human experience – these two behaviors being the essence of education.

Sarah Schmitt, arts access director

The Teaching Art Together grant application is open now with a deadline of Oct. 15, 2013 to develop a residency plan to take place between January and June 2014.

Categories: Arts Education, Visual Arts | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Tempt Your Senses: See

With over 200 exhibitors working in wood, paint, silver, wool, chocolate, clay, silk and much more, Kentucky Crafted: The Market is a sense explosion. That’s why we chose “tempt your senses” as this year’s theme. We dare you to come to the Lexington Convention Center on March 2 – 3 and be tempted by all of the music, textures, smells, sights and tastes offered by Kentucky’s best artists and crafts people.  It will be impossible to walk away empty handed.

The Market experience is all about spectacle. Part of this visual excitement comes from the energy of the wonderful crowds filling the exhibit hall. But the majority comes from the myriad of palettes used by Kentucky Crafted artists. The colors are simply amazing, covering the spectrum from earthy, soft and tranquil to electric, vibrant and blaring. It’s like Carmen Miranda’s hat, a Monet painting and a Persian rug all in one package.  Don’t be overwhelmed, though. The idea is to take the aisle tour, one booth at a time, savoring all the sights and deciding what absolutely must come home with you.

Schall Studio & Design – Booth 320

dinnerware, green, orange, red, yellow

Like a perfect marriage, this dinnerware both complements and competes with food to make a beautiful table.

J. D. Schall is a master at achieving the clean lines and eye-pleasing functionality of modern design. His forms are simple, durable and practical. The key to his aesthetic is using brilliant glazes to create beauty without unnecessary fussiness and filigree.

Calan Originals – Booth 440

Calan Originals box

Walnut, cherry, bubinga, oak, pine. I can only name a few, but the hardwoods making up these boxes all bring their own hues and patterns to the sensory party.

“Wood” is not a color. Wood has many colors and variation, and it takes a skilled craftsperson to bring out the natural gradients in a common or exotic wood.

Truly Wearable Art – Booth 317

Laverne Zabielski

With sewn-in movement and magnificent colors, this skirt is impossible to ignore.

Laverne Zabielski creates couture quality hand-felted alpaca and merino wools as well as  Shibori-dyed silks. Her fabrics can be found on red carpets, but are also perfect for your rainy-day shawl.

Ed Newell Photography- Booth 447

Ed Newell

Did you know nature has a “best side?” Ed Newell found it.

You can look at an Ed Newell image and almost swear that these colors don’t exist in Kentucky or even on Earth; however, cameras don’t lie. Color is dependent on light, and Ed Newell knows just when light will reflect off an object in just the right saturation to bring out these impossibly beautiful scenes. Ed Newell is a new exhibitor in 2013.

Dancin’ Dog Designs – Booth 452

This is how you “make a mountain out of a mole hill,” or in this case, a segment of quartz.

Some artists add color to the bland, and others recognize the potential of colors found in nature. Dwayne Cobb uses the natural variations in metals, stones, gems and glass to create whimsical human-like forms, creatures and landscapes to adorn your neck and wrist.

Sarah Schmitt, arts access director

Are your sense tempted, yet? For more peeks and previews, check out our titillating Pinterest board.


Categories: Other, Visual Arts | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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