Professional Learning

The Art Ed Now Winter 2018 Conference Recap is Here!

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Did you know that Saturday marked The Art of Education’s tenth online conference? It’s true! Over 2,200 registered attendees viewed and participated from around the country—and around the world—from the comfort of their own homes!

The Presentations

Alexa Meade presenting at Art Ed Now

The day was jam-packed with dozens of incredibly relevant topics and one very special presenter, contemporary artist Alexa Meade. All in all, there were 20+ dynamic presentations curated to match the needs of art teachers and to provide the freshest and newest ideas happening right now in art education.

In addition, every presenter made sure all teachers walked away with something relevant to their practice, whether they taught Pre-K, high school, or anything in between!

The Freebies!

The SWAG box for this conference was nothing short of amazing! Teachers couldn’t wait to share the pictures of the goodies delivered right to their doors. The box included samples from Derwent, Art to Remember, Activa, Chartpak, Blick, and more!

In addition, other companies provided hundreds of dollars in online discounts and freebies. And that was just the start! AOE Founder Jessica Balsley and Art Ed Radio host Tim Bogatz hosted the event and gave away thousands of dollars in materials and giveaways throughout the day.

The Hourly Breakdown

We want to give you a complete look at all the conference details, so here it is—the hour-by-hour breakdown! Check out the outstanding presenters, the best information, and some inspiring tweets and photos from our attendees!

Hour 1: Engaging Your Students

The first hour of the conference was all about strategies to engage your students, and the presenters did not disappoint. Andrea Slusarski began the day with ideas to build confidence and skills through painting.

She was followed by Don Masse, who gave some incredible strategies for beginning a mural program at your school. After that was the team of Matt Young and Craig Huffman, whose “Differentiate Without Drowning” presentation had teachers both laughing and thinking. Finally, Melissa Purtee talked about motivation with “When Students Can’t, Won’t, or Don’t.”

Hour 2: Lessons for Every Level

When the second hour rolled around, presenters shared some of their best lessons. STEAM lessons, portraits, the elements of art, and even creative challenges were on the table.

Nic Hahn closed the hour by demonstrating a cool collagraph lesson. People were working furiously during her engaging presentation!

Hour 3: Organization and Planning

After a quick break, Rich Stachon opened up the third hour by sharing how to develop a quality lesson in “From 2D to 3D . . . and Beyond!” Stachon was followed by an informative talk from Kelly Phillips on organizing your choice-based space.

The hour ended with great talks from Lindsey Moss on taking the stress out of needing a substitute and Amy Chaney on assessment using a universal rubric.

Hour 4: The Importance of Creativity

The fourth hour began with an amazing keynote presentation from contemporary artist Alexa Meade. She talked about her art, her career, and her views on creativity and what art class should look like. It was inspiring and motivational.

Following Alexa was Lena Rodriguez, showing what happens when we make the arts a priority in “When the Fine Arts Comes First.” The hour closed with Natalie Jackson discussing ideas for cross-curricular connections and John and Ruth Post giving tips on teaching clay.

Hour 5: Motivation and Inspiration

Art Ed Now’s final hour was all about motivation and inspiration. The hour started off with Shannon Bell discussing classroom management strategies for special education students. Alecia Kaczmarek followed her with another hands-on artmaking activity, painting abstract color wheels with Art to Remember.

Dr. Lois Holzman showed how improvisation and play can improve our teaching, and Tessa Hitz closed the conference by showing why self-care is so important for art teachers.

All of these presentations had takeaways teachers will use the rest of this school year and beyond!

Join us this summer!

It was a great day of learning for teachers, and we look forward to doing it all again this summer. We hope you’ll join us because participants definitely found the conference worth their while:


Now it’s time to put these ideas to work! Use what you saw at the conference to inspire your teaching and inspire your students. Work yourself out of the winter doldrums and reinvigorate the energy in your classroom with all of these new ideas.

Hope to see you next time!

Did you attend the conference? What was your favorite presentation?

Who would you like to see present at the next conference?

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Timothy Bogatz

Tim Bogatz is AOEU’s Content & PD Event Manager and a former AOEU Writer and high school art educator. He focuses on creativity development, problem-solving, and higher-order thinking skills in the art room.

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