Professional Learning

The 2019 Winter Art Ed Now Conference Recap Is Here!

Did you know that Saturday marked The Art of Education’s twelfth online conference? It’s true! Over 2,300 registered attendees viewed and participated from around the world–all from the comfort of their own homes!

The Presentations

Paul Topolos, in his After Pass video, presenting his work

The day was jam-packed with dozens of incredibly relevant topics and one very special presenter–animator Paul Topolos–who discussed his career and work with Pixar and Lucasfilm. 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 NASCO, Art to Remember, Activa, Chartpak, Jolly, 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: Helping Students Find Success

The first hour of the conference was all about strategies to help students find success, and the presenters did not disappoint. Nick Gehl began the day with ideas on why failing can help students move forward in the art room.

He was followed by Debi West, who gave some incredible strategies for assigning and assessing visual journals. After that was Dr. Wynita Harmon, whose strategies to encourage social and emotional learning gave teachers a lot of ideas for their own classrooms. Finally, Rachel Albert shared how Google Classroom can help you engage students, keep them organized, and keep them on task so they can find success.

Hour 2: Incorporating New Ideas

When the second hour rolled around, presenters shared some of their best new ideas. From artmaking techniques to ideas from art therapy, art history to brain breaks, it was all here!

Hour 3: Reaching Out to Your Community

After a quick break, Mallory Tolcher shared ideas for public art, and more importantly, a guide on how teachers can best work with their community. Tolcher was followed by Don Masse, who gave an engaging and entertaining talk about chalk pastels and contemporary art.

The hour ended with great talks from Jonathan Juravich on empathy in your classroom and Sara Gaechter on bringing street art into your curriculum.

Hour 4: Communicating Through Art

The fourth hour began with an amazing keynote presentation from animator Paul Topolos. He talked about his career, his art, and his work on Star Wars films and almost every Pixar movie. It was entertaining, inspiring, and motivating!

Following Paul was the duo of Maggie Maggio and Leslie Barnum, explaining the art and science of color theory. The hour closed with Suzie Belzer demonstrating monoprinting ideas and Lena Rodriguez discussing how to develop students’ artistic voice.

Hour 5: Tutorials and Techniques

Art Ed Now’s final hour was all about tutorials and techniques. The hour started off with Kristy Lopez discussing Ceramics Tips, Tricks, and Ideas. Sara Engel demonstrated another hands-on artmaking idea with her 3D donuts.

Kasie Knight showed a plethora of STEAM projects that your students will love, and Dr. Tiffany Carr closed the conference by showing how we can reclaim our Joy in Teaching.

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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