Converging Disciplines

"lighting the sun" by Donna Mintz


This weekend I traveled to Calloway Gardens in Pine Mountain, GA for the 2010 Georgia Art Education Association (GAEA) Fall Conference.

I joined this group last summer and presented to them for the first time last fall. This fall my presentation, “Converging Disciplines: An Artist’s Story of a Changing Georgia,” focused on finding social studies connections for second graders and eighth graders to connect to the work of contemporary Georgia artist, Donna Mintz. The lesson plans presented identified both visual arts standards and social studies standards for these grade levels that could be used along with Mintz’s installations “lighting the sun” and “reliquary,” which include reclaimed objects from  Native Americans and early settlers. These objects were found on the bed of Lake Lanier when the lake dropped 20′, during the 2007 drought.

As the newly elected Museum Division Representative, I am trying to think of the best ways to highlight the offerings of Georgia College and to find better ways to serve the art teachers in Georgia.

While I was way, Bill Fisher, Art Department Chair and I began a facebook chat about the group, my involvement and his previous experiences with them. We decided to pursue designing and hosting a summer institute for art teachers. It will be super terrific if this institute is interdisciplinary as many Georgia art teachers are now required to connect their lessons to other disciplines.

Do you have any grand ideas for our undertaking? Are you interested in participating? Please leave your comments.

We are very ambitious and have requested “Move the Needle” funding and plan to host our first institute this summer!

In the meantime, please click to enjoy a video featuring Donna Mintz and her work featured in the Georgia College Museum exhibition, Transitive Geographies: Contemporary Visions of an Evolving South.

Thanks, and I look forward to working with you all!

In addition to teacher workshops, I am interested in connections involving social engagement, environmentalism and anything else that creatively connects the interests of the group to the students I work with at Georgia College, k-12 educators and my museum colleagues.

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7 Responses to Converging Disciplines

  1. hhfowler says:

    As a Native American artifact hunter/collector, I find this VERY interesting. And, my mother is an art teacher so I’m sensitive to your wishes. She is actually having to serve as a Science/Art Teacher…in order for the school to keep their art program, they had to change her job description to that of a science instructor (which she taught prior to art). It’s a messed up, crazy world trying to keep up with a stinky economy and maintain the influence of art in our communities. I think a summer institute would be quite beneficial for these teachers. Thanks for the interesting post!

  2. Shannon Morris says:

    Thanks Heidi!

    Yes, it is a pretty interesting situation. I appreciate your support.

  3. Judy Donovan says:

    I think it is way past time secondary education took a integrated approach to school instead of separating and categorizing subjects. We have research now reporting high levels of learning outside of school, informal learning and experiential learning, which is often richer and more relevant than school learning. Just a little rant. Judy

  4. bobcatsusan says:

    I think there is HUGE potential for summer institutes at GCSU. We have talked in nursing about offering some as well. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have professionals from all over Georgia and from various disciplines to come together on our campus to learn, enjoy our museums, and dump a few tourist dollars into the local economy (guess that sounds mercenary, but what the hey). If we could house folks on the West campus, it would be like a vacation that is tax deductible. In fact, it would be a temptation for me to attend one to have some evenings poolside…

  5. Shannon Morris says:

    Okay, Susan. Let’s crank it up then… I think this is exactly the sort of revenue generating program that the Provost would like for us to implement to save ourselves as well.

  6. Doug R. Oetter says:

    You’re a good blogger- it reads just like a magazine article!!

  7. gcsushannon says:

    Thanks for your comment Doug! I spend a lot of time reading magazines and blogs.

    Now, I just need to get my course goals up to par. Keep POSTING your goals. It does help to see how the pros do it!!!

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