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A Note From Your President

Ronda Sternhagen, Grundy Center MS/HS

Wow...where did summer go? No matter how you spent your time, I hope you are recharged and fired up for a new and exciting school year. I know I felt the energy building as I was busy preparing my classroom and putting a few new finishing touches on the room's decor.

Did you notice a new look to this month's "Back-to-School" newsletter? We have Lisa Jorgensen, Webster City MS, to thank! Lisa is a talented 2nd year teacher and graphic artist who volunteered her talents to take on the task of creating our monthly newsletter. That is what is great about AEI, we have talented people at all stages of their career willing to step forward and work toward improving our organization. I bet you know what is coming next... What talents do you have that you could lend to your AEI? There are always some open positions on the board (including elected positions...hint, hint - we make nominations for President-Elect at this fall's annual conference), as well as committees and initiatives that need your input. Please contact me if you'd like more information. Speaking of the fall conference...I'm fired up and ready for a weekend of CREATIVITY in Des Moines October 7-9. We are going to roll out an online registration process for this conference, so be watching the website for that soon. Whenever you try something new, it takes a little longer to get put together than normal, so we appreciate your patience! I hope to see many of you there (and many of your colleagues and friends)!


Together in Art Education,


Update: Iowa Hall of Pride Work Continues By David Pratt, Iowa Hall of Pride chair

A $5,000 grant has been awarded to benefit the upkeep and improvements to the Visual Arts Education kiosk at the Iowa Hall of Pride. Five years of All-State and AEI information need to be added to update the kiosk for visitors to see that fantastic things happening in regard to the visual arts in Iowa. In addition, a re-design of previous information and new interactive activities will be included. AEI Board Members in charge of various activities are being contacted to submit story lines; digital images, documents and data. Partnerships that AEI is involved in will also be highlighted. Several months ago I was contacted by Jack Lashier, Director of the Iowa Hall of Pride (IHP). Jack stated that a new goal of the IHP was to showcase, in their theatre, the competitive nature of All-State Art Awards in a dynamic video presentation. A list of last years junior All-State winners were provided as possible candidates for filming. Greg Wilde and Bob Larsen of dhg Communications in Des Moines selected student, Lizzy Dvorsky and her instructor, Gloria Zmolek for the video project. Interviews have been conducted; portfolio day has been documented and the All-State Art Awards Reception on May 7th was filmed. All of the IHP theatre videos are quite dynamic so we are excited to have the All-State Art Awards Competition video a part of that venue. Interactive art activities would help pull more visitors to the Kiosk. If you have information on museums, companies, or organizations that sell or use interactive art activities, I would appreciate an e-mail or a call. AEI has a special account for IHP donations. This ongoing effort, to advocate for Visual Art Education, is funded from this account. In your yearly donations, please keep art advocacy in mind. Those who donate are listed on the AEI web site.

Deep Space Sparkle & Rubistar

Do you wish you had one of these?

You could have if you attended the Art Workshop that Liz Lyons hosted in her room at Tri-Center at the end of March! Erin Almelein from Griswold taught us how to create wire/pantyhose sculptures. They also tried also tried our hand at creating Northwest Pacific Coastal Indian bark paintings presented by Pat Stevens. After a delicious potluck salad luncheon, everyone all took turns sharing lessons, projects, and ideas.

One of the websites that was shared was called so give it a try! If you are looking for rubric making, my student teacher, Cale Yates, suggests It is easy and handy


IT’S ARTAPALOOZA TIME! by Moria Brown, AEI member

Save the date! Artapalooza on Main Saturday, September 10, 2011

Artapalooza on Main is in its 6th year! This show includes the performing arts, which are not juried in, but rather, are invited. It covers the winding first four blocks of Main Street and is an outdoor event.

Come show your support for artisans and enjoy entertainment, food, and great company on Main Street in Cedar Falls, Iowa. For more information visit:

Blurb: Des Moines Art Center

Jennifer Cooley, Museum Education Manager, Des Moines Art Center

Welcome back teachers! As you settle in for the year please remember the Des Moines Art Center as a resource for your classroom. Educator Guides with color images for the Art Center’s permanent collections as well as the Pappajohn Sculpture Park are available to download at We can also provide FREE guided tours for students and chaperones at both locations please see Please let me know if you have any questions,


Creating Visual Aids in the Classroom

Lisa Jorgensen, Webster City Middle School Art, During a wave of motivation and a small amount of time on my hands, I tackled the one thing I’ve been avoiding all year – my wall space. It was cluttered with old posters that had printed writing on it, dozens of examples of artwork, and informative posters. That was great, at least to begin my first year teaching with, and similar to many other classrooms I had observed. It was a hybrid of what the previous teacher had and what I could come up with before the overwhelming year began. It was time, I told myself, to redo the visuals in my room. And not at all for myself but for the students. And that is what I implore every teacher to do with time they have (when they aren’t filling out endless paper work, writing endless standard correlations, or advocating the importance of art, of course). After some general research, there were some things I kept in mind when designing some additions to my room. Relatable Information. Create displays and informative visual aids that relate to your units. For instance, I created a bright, creative bulletin board that displayed the Elements of Art and Principles of Design for students to see and interact with. As I was creating it, students recognized my progress and commented on how much they liked the display – something I had never heard when I had the magazine purchased Elements/Principles posters hanging up. I used it during a discussion regarding the Elements/Principles and students interacted with references to the design of the bulletin board. My principal commented on how it also clearly outlines target areas for the students to concentrate on (something we are hearing more and more about from our administrations.)


Visual Aids; Continued...

Interactive Displays. Create a space in which students can interact or participate in that others in the school can see. I spend more of my time creating a space that begins “Open Your Eyes to Art” with two large, staring eyes. The students can add any artwork they find – in magazines, postcards, television, internet, books, newspaper and we discuss it as a class. It may or may not have anything to do with the unit at hand (usually it has) but allowing the students to explore their own opinions of “what art is” leads way for great classroom interaction and discussions.

Pushing Your Space. Don’t limit your displays to bulletin boards and empty walls. Of course, use your bulletin boards and wall space to the fullest degree but don’t forget about those blank doors, painfully plain cupboards, and support beams holding your ceiling up (okay, I know not everyone has this but work with me). Use them to their full potential – take advantage of these spaces!

Create a new world for your students with art covered everything; transform their time with you. Help them discover the world of art by creating your own world filled with resources and information they can visually grasp that drives them through the projects that you create with them. Use the upcoming year to create a world your students will look forward to returning to after a long, glorious summer.

V.A.A.S Visual Arts for All Students Help the AEI Task Force! vaas.html

For more information, contact Tony Onesto,


Save the date! Display Student Art! The Iowa Association of School Boards is honored to display student artwork at their annual Convention.

Artwork will be displayed Nov. 16-17, 2011, in the Exhibit Hall of Hy-Vee Hall. Start collecting student art now for submission by Nov. 2: one each from elementary, middle school/junior high and high school (3 total maximum) from each district. Requirements: - Framed artwork cannot be accepted or displayed. - 2-D, high-quality original art no larger than 24”x 30”, which includes a well-crafted 3” mat. or high-quality 8”X10” photos of 3-D art pieces (11”X14” matted) - Mat: Crescent board quality in any color. - All three pieces must be sent in the same box and will be returned after Convention. The call for artwork will be made after school starts in the fall. This contact is to remind you to be gathering pieces to submit by Nov. 2.

“An artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one.” - Charles Horton Cooley

Exciting Events! September 1st, 2011

Professor’s Art Show Opening

with AEI Member, Barb Caldwell as well as Mark Chidister and Steven Herrnstadt

Relationships: Interstitial Connections

4:30-6:00 Brunnier Museum at Iowa State University The exhibit will continue throughout fall semester. November 10th, 2011

Artist’s Talk

with AEI Member, Barb Caldwell 7:00pm Iowa State University

AEI: The Message, Aug/Sep 2011  

Volume 3, Issue 1 Topics of this article include a message from the President, Fall Conference, Visual Aids, Exciting Events, VAAS, and tech...

AEI: The Message, Aug/Sep 2011  

Volume 3, Issue 1 Topics of this article include a message from the President, Fall Conference, Visual Aids, Exciting Events, VAAS, and tech...