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DENISE HOWELL

PORTFOLIO (819) 776-0046 denisehowellphoto@gmail.com 37 Rue Helene-Duval, Gatineau, QC, J8X 3C5

- Visual Arts Education grades K-12 - Program Curriculum Development

- Workshop and Arts Training Sessions - Community Outreach


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DENISE HOWELL Introduction

photo: Neons Direct

It is my belief that we are all capable of and responsible for making culture. Since Visual Art is a primary vehicle of culture, this makes it especially well suited to providing opportunities for students to understand and create meaning. Through an alternative process combining technique and meaning, art education gives students the essential skills to perceive their everyday lives and themselves. In my classroom students can learn how ideas are made real through developing literacy in visual language, connecting learning between disciplines, and through the making of art itself. I strive to learn from my teaching experiences and from my interactions with students. This approach keeps me connected, and continually encourages me to be responsive as well as actively involved in the life of the school. I see my role as an art teacher as multifaceted and adaptive, using skills I have honed in the development of my ongoing art practice. Identifying and challenging the learning potential of students can make the difference between production and creation in an art classroom. While decoration has its’ place in the creative learning process, I want my students to produce work in a way that is both passionate and personal. Along with techniques like decoration, students will be introduced to critical ways of thinking through research, reading and writing activities, student presentations and group discussion. In the design of my Art Program it makes sense to begin with structured assignments that eventually require personal direction from the students as they gain skills, confidence and familiarity with techniques and ideas. I constantly strive to develop contextually appropriate outcomes that reflect the individual needs of students. In order to differentiate my instruction to students based on their individual starting points, there is a clear connection between student assessment and my Art Program design. Students must learn visual art in an atmosphere of self-awareness, facilitated by their access to the criteria on which they are being assessed. These assessment descriptions should be posted in the classroom to make the learning process transparent, and empower students to meet and exceed learning expectations. Denise Howell

Table of Contents CV Program Curriculum Development Workshops and Art Training Sessions Community Outreach


DENISE HOWELL CV WORK Halifax Learning Centre, Inc. Halifax, NS, 2005 - 2008 Position: Instructor of the SpellRead P.A.T. Program Chocolate Lake Recreation Centre, Halifax Halifax, NS, 2008 Position: Summer Arts Educator with Team Possible, a youth group who learn in shared context of living with Down’s Syndrome Ellenvale Junior High and Caledonia Junior High School Dartmouth, NS, 2007 - 2008 Position: Student Teacher, Visual Arts 7/8/9 and Social Studies 8 Sackville High School Sackville, NS, 2006 - 2007 Position: Student Teacher, English 10/11 and Film & Video 12 Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Halifax, NS, 2005 Position: Art Gallery Docent Topia English Zone Seoul, South Korea, 2003-2005 Position: English as a Second Language Instructor EDUCATION Bachelor of Education, Secondary, Visual Arts Specialist (Candidate) Mount Saint Vincent University Halifax, NS 2006-2008 Bachelor of Fine Arts, Interdisciplinary Nova Scotia College of Art and Design Halifax, NS 1997-2001 International Baccalaureate Teacher Training, Visual Arts Level 1 University of Prince Edward Island Charlottetown, PEI 2008 (819) 776-0046 denisehowellphoto@gmail.com 37 Rue Helene-Duval, Gatineau, QC, J8X 3C5


DENISE HOWELL Program Curriculum Development

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Graffiti Unit for High School Students

photo: Laura Morton

Rationale Working with a popular form of visual culture that creates ethical controversy is a useful tool for introducing some of the philosophical issues found in art making. Young artists, through studying graffiti styles, traditions and meanings learn the reasons for public mark making, and the process of doing so builds self-awareness and responsibility for what they communicate through their own art. Students will observe new visual forms and brainstorm ethical issues, research and analyze local graffiti, and create their own ethically informed graffiti artwork.

Activity 1 : What would you do? • Students read a written scenario in which graffiti is written in a public space, involving 3 characters: the graffiti writer, the owner of the building now written with graffiti, and a member of the public who sees the graffiti in their neighborhood the next day. • Taking turns, students explore the ethical issues brought up from the perspective of each character, and the students ideas are recorded on the whiteboard. • The students are divided into 3 groups, each one charged with representing one character from the scenario. After 10 minutes to gather their arguments, each group is given equal time to come up with a solution to the graffiti scenario and state their case to the class. The class votes on the most compelling argument. Learning Outcomes 1. Students will demonstrate analytical skills through the identification and communication of components of an ethical dilemma.

2. Students will demonstrate awareness of several ethical points of view by arguing opinions from a perspective other than their own.

Activity 2 : Gaining Perspective • Students will be provided a preliminary Internet search database on graffiti, and complete online and street-level research on graffiti types and techniques, and purposes. • Students observe and sketch 3 different examples of graffiti in their own community and school and present 1 example to the class. • Students research “alternative” and non-destructive ways of making graffiti and choose 1 to present along with their local example to the class. • Presentations will include: a description of where graffiti was found, the graffiti type, the basic visual components of that/those type(s), how the graffiti was made, and a personal response to the ethics involved in their example. Learning Outcomes 1. Students will demonstrate awareness of the visual forms found in graffiti by observing and representing found graffiti art.

2. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between an artwork and the context in which it is made by observing and evaluating public artwork.

3. Students will demonstrate critical thinking skills by describing the connection between the visual and ethical components of graffiti art.


Activity 3 : Make it like you mean it! • Individually or in pairs, students prepare and present a Graffiti Proposal which includes a Graffiti Plan outlining a “piece” they would like to make in the school graffiti area. The Plan must include how they would go about making it (including materials list, schematics) and Graffiti Rationale explaining their reasons for wanting to do so. Included with these, is a Graffiti Test Piece, which gives an overall sketch of the visual elements of their proposed full-sized graffiti, completed as a drawing or 3-D maquette, depending on graffiti type. Students “pitch” their Graffiti Plan to the class, and the class decides by secret vote on the top 3 • proposals to be included on the school “graffiti wall” in the main foyer of the school, based on their Test Piece, their Plan, and their Rationale. • Students can complete their sketches by hand, or by a virtual graffiti tool found on http://www.elasticmind.com/VirtualGraffiti/VirtualGraffiiDemo.html • Students not chosen by the group will make their proposed graffiti on a smaller scale in the art classroom. Learning Outcomes 2. Students will demonstrate under1. Students will demonstrate standing of ethical issues inherent awareness of formal qualities in their own art-making process found in a specific type of graffiti

Proposal Marking Criteria

Fantabulous (3)

3. Students will demonstrate selfawareness in their creative process by planning the technical and ethical aspects of making an artwork.

Getting there…(2)

Keep At It (1)

Graffiti Test Piece Visual components of the specific type of graffiti you have chosen

Test piece shows: Test piece shows: -direct reference to the - vague reference to the elements and principles elements and principles of design found in graffiti of design found in graffiti of the same type. of the same type.

The test piece does not show: - recognizable reference to the elements and principles of design found in graffiti of the same type.

Graffiti Rationale Ethics involved in writing their chosen type of graffiti.

Rational indicates: - Why does this graffiti happen in this particular space? - What does this type of graffiti communicate to the public, and why? - What impact will this graffiti have on the public, and why?

Rationale indicates: Rationale does not indi-the qualities of the graf- cate: fiti in particular spaces, - the qualities of writing the intention of the writer that type of graffiti in parand the impact on public, ticular spaces or the reabut does not explain sons why it is being made. why.

Graffiti Plan Practical considerations for the Plan considers: making of the full-sized graffiti -the size of the space piece. they will work on -the time it will take to make it -the materials required to make the piece

Plan considers: -at east two practical considerations for the making of the full-sized graffiti piece

Plan does not consider: - any practical consideration for the making of the full-sized graffiti piece


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HOWELL WorkshopsDENISE & Art Training Sessions

photo: Explore Scotland

Q: How do we teach beginning artists to work conceptually? A: Begin with the literal, then move on to the figurative. This work focused on getting away from setting pre-determined goals for students when teaching in the Visual Art classroom. In order for students to exceed assignment expectations, they need to be guided there by the design of the lesson. In this lesson the student is asked to build a literal bridge, including several design elements of real bridge structures. The parameters of scale, material and number of required elements are intentionally left undefined to allow individual interpretation by the students. Everyone produces something different, but builds similar skills. A Literal Bridge. Denise Howell, NSCAD, 2007

The next stage of this lesson is to ask students to make something that is a visual metaphor for a bridge. This shift from literal interpretation to figurative interpretation is the first step towards thinking conceptually. I chose the High-Five as a ritualistic gesture done to connect people in agreeance, joy, and even consolation. The grid was shaped intentionally to suggest the form of a bridge.

Type to enter textHigh–Fives. Denise Howell, NSCAD,

2007High–Fives. Denise Howell, NSCAD, 2007

High Fives. Denise Howell, NSCAD, 2007


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DENISE Community HOWELL Outreach Team Possible Team Possible is a youth group who celebrate and learn in the shared context of living with Down’s Syndrome in Halifax, NS. I led and participated in multiple creative projects with the “Possibles”. Initially I worked with Team Possible as an instructor at the Atlantic Film Festival Viewfinder’s 48 Hour Film Challenge. The group wrote, sketched, acted in and shot a Super 8 film in 2 days. The following Friday, their films were screened with other youth films in a sold-out theatre at the Viewfinder’s Youth Film Festival.

Team Possible learning the the parts of the camera. As instructor, I’m shown kneeling at the left.

Team Possible built personalized Indonesian shadow puppets and wrote the script to their own puppet play with help from volunteers. As a group we then assembled a performance screen, rehearsed our lines, and video taped the performances of our talented actors. The video was later edited digitally, complete with titles, credits and out-takes. Several members of Team Possible participated in a collaborative portrait photo session, where they used props, costumes, sets and characters to create fantasy identities. The subjects took turns posing, composing and shooting one another. The images that came from this shoot are both personal and evocative, and exemplify the teamwork inherent in all of the Team Possible endeavors.


DENISE HOWELL References References can be provided upon request. (819) 776-0046 denisehowellphoto@gmail.com 37 Rue Helene-Duval, Gatineau, QC, J8X 3C5


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