Masquerade Dance Party!

April 2014 307April’s Family Art Outreach event was a Masquerade Dance!


The kids and adults in attendance created their own masks and then boogied down to some groovy tunes played by DJ Jazzy Mike (a.k.a. my husband!).  There was even a snack shack and the art vending machine.


To round out the masquerade event theme, I even hired a Henna Tattoo Artist–Deena Drewes from  She is so talented–this was the third time I had her at my school.


More than anything, the dance was a fun way to celebrate all of my students’ hard work in art class this school year.


What about you?  What cool ways have you acknowledged your students’ artistic achievements?April 2014 298April 2014 306April 2014 308

“LOVE” Shirts are Walkin’ the Streets

Love ShirtOk, so the “LOVE” shirts have always been a part of my original master plan to implement an all out art invasion.  I can’t think of a better way to profess your love for art!  However, for the most part, only students and adults in my area have been rockin’ the artful swag.  Until now…

This past March I participated in the artisan’s gallery at the National Art Educators Association convention in San Diego.  The shirts were such a hit that I completely SOLD OUT before the event was even over!

Throughout the remainder of the convention I kept bumping into people wearing the shirt–just like the beautiful woman in this photo.  Only this time I had my camera handy to snag a pic!

Do you have a artsy t-shirt?  If so, email me a pic at and I’ll post it on the site!  Together we’ll invade this planet one art shirt at a time!

Goodbye Art Academy

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 10.46.58 PMRecognize this guy?


Phil Hansen!  

We posed for this pic out in San Diego at NAEA after his super session showdown where he rocked the crowd with the unveiling of his latest endeavor–The Goodbye Art Academy!

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 10.39.32 PMThe Goodbye Art Academy is a fantastic resource for students and art teachers alike.  Viewers are able to watch engaging and to-the-point art related videos “however, whenever, wherever”!  I think he’s on to something!  Sort of fits really nicely with this whole art invasion idea, don’t you think?Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 10.27.26 PM

Don’t know Phil yet?  Click here to watch his TED Talk.  I promise you’ll be in awe, as well as inspired!

Fav quote:  “We must first be limited to become limitless.”

What’s your favorite Phil Hansen quote?

“Art-a-Thon” iBook

Looking to ramp up your art program?

Look no more!

The “Art-a-Thon” is a fail-proof guide to helping your plan and implement a late night art experience for your students.  This uniquely amazing advocacy tactic has revolutionized the manner in which the visual arts are valued and supported in my district.

Go on!  Give it a try!  You won’t regret hosting an “Art-a-Thon” and your students won’t forget it!Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 9.28.02 PM

I’m published!

I’ve been dreaming of being published for almost three years now and I’m happy to report that it has finally happened!

My art teacher resource book “Art-a-Thon” is a fail-proof guide to planning and implementing a one-of-a-kind late night art experience for students.  Without a doubt the “Art-a-Thon” has revolutionized my art program and my professional career.

Consider checking the “Art-aThon” out!  I guarantee that you won’t regret it and your students won’t forget it!

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 9.28.02 PM

NAEA 2014!

Sunny San Diego is being infiltrated by art educators from across the nation!  Here, Kris Holsen (Art Educators of Minnesota President) and myself pose for a picture during the delegates session.


Are you at NAEA?  Look me up!  I’m presenting on Sunday at 4:00 (24C) on iBooks in the art room!!


Art Techno Night

Technology has always been a passion of mine.  I think I may have inherited that trait from my Grandpa–he’s always tinkering with the latest tech gadgets!

The theme for the March Family Art Outreach event was all about merging the arts with innovative technologies.  Pictured below is the crown jewel of the evening–the Makerbot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer!  There was a crowd of intrigued on-lookers the entire evening.  I still catch myself being mesmerized by the fact that this machine can turn a 2D digital file into an actual 3D object.
IMG_0355Families had a menu of options to choose from at technology night.  They included iPads, digital cameras, a SMART Board, and, of course, the 3D printer. IMG_0354The iPads each had a folder of special art related apps for children and adults to explore.  Some of the favorite apps were: Brushes, Doodle Buddy, Sketchbook, Color Effects, 123D Sculpt, 123D Creature, iMotion HD, and Pottery HD.   
IMG_0351The raffle prizes for the evening were bracelets and gadgets that were printed on the Makerbot.  
IMG_0350I don’t know if these 1st grade boys looked up all night :)
IMG_0349There were legos, modeling clay, plastic animals, and toy cars that families could use as props for their stop motion animations.IMG_0348My technology body guard!  IMG_0346Fun on the SMART board with the Tux Paint program!


Do you have a passion for technology?  If so, what’s the one piece of equipment or software that you couldn’t survive without?

And…I’m always looking for more neat-o art iPad apps–please share some of your favorite!

Art-O-Matic Vending Machine

Are you ever challenged by the students that are constantly finished with their assignment days ahead of the rest of the class?

Do you ever find yourself scrounging for cash to fund your brilliant art invasions?

If you answered “yes” to either of the questions, then keep reading!

This art invasion strategy totally killed two birds with one stone (gosh, that sounds violent, but rest assured no actual birds were harmed while creating the art vending machine!).

Earlier this school year I paid a little visit to our local hardware store.  They had several big beautiful boxes for me to choose from.  They also looked at me like I was a crazy person when I mentioned that I was building a vending machine that would dispense art! IMG_2282You can imagine my students’ excitement while they tried to figure out what on earth we were going to do with a gigantic box.  As I explained the concept of the vending machine to the kids, I expected a strong reaction when I said they wouldn’t get to keep the money from any artwork they sold.  Rather, I was met with enthusiasm and an eagerness for getting started on creating their mini-masterpieces (5″x7″).  

We spent one entire class period dedicated to making art for the vending machine.  However, now it’s an option for students to turn to when they’re finished with their assignment and the rest of the group is still working.  I have a couple of decks of “Go Fish for Art” cards that have images of actual masterpieces on them.  The kids enjoy sifting through the pile and selecting one to use as their inspiration (I find this usually produces higher quality art than just saying “do whatever you want”).  I also have a button maker, so I think I’m going to have my students make buttons for the vending machine next.    

IMG_0011The Art-O-Matic vending machine made its debut at a varsity boys basketball game.  At first people were a little hesitant or confused by what the art vending machine was, but all it took was a couple of very energetic junior high girls to get the ball rollin’ and the cash flowin’!  It is currently scheduled (even requested!) to make several appearances over the next few months.  IMG_0015IMG_0016Do you have a clever idea for making a few bucks for your art program? If so, please share :)

Art + Science = SOOOO Much Fun!

IMG_0267February’s Family Art Outreach event was soooo much fun!  The families in attendance rotated freely from station to station conducting each of the experiments/projects.  It was so rewarding to see parents and children discover the correlation between science and the arts.  The experiment pictured above allowed student to created their own abstract vinegar and baking soda pictures.
IMG_0279Here one of the kids is creating a watercolor and salt painting.  The children loved learning how the salt absorbs the water and pigment on the surface of the paper.

IMG_0282Prize winners!  Three lucky kiddos won a tie-dye kit.  Talk about a color mixing experiment!

IMG_0277This interactive spinner was mesmerizing…maybe even hypnotic!IMG_0276Tattooing a banana was fun and yummy!  However, this crew got a little silly away with the mustache clipart.  IMG_0265In order for the experiments to truly be a learning experience for the students, I passed out their little science kits as they came through the door.  Most of the supplies needed that evening were in the bag, minus a few things that had to be set out at the tables.  The packet inside included step-by-step procedures of each experimentation as well as a scientific explanation for WHY each reaction occurred.

Have you ever paired art + science?  If so, what kinds of projects/experiments did you do?

I am currently working on a PDF document that further explains each of the science + art experiments.  Please check back soon!  

Lego Night

IMG_0093I knew many of my students liked Legos, but quite honestly I wasn’t prepared for the steady flow of kids and and parents that filtered into our school cafeteria for the Family Art Outreach Lego Night!  Over 100 people were in attendance for the January FAO event–making it a smashing success.

The busy participants sifted through boxes and boxes of Legos in pursuit of the perfect pieces for their creations.  The kids designed robots, rockets, cars, aircraft, animals, towers, buildings, and much more.  I’m pretty sure I even witnessed a few parents eagerly constructing with the Legos!

Lego Night had more to offer than just the plastic building parts.  Families could also spend time playing the game Creationary–Lego’s version of Pictionary.  You know, building something with Legos and everyone else tries to guess what it is.  In addition, I set out 25 iPads featuring two free Lego apps–Lego Junior and Lego Movie.  Lego Junior allows players to build a custom Lego contraption and drive it through an obstacle course while trying to collect coins.  Lego Movie enabled families to create their own stop-motion animation.  I had eight filming stations (cardboard boxes covered with white paper) for kids and their parents to produce their movie.  Last, there was also oversized Legos (Mega Blocks) for smaller family members to experiment with and a photo opportunity in front of the Lego backdrop for when creations were completed.  All in all it was an awesome experience for Lego lovers of all ages!

Click here to watch a slideshow of the evening.Screen Shot 2014-02-08 at 9.36.06 AM