Week 15- April 28- May 1st

Perpich High School-Graham Judd-3 hours


Perpich- This was my last week at Perpich. I'm a little sad because I won't get to see everyones final projects. In particular I showed a student some new book structures a couple weeks ago and what to see how she uses them. It was a great experience getting to work with Graham and a group of really extraordinary students. I hope our paths will cross sometime in the future, maybe they will even come to MCAD someday. Most of the student work I saw was very mature and basically on level with someone work created in college. All around it was a great experience and I hope to be able to teach at Perpich again someday.  

Week 14- April 20-27

Perpich - Graham Judd - 3 hours

MIA - Helping Veda - 5 hours.

Perpich- The students are working on a self initiated project. One student came to me with two ideas and we worked out what she is more interested in and passionate about. I helped her with different ideas for book structures and how to show her ideas. I really love problem solving and this is what I wish happened more often with these students. That they have time to ideate and create mock-ups because I think that is where you really learn. Unfortunately a large amount of students are self motivated enough to spend time doing this and need stricter prompts and tighter deadlines.


MIA- More problem solving. Veda came into class (we had work time) freaking out about her screen not being exposed all the way. We tried to problem solve and see if we could save it (we being a bunch of people in class). It was settled on that she could make stencils as a worst case/not that bad case scenario. It was cool too see it all in action especially in a museum setting. My experience so far have all been classroom based and getting to see a lesson that had to be retaught throughout the time was very different. They also weren't sure how many people and what kinds of people would show up which can make things hard to plan, its just important to be flexible. The lesson went fine, the original screens didn't really work out but the back-up did!! Either way people made some cool t-shirts. 

Week 13- April 12-19

Week 13- April 12-19

Perpich - Graham Judd - 3 hours

MCBA - Cindy Gipple - 3 hours

I can't believe its already week 13. The time just flew by this semester and I'm sad I won't get to spend much more time at both Perpich and MCBA. 

Perpich-This week was pretty normal. The students were finally getting fully back into the groove after spring break and interim. The seniors finally turned in their prints for my project and the juniors had their books done. We were all set to critique when the power went out. Graham decided to push off the critique so I wasn't able to see that. The prints that were put up are amazing! They made some incredible work!! See the cover photo.

MCBA- This time was paper making for Kindergarteners! They were maybe 4 or 5 years old. I've helped with much older students but its a different dynamic with students this young. They don't have a very long attention span or vocabulary. The usual talk about different types of paper before we started went over their heads a little. They couldn't quite grasp a world without paper and needing to write on bark or what parchment was. They still made some great paper, it just took more explanation. It was easier for them to observe someone and then do it themselves but they needed that for each sheet they made. The lesson still went as smooth as usual despite how young they were. I'm glad I got to help with this group, I've never taught students so young. I know they aren't my strongest age to teach but I would be up for the challenge in the future. 

Week 11/12- April 4-11

Perpich - Substitute - 3 hours

MCBA-Angela-6 hours

Perpich. It was their first day back from break. Graham wasn't there and the substitute was confused about the instructions. It was a little chaotic at first but the students settled in and worked on other work if they didn't have anything to do. Something I noticed, especially on the high school level, was the respect students had for this particular substitute. He taught an unpopular science class. He was engaging but a little awkward and out of touch and I noticed the students didn't listen to him. He tried to be friendly with them but it was clear that was not his normal classroom dynamic and they saw right through him.

MCBA. I spent my first day prepping for my lesson and helping with some other prep work. It was great to talk to Angela about how she became a teacher. I think its interesting the different paths people end up taking. We were assembling a section of a book that students the day before hadn't been able to finish. They were teaching the same thing that day and adjusted to try to fit it all in. Although a little crazy, it worked out okay. Some book structures take longer than others, and some classes take more direction and explanation than others. 

I got to teach on Friday. It was a pop-out book about neighborhoods. I definitely spoke a little too fast and could have slowed down and explained things more thoroughly. I wish I had brought them closer and demoed the different parts before having them try. It was an incredibly well behaved group of students. They listened and were relatively quiet and attentive. There was extra time for them to work on their books and they came up with some extraordinary things. I wish I had images of them but unfortunately there wasn't time during the lesson. It was such a good experience teaching and can't wait to do more in the future!

Week 10-March 22-28

Perpich-3 hours

The Minnesota Science Museum-Jan Elftman-8 hours

Perpich This week Graham was out and a substitute teacher was filling in. Originally I wasn't going to go to because Graham wasn't there but I thought it would be beneficial to have someone there to help. Some of the students had questions about bookmaking that the substitute, a retired history teacher, couldn't answer. Luckily I love book arts and got the opportunity to share my passion. Something interesting that I observed is the way students work. One student was completely done with their book. It had the same print on every page (that was the point) and the structure was a very simple accordion. I talked to him and we brainstormed more ways he could use his prints and possibly make another book. He settled on modifying his existing one and I think his concept really improved. Another student had at least three mock-ups of varying difficulty and tons of sketches. She was trying to plan it all out perfectly but was running out of time. She just needed the push to finalize everything and create a final product. It made me realize how every student is truly different and needs different things from a teacher. I need to work on being able to provide for an understand all these needs so each student can succeed.

The Science Museum- This week was the same lesson, Shocking Electricity with a different group of students. This group was a grade lower than last, but the same content. Its interesting how some groups understand things but the next may not. While one group got circuits but didn't grasp magnets as well, the other was the complete opposite. Every time you teach something it will always be different. Even the environment changes things. In this program the students are specially chosen and want to be there to learn, so I wonder if it would be different in a traditional classroom. 

I really enjoyed my time at the science museum. It was an incredible opportunity to shadow Jan Elftmann. The science museum is full of artists teaching and creating and working with science. It really shows that creative people make really good teachers, regardless of what they are teaching. I wish I could have spent more time there but it was an fun two weeks! 

*Sorry this is late, with spring break I completely spaced about posting this at the end of the week.  I usually write it up on friday but forgot because of the holiday. Next week will be back on schedule*

Week 9 - March 15-21

Week 9 - March 15-21

Perpich-Graham Judd- 3 Hours

The Minnesota Science Museum-Jan Elftmann-8 Hours

Perpich The students are starting a smaller project because of how weird the semester ended up being. Graham decided to add an accordion book project into his syllabus. Bookmaking is what I tend to do in my practice so they worked out perfect. It was cool to see students mocking up books and dealing with a lot of the same issues I do in my work. One student was struggling with displaying landscape images in a portrait style book. She made her pages landscape but folded it vertically so when opened the book would sag down. I would have done it differently and I'm glad she figured it out on her own. Her book structure suits her imagery and speaks to the way she thinks way more than me telling her how to do it.

The Science Museum! My shadowing is finally here! I'm working with Jan Elftmann who is an artist teaching science. She works in the youth program at the Minnesota Science Museum and this week students are coming in for 2 hours everyday all week long. The class is Shocking Electricity and its all about circuits, magnets and of course electricity. The students are in 4th and 5th grade and come from four different middle schools. Its such a cool program, these students are picked specifically to come and are really eager to learn. A surprising number of teachers and facilitators of the program also graduated from MCAD or have a background in art. 

The wonderful connection between art and science is that they are both so hands on, especially at this age. Everyone gets to try everything and build things themselves. Art and science also have a kinesthetic component as well as a visual. Often students set up an experiment and needed to watch for results. The skills used in both science and art are so interchangeable I'm surprised they aren't combined more often. Observation, attention to detail, understanding how things work and their properties are important to both. I'm so glad I got to see a teaching artist science class because it gives so much perspective on art and teaching artists.

Since the students are from different schools I've noticed sometimes there is a need to show off. Kids say things like "Oh, at our school we've already done this" but its not a huge competition. They are still young enough to work together and often bond of simply things like a love for dance. Jan is really good and making sure everyone understands and nobody feels left behind or stupid. Especially since they are mostly experimenting, every observation is good even if it didn't work like it 'should'. In art and science we learn more from our mistakes than our successes. 

Next week I'm back at The Science Museum for the same lesson, although with different kids. Its such an incredible place, I'm glad I can spend some time there this semester.  

Week 8  - March 8-14

Week 8 - March 8-14

Perpich High School - Graham Judd - 3 Hours

MCBA - Cindy Gipple, Lucy Hawthorne - 6 hours

Perpich. This week was critique! It was only half the class because the seniors were putting up a show, but I think it was nicer having a smaller group. It went really well, we started by talking about technical problems, and issues people had. We picked pieces we were initially drawn to and talked about the emotion they conveyed before the artist spoke about. The students had great suggestions for their peers and often the conversation flowed naturally. I didn't have to constantly prod them to speak which was a relief. I think we could have gone more into the content and context of some of the prints, instead of just the aesthetic merits. The prints themselves turned out really well aesthetically. It seems the students are having less major technical errors only minor ones like the color printed darker than expected. It was surprisingly fun to lead critique, but maybe because I didn't have my own piece to worry about. 

A smart thing Graham has the students do after every critique is first leave the pieces on the wall. He does it so others can see but the artist often can see their prints differently from far away or on a different day. He also has the students clean the studio. That way each project is started with a clean studio space and fresh start. 


MCBA. First day this week was papermaking in the basement. It ran just as smooth as normal. I think something really important to think about is classroom management. We were in the basement which is a smaller space. The second graders would be bumping into each other way more often and it was a little more chaotic. As a teaching artist it must be hard to gain respect and authority from a group and maintain in all in about an hour. The primary teacher is always there, and they can usually command the group, but it all depends. There are also always parent chaperones at MCBA. Sometimes they are really great and helpful. They move about the room, ask good questions and are generally a good addition. Sometimes they aren't. I've experienced that some 1st or 2nd graders are better at following instructions than parents, it must be because they are more used to follow directions than adults.

My second time this week at MCBA was working with 3rd graders on a hieroglyph printmaking poster. It runs the same as the font poster class except with Egyptian hieroglyphs. I noticed that students tended to be more creative when working with our alphabet. When given a hieroglyph they often copied it and didn't add anything to it. Maybe it has to do with familiarity or less clear instructions. It seems that the 3rd graders had less of an understanding (or paid attention less) than a group of first graders I observed. Regardless of this, the project was done very well, as always at MCBA. 

Week 7–March 1-7

Perpich- Graham Judd - 3 hours

Perpich- A quiet week for teaching. Students were starting their first layers and exposing screens. I walked through my demo again with a couple students since a week had already passed. They seemed a little behind on the project, but most had their stencils finished. It was just a matter of having screens coated and ready to go. Lesson learned, always have extras prepped and ready, especially with two classes back to back. Most students just worked on other class work, but I wonder if they could have done something else. Final critique is coming up and I can't wait to hear how they talk about their work (or maybe don't talk). I'm pretty confident I can get them talking because I'm often in their shoes, but I'm going to  research more techniques, just in case. 

Week 6- February 22-28

Week 6- February 22-28

Perpich-Graham Judd- 3 hours

MCBA - Cindy Gipple - 3 hours

MCBA This week was paper making!! Having only done it once on my own I was a little nervous but since they were only first graders they had no idea I was inexperienced. It went incredibly smooth for being complex and delicate. Each student made two sheets, a color and an inclusion. The inclusions are things added to the paper pulp, in this case magazine shreds. (see the photo) 


I just want to say everything at MCBA runs so smooth. There was 5 different groups going at the same time and everything seem to work. They transitioned between three different activities and ate lunch and got a tour. It was incredibly complicated looking at the schedule but they made it work splendidly.

Perpich I got to teach!! The critique is in a couple weeks so I'll get to see final results then but they are going to do great. The first time around I spoke pretty fast and could have explained things a little better. The second time was great! They understood much more and I was definitely less nervous. (it may have helped to not be recorded) I really liked doing teaching. It gave me some authority in the classroom which wasn't necessarily there before. This coming week I will get a look at in progress prints and decide we will have to see how well it all went. 

Week 5 -February 15-21

MCBA-Tom Spence-3 hours

MCBA This week was another book structure, the pop-out book. The students were 3rd graders and there was a different dynamic. Since they were older instructions were given 2 or even 3 at a time. Sometimes they could follow through but often many needed reminders. I was helping Tom but another teaching artist, Cindy was doing the same book structure in the next room. It was her first time teaching that book, although she had done similar stuff before. I loved how she just jumped in although others offered to do it for her. I feel like a lot of teaching is about being as prepared as possible but rolling with anything that may come up. 

Next week I'm teaching at Perpich so there will be a bunch more to report!

Week 4- February 8-14

Perpich – Graham Judd – 3 hours

MCBA – Lucy Hawthorne, Angela Hed Vincent – 6 hours

Perpich This week was just a work day. Everyone was busy printing or painting their screens, and there wasn't much they need help with. I still find it interesting how much freedom students have to leave the classroom and work on what they need. I think some of the students have technical problems, like using too much ink and not registering properly. It will be interesting to see how they handle an edition and how hard it truly is! 

MCBA This week I went in twice, back to back. First day was first graders again but this time it was book making. This lesson the students made a tunnel book although it was just the structure. I was surprised how smooth the lesson went, not because of the teacher but the complexities of folding paper. It was taught really well, and everything went smoothly, although extra hands are always needed. The second day was mountain pop-out books which are a much simpler, and include less steps. I liked how both lessons could be explained more or less in depth depending on the time restraints and reception from the students. Going more in depth on how to fold and even glue was helpful, but could be cut out if time was running out. 

I also noticed a difference in classroom dynamic, on both days, since the same lesson is taught twice. Depending on the teachers involvement, each class was different. Sometimes the normal classroom teacher (since these are school groups) is very involved in maintaining order with the students. Other times the teacher steps back and lets the teaching artist manage the class. Neither is better than the other, its just an interesting dynamic. Its something I want to watch for in the future, especially all the different ways it is achieved. All and all though, every teacher has been incredibly helpful and makes sure every student finishes the project. 

Week 3- February 1-7

Perpich- Graham Judd- 3 hours

MCBA - Lucy Hawthorne- 3 hours

Perpich. It was interesting to look at some of the prints students created. Although the critique was the day before, the prints were still up and students had questions. They were given a new assignment, a 3 color reduction print using screen filler. Graham explained the project, showed images and gave a quick demo about the process. Students were then to sketch out ideas before starting. Most of the students had questions and I loved having the opportunity to clarify. I went around and asked about ideas and themes they were thinking of. Some students had wonderful ideas that were practically on a college level while others needed to think beyond just the visual components. I'm starting to feel more comfortable and less like an outsider, especially since I'm only there once a week. 

MCBA. This week I got to assist with a class of first grade students. There were three classes split amongst the teachers. I helped Tom set up since he was doing both the printmaking and booking making components. During the lesson I assisted Lucy and we did the same lesson twice to two different classes. Students were given a letter of the alphabet and asked to draw an interesting font. We talked about serifs, bubble letters and interesting ways to create a letter. The first graders drew their letter, then transferred it onto a piece of flexy-foam. They then cut it out and engraved any inner designs. The foam was then stuck to a board, inked up and ran through the press. Each student got to roll the paper through and create their own print! Lucy talked about editions and how they would be getting 1 of the only 26 copies. The class then got a break for lunch and switched teachers so they could learn to make accordion books. 

They whole thing ran pretty smooth considering first graders and their low attention span. Lucy asked questions that they could answer and their was never much time when they weren't doing something. Directions were given one by one so they only had one thing to focus on. It was all very professional and I think the students genuinely had fun. I can't wait to return to MCBA next week, this time for two days. 

Week 2 – January 25 - 31

Perpich - Graham Judd - 3 hours

I started my first week at Perpich in Graham Judd's screenprinting classes. The students were working on creating stencils for multi-colored prints. They were eager to start printing but there wasn't time to start that day. I really enjoyed talking with students about their ideas and pushing them to create different things. I'm still getting the hang of how Perpich is run. Students have freedom and can go to computer labs or wherever they need during class time. It's very open although they are still expected to get things done. 

There are two classes back to back and they have very different dynamic. Both students and the teacher lose energy at the end of the day, creating a different work ethic. It will be interesting to compare final products from the projects next week. 

Week 1- January 18-24

This week times were still getting organized so I didn't have the opportunity to start teaching. 

The week before I met with Graham Judd at Perpich Center for Arts Education. I will be teaching in a Screen Printing class filled with Juniors and Seniors. I met with Graham last week and got a tour of the school. It's an amazing place and I think that it will be a great experience.

I met with Jan Elftmann who is a teaching artist at the Minnesota Science Museum. Unfortunately I won't get to shadow her until March but I am thrilled to get to work with her. It will be an interesting couple weeks getting to help teach science.

My last placement is at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. I met with Angela Hed Vincent who is the Youth and Community Programs Director. I will get to help with a bunch of different youth classes and have the opportunity to see how MCBA runs. 

I'm incredibly thrilled to have such great placements and can't wait to start next week!