Sunday, June 30, 2013

Google Map

I finished my google map for my fellowship to New Mexico!  It is complete with quotes and suggestions from friends as well as icons, websites, hours of operations, etc.  I am a dork.  I am proud of this.  Check it out here!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Summer Art Camp-Tar Paper

Here are some pictures of some of the artwork my students have been working on at the "Young Artists" summer art camp at the Birmingham Museum of Art these past two weeks.  They are so talented!  I am hoping to do variations of these lessons with my students.  Just have to tweak for lack of time and hectic schedule!  These were done by kids in grades 2-5.

Chalk sketch and beginning of underpainting

Beginning to add color

Completed varnished piece!

This lesson was inspired by a piece by Dick Jemison in the BMA collection (similar to the one showed here)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Fund for Teachers Fellowship

I am getting super excited to embark on my fellowship to New Mexico.  I am leaving in just 4 days, so check back here over the next few weeks for updates, pictures, and inspirations I plan to bring back to my students!  Fund for Teachers graciously awards learning fellowships to teachers across the county to pursue professional development; encouraging better teaching practices through more engaging lessons for students.  This year they awarded over 500 teachers across the U.S.  I was amazed at some of the other fantastic projects other Fund for Teachers fellows are working on this summer.  You can read a complete list of the awarded fellowships here.

You can also check out the Fund for Teachers facebook page, tumblr, and twitter to keep up with the other teachers and the progress of their learning fellowships as they take place this summer!

The proposed fellowship includes arriving in New Mexico on July 2nd and departing on July 24th. The organized professional development will take place in Santa Fe, Taos, Albuquerque and surrounding areas in New Mexico. Upon arrival in New Mexico, I will rent a car and explore art resources in the immediate Santa Fe area (including the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, SITE contemporary art center, Star Axis, and Canyon Road Galleries).  Then, I plan to participate CRIZMAC's planned summer programs that celebrate the art and culture of the Southwest. The summer programs I will be participating in include "Celebration of the Pueblo Indian art and Culture" and "Folk Art Extravaganza." This will last two weeks.  The key activities I will be pursuing include discussions by guest artists from the Taos Pueblo, lecture by a Native American scholar, visits to local art museums and galleries, hands on studio art activities, a trip to the home of a Pueblo jeweler, a visit to the International Folk Art Market showcasing 170 artists from 52 countries, planned art activities than can be used to teach students, and more. This is important so that I can strengthen my teaching practices and become a learner myself. Being exposed to actual artists, scholars, and fellow art educators will allow me to practically fulfill my research and answer the questions I have.  After the conclusion of the two week seminar hosted by CRIZMAC, I will again embark on my own.  I will travel, by car, through Albuquerque, Taos, and surrounding areas to explore more art and culture.  Some examples of places I plan to visit and learn more about include:  the Lightning Field installation by Walter de Maria, petro glyphs at a National Park, ACOMA Sky Pueblo, the “Highroad” to Taos to see wood carvers at work and Bandelier National Monument. I will document my personal journey with photographs to share with my students during the upcoming school year.  This will in turn motivate and inspire me to apply the techniques upon arrival back to my school. The hands on art activities will provide me the opportunity to foresee potential obstacles my elementary aged students might have during the art lesson. Since I will be surrounded by artists, scholars, and fellow art educators I can use their expertise to help me find solutions for these obstacles. My experiences will result in the creation of unique art lessons for my students that will allow them to make valid connections between the Native American and folk art of our region with that of the Southwest and abroad. It will also provide them with more engaging lessons that employ a variety of techniques, materials, and cultural stimulation.  The fellowship will culminate in a school-wide festival highlighting the Southwest.  I will collaborate with fellow teachers from school to create cross content connections.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer Art Camp-Mini Museums

This was one of my favorite projects to teach!!!  I have been working with 2nd-5th graders these past two weeks with the Birmingham Museum of Art's summer art camp.  We explored the museum and I taught them about curators and what their jobs entailed.  Then, they sketched ideas for their own miniature art museum in their sketchbook; playing with different themes.  After that they began picking floor and wall colors that connected to their theme and started creating tiny pieces.  At the end they had to make tough curatorial decisions as to what pieces made the cut.  They arranged them and labeled them.  Finally they created advertisement, ideas for programs and promotions and more to entice us all to attend their musuem!

Sad News

So sad to hear of the passing of amazing actor, father, husband James Gandolfini a few days ago.  This painting by local artist Kellie Newsome is beautiful and apropos!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Korean BBQ Tofu Burrito

We went to delicious Hankook Taqueria in Atlanta with Dan and Katrina  last weekend.  We had the Korean BBQ Tofu Burrito which was delicious (and so were the Sesame fries, OMG)!!

I decided to try and make a healthier version of the burrito where I used a whole wheat/low carb wrap and a combination of cauliflower and quinoa in place of the rice.


  • Tofu, 16 oz., cubed (1 packet makes 4 servings)
  • Coconut Oil
  • 1 head Cauliflower, cut, steamed, mashed
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • Korean BBQ sauce (I used store bought but you can make your own too)
  • 1 sprig fresh Cilantro
  • Sprouts
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped


  1. Cook quinoa according to directions (*make sure to rinse first)
  2. Chop cauliflower and boil for 15 minutes.  Drain and mash.
  3. Saute tofu and garlic on medium-high heat in large skillet.  Turn to brown on all sides and set aside.
  4. Mix 1 cup of Korean BBQ sauce with quinoa then lightly fold in tofu.
  5. Assemble in burrito/wrap by adding tofu BBQ mixture and add fresh cilantro and sprouts.
  6. Devour!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Meatless Muffalettas

This veggie creation turned out tasty!!!
  • Whole Wheat English Muffins
  • Sliced Aged Provolone Cheese
  • Mayonaise
  • Tapenade (homemade or store bought-I used this recipe by Alton Brown)
  • Artichokes
  • Fresh Basil
  1. Spread mayonaise on top of English muffin.
  2. Melt cheese in toaster oven on top piece after spreading mayo.
  3. Pile tapenade on bottom English muffin (the nooks and crannies soak up all the juice and keep things from getting to sloppy or messy).
  4. Place artichoke and fresh basil in between.
  5. Put sandwich together and enjoy!
I made these ahead of time and put them in the fridge wrapped in parchment paper for several hours.  They kept well.  We took them to Railroad Park and enjoyed them as we listened to the Alabama Symphony Orchestra perform in the park.  Lovely evening!