Leading from the middle semi-regular musings from NAEA's Middle Level Division

aug/Sept 2017

Welcome to our back-to-school issue of the NAEA's Middle Level Division Newsletter. The purpose for this publication is to share monthly happenings and opportunities with our members across the Association.

We will also use this space to respond to timely issues facing our field. Unfortunately, this issue comes on the heels of the horrific events in Charlottesville, Virginia. We are proud to share the following message from NAEA's President, Kim Huyler Defibaugh, Ed.D.

NAEA Statement in Response to Racial Violence in Charlottesville, Virginia

The following statement is issued by National Art Education Association President, Kim Huyler Defibaugh, Ed.D., following the events in Charlottesville, VA.

The National Art Education Association (NAEA) condemns in the strongest terms possible the acts of hatred, racism, discrimination and bigotry that took place on August 13, 2017, in Charlottesville, Virginia. NAEA expresses condolences to the families of those whose lives were lost.

Through the darkness of this tragedy, we stand with Charlottesville in the hope that the lights of diversity, inclusion and acceptance will shine through. Art education is a powerful catalyst for interpreting the world and teaching diversity of thought.

The mission of NAEA is to advance visual arts education to fulfill human potential and promote global understanding. Art educators are encouraged to facilitate dialogue with their learners that teaches lessons of empathy and understanding through art education.

The NAEA professional community understands that these actual life events impact the very real lives of our nation’s children and youth. In response, art educators are encouraged to use this moment to facilitate critical conversations that will effect positive change. We have compiled a few resources and a link to an article that explicitly addresses the confederate statues that ignited these unfortunate events in Charlottesville. Members are encouraged to follow the hashtag #CharlottesvilleCurriculum for additional resources.

Art education shapes human potential. We take this moment in our nation’s history to rededicate ourselves to maximizing the potential that is shared by the mosaic of our global humanity.

Resources for art educators:


1. student work as profile pics

You may have noticed that our FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, PINTEREST and TWITTER feeds have been updating their Profile Pics lately. Each week, we've tried to showcase a new student artwork, submitted by division members from across NAEA. Our goals are 3-fold:

  1. CELEBRATE STUDENT WORK. At the heart of all we do in the Middle Division are the students we serve. Our profile pic is our introduction to the world, and using student work shows what we truly value.
  2. KEEP THE FEED FRESH. What's worse than a stale FB account? We have so much going on across the Association, and occasional updates help to keep us current with goings-on within the division.
  3. ADVOCATE FOR THE MEMBERS. We love highlighting the inspiring work that is being created under the guidance of our dedicated middle level colleagues.
A collection of recent FB profile pics | Submitted by Middle Level members
2. Our Middle Level Book Club

In June, our Facebook group embarked on a new endeavor: the Middle Level Book Club. For those who contributed to our discussion, thank you for sharing your perspective and analysis! In the coming months, we plan on exploring more titles, and possibly expanding to articles and videos.

Our first title, selected by an informal poll on FB, was STUDIO THINKING 2, by Hetland, Winner, Veenema & Sheridan. If you'd like to follow our discussion thread, click here to view the Intro Post.

Next up? We're gonna examine the inspiring text STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST by Austin Kleon, in order to get pumped up for the coming school year! Stay tuned for details!

STUDIO THINKING 2 by Hetland, Winner, Veenema & Sheridan
3. Njahs happenings

Our Middle Division proudly supports the National Junior Honor Society (NJAHS), and we honor the ongoing work of our chapter sponsors. Over the course of the coming year, we hope to dig deep into best practices for successful chapters and explore how best to support each other as chapter sponsors.

  • NAHS/NJAHS JURIED EXHIBITION @ NAEA HEADQUARTERSongoing. The gallery walls of NAEA's home office in Alexandria, VA are currently showcasing accepted submissions to their annual NAHS/NJAHS Show. If you're in the neighborhood, definitely stop by, or check out the online exhibition.
Selected student work from NJAHS sponsor Sharon Miller, of Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy in Grand Prairie, Texas
  • SPONSOR SUPPORT. Looking for a way to connect with other NJAHS sponsors from across NAEA? We've launched the "NJAHS SPONSOR FORUM" group on FB and added a SPONSOR FORUM BOARD on our Middle Level Pinterest page.
  • NAHS NEWS DEADLINE. Remember to submit your chapter updates and student art by NOVEMBER 1 in order to be considered for publication in the Winter Issue of NAHS News.
  • The leadership team for our division, which is part of the NAHS/NJAHS National Council, is Pete Curran, division director, Kathy Bareis, director-elect, Marisa Pappas, middle level representative, and Cappie Dobyns, past-representative. Email naeamiddlelevel@gmail.com with questions, comments, or suggestions.
4. Regional News
  • EASTERN REGION. Leslie Flowers, Regional Division Director. Irving A Robbins Middle School, Farmington, CT. flowersl@fpsct.org. Leslie is entering her 24th year of teaching, 22 of which have been in the middle level. She is looking forward to presenting at her state association's Fall Conference, as well as our National Convention in Seattle.
  • PACIFIC REGION. Tami Green, Regional Division Director. tgreen@wsd.net
  • SOUTHEASTERN REGION. Holly Bess Kincaid, Regional Division Director. hollybess@gmail.com
  • WESTERN REGION. Michael Orlando, Regional Division Director. Berkshire Middle School, Birmingham, Michigan. mchlorlando@yahoo.com. Michael reports that NAEA's Western Region Summer Leadership Summit was held June 21-24 in Elmhurst, Illinois at Elmhurst College.
Michigan Art Education Association's Elementary & Middle Level State Show, held on June 24th at Western Michigan University
5. opportunities
  • 2017 NAEA Member Exhibition | CALL FOR ART. You're invited to submit your artwork to be juried for possible inclusion in the 2017 NAEA Member Exhibition! Submission Deadline: August 25, 2017 by 11:59 pm EST.
  • MIDDLE LEVEL MEDLEYS. Our Seattle Convention plans are starting to take shape! Our division will be hosting a handful of workshops and activities, including a series of three "Middle Level Medleys." For an overview of the session topics and to volunteer to participate as a presenter in one of the medleys, please follow THIS LINK and complete the questionnaire.
  • NAEA AWARDS NOMINATIONS. NAEA's national and regional award packets will be published soon. This is a great way to celebrate your talented and deserving colleagues. Keep an eye out for the Call for Nominations!
  • NAEA NEWS & NEWSLETTER. Have an idea for an upcoming issue of NAEA News or this Newsletter? We'd love to hear it. Email us at naeamiddlelevel@gmail.com and pitch your story ideas! Check out the latest issue of NAEA News, too.
THe middle level division's leadership team
Kathy Bareis, Director-Elect, top left; Pete Curran, Division Director, top center; Jacqueline McElhany, Middle Level Research Commissioner, top right; Leslie Flowers, lower left; Michael Orlando, lower right.

Next month we'll be talking back-to-school, NJAHS chapter sponsorship, Awards, our latest Book Discussion, and convention planning. We'll also be introducing some new columns from our Director-Elect, Kathy Bareis, who is embarking on a 50+ state/province/district trek to showcase success stories from across the division, and our Eastern Region Director, Leslie Flowers, who plans to explore what makes our art programs special. See you then!

  • NAEA MissionThe National Art Education Association advances visual arts education to fulfill human potential and promote global understanding.
  • NAEA's Statement on Diversity & InclusionNAEA is committed to the important role of visual art education in providing and promoting more just, inclusive learning communities in local and global contexts, and embraces diversity as an integral part of the mission of visual art education. The mosaic of our global humanity is enriched and expanded by the inclusion of all peoples and cultures and the art forms they create.

About the COVER IMAGE: Australian artist Konstantin Dimopoulos installed his work, "The Blue Trees," in Seattle, WA in 2012.


Created with images by BPPrice - "Blue Trees" • miketnorton - "Ansel Adams" • Free-Photos - "seattle washington city"

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.