Eastern Region Column: Feb/Mar 2022

NAEA News Feb/Mar 2022

The columns for this issue of NAEA News were written prior to the 2022 National Convention. As such, you may find information about Convention sessions and references to past occurrences in the future tense.

“To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping.” —Chinese proverb

This has definitely been an incredibly interesting and busy journey. As we navigate unforeseen and sometimes overwhelming potholes, it is important to take time to personally and professionally refuel. Participating in relevant professional development and connecting with like-minded individuals is a fantastic way of reigniting your passion and filling your cup. It was thrilling to see many TEAM EAST art educators once again attend state conferences. In order to meet the needs of art educators in each state/district, each state association took its own innovative approach—virtual, in person, or hybrid. Some conferences were moved from the fall to winter or spring. The Vermont Art Education Association Virtual Conference took place in January, and Connecticut and New Jersey will be holding their conferences in March. I feel extremely fortunate to have been able to attend three Eastern Region fall conferences.

New Hampshire:
NHAEA held their annual fall conference, “Restore, Reconnect, Reignite,” in Concord at the Kimball Jenkins School of Art and the League of NH Craftsmen on October 22 and 23. On Friday, the virtual portion of the weekend included NHAEA Educator Awards, division meeting time, and a powerful keynote presented given by artist and associate dean of admissions for diversity at the University of New Hampshire, Richard Haynes, Jr. After a drive-up conference check-in, on Saturday participants enjoyed a choice of 23 different in-person workshops focusing on topics that ranged from hands-on studio practice, instructional best practices, and art educator as artist. I attended four fantastic sessions: Support for Art Teachers as Artists, Printing Essentials: Less Mess Without the Press!, Making Art Part of the (S)TEAM!, and Art Focus: The Power of One. The last of these featured a hands-on workshop presented by keynote Richard Haynes, Jr. Closing out the day was a reception, member exhibit, and raffle. Thank you to Sue Perry, NHAEA President, and the entire team for a fantastic conference filled with learning, artmaking, and connecting with friends.

New York:
“Outside the Lines,” NYSATA’s 73rd annual fall conference was held at the Hilton by Doubletree Hotel and Conference Center in Binghamton, November 19–21 with a preconference on November 18. The weekend included more than 80 virtual and in-person workshops, which were available to attendees well beyond the end of the conference through the conference app. There were four phenomenal keynote speakers, including NAEA President James Haywood Rolling, Jr.; artist and art educator at Maryland Institute College of Art, Nan Park; photographer and artist Nicolas Bruno; and cofounder of the groundbreaking rap group Run-DMC and Darryl Makes Comics (DMC), Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, who spoke throughout the weekend. In addition to the sessions, NYSATA hosted members and student exhibits, an artisans market, and a commercial and college exhibitor showcase. It was exciting to watch BIG INK work with conference participants to print several large-scale woodblocks on their “Big Tuna” mobile printing press. The opportunity to connect with old and new friends was incredibly valuable. I definitely left Binghamton inspired and with my cup filled. The entire NYSATA team, including President Michelle Schroeder, Past President Valerie Savage, and Cindy Henry did a terrific job putting together such a great weekend.

“Renew. Rebirth. Reinvigorate.,” MAEA’s virtual conference, went live Saturday and Sunday, November 13–14. Keynotes included Cindy Meyers Foley, executive deputy director for learning and experience at the Columbus Museum of Art, who discussed creativity and courageous imagination. Haitian American artist and educator Chanel Thervil spoke about creative resilience. During the synchronous workshops there was ample time for questions and rich discussion. A plethora of asynchronous sessions along with the live workshop recordings were released on November 15 and are available to participants until February 28. The MAEA Conference Padlet allowed attendees to connect on their own time; share takeaways, ideas, and resources; and continue the conversations. Being able to attend the asynchronous sessions at my leisure helped me not miss a thing. Melissa Mastrolia, then MAEA President, and the entire conference committee organized a fantastic virtual experience.

Hopefully you are all attending the NYC Convention! Whether in person or virtually, the NAEA National Convention is one of the biggest and most comprehensive visual arts education professional development opportunities. I am looking forward to learning, connecting, and celebrating NAEA’s 75th anniversary. This convention will be a bit bittersweet as it is my last as Eastern Region Vice President. Being part of the NAEA Board and working with TEAM EAST has been an absolutely amazing experience. I will be leaving you in the best of hands as my elect, Heidi O’Donnell, moves into the VP position. Remember that nominations for Division Director are due July 1.

NHAEA Richard Haynes Jr. workshop participants.

Printing with BIG INK at the NYSATA Conference.

With Daryl McDaniels at the NYSATA Conference.

MAEA Conference Padlet.

Andrea Haas, Regional Vice President
Art Teacher. Tel: 860-416-9513.

Heidi O’Donnell, Secondary Visual Arts Educator, Belfast, ME. Tel: 207-236-3993. Email:

Explore More