Pacific 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.

As I reflect on my 4-year run as the Pacific Region VP and VP-Elect, I am very proud to be involved in art education with all of you. The leaders and members I have worked with kept me going and motivated me to be a better leader and educator. These times have been super challenging. Sadly, we have watched associations lose board members left and right—due to job relocations, family challenges, and fatigue. The good news is that we are super creative people! We have stretched, morphed, and reconfigured what we do to make things work. Pacific Region leaders have found new and exciting ways to connect with members virtually, in smaller group settings, and some are even back to “normal” conferencing. But what is “normal”? Remember when we all said over and over we just want things to be “normal” again? “Normal” is being redefined on a daily basis in our classrooms, districts, associations, and existence. This drive to make things work has given us the gift of forging new connections and collaborations with other associations, agencies, and leaders that we would have never ventured toward or created prior to these challenges.

These are some of the amazing events and offerings the Pacific Region has had this school year so far:

The California Art Education Association hosted its first in-person conference since the beginning of the pandemic. Attendees and presenters enjoyed interacting after a long time apart! CAEA’s newly formed ED&I Commission recruited diverse presenters and new attendees to invigorate the event. Preservice members and volunteers went above and beyond to create activities and excitement among all the members.

Jessica Reyes, CREATIVE AID, CAEA.

The Washington Art Education Association celebrated its 50th anniversary by hosting a virtual fall conference. A wide range of presenters highlighted the importance of student choice in art and how educators could achieve this in both virtual and brick-and-mortar classrooms. By using a virtual format, the fall conference was accessible to more educators not only across the state but internationally as well, and it garnered more participation than typical fall conferences.

The Oregon Art Education Association conference met virtually with Amelia M. Kraehe and Joni Boyd Acuff, the authors of Race and Art Education. The conference was offered in a hybrid format. The 1st day was with the keynote speakers and a Q and A, followed by the general session. A book group formed using Race and Art Education. On the 2nd day, OAEA offered various master classes throughout the state for hands-on events.

Amelia M. Kraehe and Joni Boyd Acuff, OAEA keynotes and authors of Race and Art Education.

The Montana Federation of Public Employees teamed up with 18 Montana curriculum groups to provide teacher-led professional learning. There were more than 400 workshops, keynotes, and institutes available for teachers to partake in. The Montana Art Education Association branched off one day of their conference and held classes at a local museum. The Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art offered an amazing tour of the gallery, as well as a felting class and a clay techniques class.

Art installation at the Paris Gibson Square Museum, Montana.

The Utah Art Education Association had a fall conference in person as members felt they needed an in-person event to help with the struggle of feeling connected. Eighty educators gathered, and UAEA encouraged educators to use safe practices. UAEA will be doing a hybrid conference with small-group gatherings for spring, as we feel it will be a safer format overall.

The Arizona Art Education Association 2021 fall conference offered in-person experiences and a master class at the Sonoran Glass School. Arizona art educators were hosted in Tucson for a steampunk-themed weekend. Offerings included workshops, lectures, and creating a mural with our keynote, Lucretia Torva. Centerpieces for the conference reflected the steampunk theme and were enhanced by Cactus High School students.

Michele J. Chmielewski, Regional Vice President
Art Teacher. Tel: 208-659-3403.

Robyn MacNair, Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator, Santa Ana, CA. Tel: 714-558-5507. Email:

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