Early Childhood Art Educators (ECAE) Interest Group 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.

The 2022 Convention is fast approaching, and I look forward to connecting with you all in NYC—in person, virtually, via the NAEA app, or in any other way.

I invite you to join our Early Childhood Art Educators Business Meeting that will take place on Friday, March 4 from 8:00 am to 8:50 am. This is an opportunity for us all to get to know each other, learn about what different members are doing in their respective work (in the classroom, in the studio, research-wise, etc.) and to find ways to support each other’s endeavors. Yes, it is a “business meeting,” but the most important item in the agenda is the business of meeting old and new colleagues, friends, and acquaintances and strengthening our community of early childhood art educators.

The Business Meeting is our chance to shape our group’s future! All Interest Group members are encouraged to share their thoughts, ask questions, and offer suggestions for what they would like to see. Please join us to learn about our community’s plans, share ideas and concerns, and meet colleagues inspired by working with young children. All NAEA members are invited, so bring a friend!

The 2022 Convention marks the end of my tenure as Chair of this Interest Group. It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve in this position, and I am thrilled to welcome Heather Kaplan as our new Chair. Best wishes, Heather!

In addition to the Business Meeting (please join us there!) the 2022 Convention will offer several Early Childhood Art Educators sessions that I can’t wait to attend. Please meet me there to support our colleagues and hear about the wonderful work that is being developed! Here are the accepted sessions (with notes adapted from program descriptions):

  • Play, Create, and Build With Found Materials. Jennifer Carvajal and Wendy Gelsanliter will be exploring and transforming found objects (also known as loose parts) that provoke different questions in learners, so the creation is up to the creator.
  • Entanglements of Humans and More-Than-Humans in Early Childhood Art Education. Kwang Dae (Mitsy) Chung will discuss how pedagogical and collaborative art practices need to build in early childhood art.
  • Postdevelopmental Approaches to Early Childhood Art Education. Shana Cinquemani, Marissa McClure, Kristine Sunday, and Marta Cabral share stories of research and teaching that reach beyond the artifacts of artmaking to consider the interconnectedness between young children and materials.
  • Observation Making: Rethinking Observation in Research and Art With Children in the Classroom. Jeffrey Cornwall and Hayon Park think with affect theory to reimagine observation in both research and art by experimenting with a concept/practice they call “observation making.”
  • Transformative Artistic Collaborations: Making With Young Children and Their Caregivers. Marissa McClure, Shana Cinquemani, Jennifer Combe, Lillian Lewis, and Meaghan Brady Nelson, members of an online artmaking collaborative of families, caregivers, and young children, share how experiences researching and engaging in collaborative artmaking with young children inspire reflective, transformative pedagogical practices within diverse educational sites.
  • Antiracism and Materials in the Early Childhood Classroom. Mollie McQuarrie and Robin Koo will use hands-on provocations and discussion to invite us to consider the implicit bias that the most common art materials carry and to consider alternative ways to engage with art media.
  • Historical Trends In/Between Art Education Curriculum and Early Childhood Pedagogies in Art Teacher Preparation. Gigi Yu, Kwang Dae (Mitsy) Chung, Lillian Lewis, and Jennifer Combe will cultivate a discussion through personal experiences that reflect the dynamic historical changes in early childhood art education, contemporary pedagogies, and insights for art teacher preparation.
  • The Power of Play and Process: Exploration, Inquiry, and SEL for Young Artists. Jennifer Hartman, Jennifer Ferriday, and April Malphurs will present practical solutions for adopting a process-based approach into any learning environment.

In other news, during 2020–2021, Interest Group leaders have been meeting quarterly with Mario Rossero, our Executive Director, to develop ways of making Interest Groups more active at NAEA. This Summer, Interest Groups will be responsible for several learning segments happening at NAEA’s National Leadership Conference (to be held in July 2022) in which we expect to further activate our presence and raise awareness to the important mission of Interest Groups. Stay tuned for reports!

This coming spring, our Interest Group will hold a webcast for all NAEA members. This event will happen online on May 26, 2022, and we would love to hear from you regarding themes of interest—let us know what you would like this webcast to focus on. Please join us on May 26!

Marta Cabral, ECAE President
Assistant Professor, City University of New York.

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