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My Marwen Journey: 5 Years in the Making

Throughout my years at Marwen, the only regret I have had was not knowing about Marwen earlier. I became a Marwen student my freshman year of high school and was immediately hooked. For the next four years I had the life-changing opportunity of not only taking free art courses at Marwen (as if that already wasn’t cool enough), but also participating in their advanced programs,


August 13th, 2015 0 comments Photography / Reflection / Spotlight: Alumni / Spotlight: Artists / Teaching Artistry / Teaching the conceptual

Tensegrity in Collaboration

Much of the work I do is based on collaboration, and I've come to learn that the various relationships you form while collaborating can have radically different dynamics, and they're usually not what you would expect. In fact, at the end of each project, I'm often surprised by the relationships that turn out to be successful relative to the goals of the project and those


July 28th, 2015 0 comments Art practice connected to teaching practice / Best Practices / Collaboration

Active Allies

Engaging With Youth As Active Participants and Accountable Community Allies
On June 11th, 2015, I had the pleasure of sharing my teaching practice with Marwen staff and teaching artists. I was able to discuss the people, resources, conferences, and approaches to teaching that have had the most impact on my own praxis. My biggest take away from that is that Marwen continues to be a


July 7th, 2015 0 comments Art practice connected to teaching practice / Cool Resources / Meeting our students where they are / Professional Development / Reflection / Spotlight: Alumni / Student Driven Classroom

Adolescent Development: Creating Partnerships and Relationships

We recently held at our annual Summer Teaching Artist Retreat in our lovely summer term sculpture studios at UIC .

Morning presentations on adolescent youth development were led by fantastic and engaging UIC Youth Development PhD candidates, Emilia Chico and Nicole Darcangelo.
Here is their very useful PowerPoint on Adolescent Development for MARWEN.
And please utilize these helpful resources they shared with us as well:
What is Adultism?
Acknowledging Privilege


June 12th, 2015 0 comments Art practice connected to teaching practice / Best Practices / Collaboration / Events / Meeting our students where they are / Peer to Peer Activities / Professional Development / Reflection / Student Driven Classroom

Spotlight: Marwen Course

My So-Called Still Life
Teaching Artist: Hilary Baldwin
 Assistant teaching artist: Keaton Bell

In this introductory still life painting class, you will learn how to look at the world around you in new ways and use what you see to create unique and expressive paintings of everyday objects. Whether you design anime characters, carve from stone, or make movies, the painting and drawing


May 18th, 2015 0 comments Painting / Spotlight: Marwen Course

Creating Criteria Along With Your Students

When I was in college I had an honors class professor explain that we were not honor students because we were smarter than everyone else, but because we were the kind of students who had figured out what teachers wanted of us and understood how to give them just that. Today I recognize that what made the statement true is that the majority of assessment


May 13th, 2015 0 comments Assessment / Best Practices / Book-making / Design Arts / Drawing / Painting / Student Driven Classroom / Teaching the technical

Cool Resource: Stages of Adolescent Development

Three stages of adolescence - early, middle, and late, are experienced by most teens, but the age at which each stage is reached varies greatly from child to child. These different rates of maturation are connected to physical development and hormone balance, neither of which the child can control. Adolescents should be treated as individuals and any guidelines should be adapted to the particular child.


May 6th, 2015 0 comments Cool Resources / Meeting our students where they are / Professional Development / Student engagement

Spotlight: Student

Lucy McDonald
Lucy has been a Marwen student since the summer following her freshman year in 2012.  On the verge of graduating this June, Lucy has received a National Gold Medal in the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition, which represents the top 1% of over 300,000 entries across the country in 28 categories.  Looking to continue her pursuit of art, Lucy is considering accepting admission to either UIUC, Columbia College Chicago, or Kalamazoo


April 24th, 2015 0 comments Photography / Spotlight: Students / Teaching Artistry

Learning To Ride The Wave

I was feeling first-day-of-school jittery. It had been about a month since my last workshop with Embarc. Embarc is a program that provides community-driven, experienced-based learning opportunities to low-income high school students to inspire and prepare them for college and career success. In fact, it had been a whole month since I’d led any workshop. I arrived at Spudnik Press  plenty early to set up.


April 22nd, 2015 0 comments Art practice connected to teaching practice / Best Practices / Intuition / Printmaking / Professional Development / Student Driven Classroom

How We Praise Our Students Is Just As Important As What We Teach Them

We all want to nurture our students when we see something unique in their creative work, but the way in which we do it can have long-term effects. Recent studies have found that praising a child as being “talented” or “smart” can actually harm their potential. Not what you expected?

Consider this: if someone thinks that you are smart or talented, and what you are


April 17th, 2015 0 comments Best Practices / Meeting our students where they are / Student Driven Classroom

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