You Say You Want Evolution: Looking Backward and Forward with Portfolios

This content originally appeared in Art21 Magazine, by Joe Fusaro in the column "Teaching With Contemporary Art"
While I have used portfolios with students since my first year teaching, the way I use portfolios has changed. Teachers (and not just art teachers) know that they can be a valuable assessment tool, an engaging way for students to reflect on their work, and obviously a way


May 13th, 2014 0 comments Critique / Reflection / Teaching the conceptual / Teaching the technical

Learning Critique Strategies from Other Awesome Teaching Artists

From a Post Term Meeting:“Big Post-It Note”  Critique Activity
Peer to Peer Professional Development                  
In small groups assistant teaching artists and teaching artists rotated around to several large poster sized post-it notes. Each post-it had a specific time that a critique might take place.
The groups talked about strategies and then wrote their favorite on the poster. The only


May 7th, 2014 0 comments Art practice connected to teaching practice / Best Practices / Collaboration / Critique / Meeting our students where they are / Peer to Peer Activities / Professional Development / Reflection / Student Driven Classroom

Feedback Control

This content originally appeared in Art21 Magazine, by Joe Fusaro in the column "Teaching With Contemporary Art"

Giving good quality feedback can sometimes make the difference between students completing mediocre assignments and high quality works of art. This week I want to offer some suggestions for what to do when students are “done” but we know they aren’t. We’ve all been there at some point- a


May 5th, 2014 1 comment Critique / Meeting our students where they are / Reflection / Teaching the conceptual / Teaching the technical

Critique Methods From Marwen’s Studios

Critiques are an essential part of art-making instruction at Marwen.  Whether conducting a one-on-one critique or a group critique, make sure to create an environment that is respectful of all students’ work.  Hold various types critiques regularly so students become more comfortable with the process.  Encourage students to get into the habit of reflection.  Building this internal awareness of growth helps reinforce confidence.  



April 29th, 2014 0 comments Best Practices / Critique / Peer to Peer Activities / Reflection / Student Driven Classroom

What If? Marwen’s Education Vision

At the center of Marwen’s practice there is an invitation-a sense of welcome, support, and mentorship that permeates every encounter and meeting. Students share the office 2013 key sense of belonging and support that they feel at Marwen in surveys, conversation, and letters of thanks sent to staff. Melissa Wilkes, studio program coordinator, who began as a student at Marwen, says; “I kept coming, and


February 20th, 2014 0 comments Art practice connected to teaching practice / Best Practices / Book-making / Ceramics / Critique / Cross Discipline / Design Arts / Drawing / Fiber Arts / Mixed media / Painting / Photography / Printmaking / Professional Development / Reflection / Sculpture / Street Art / Student Driven Classroom / Teaching Artistry / Teaching the conceptual / Teaching the technical / Time-Based Media

Peer to Peer in 12 Minutes

This summer I taught a course called “Photographing the Dreamscape” downstairs in Intermedia. The course was sculpture and photography based, and Cynthia asked if I would I consider doing a brief collaboration with the best canadian pharmacy only other class in the dungeon, Melissa Porter’s ceramic course. Even though summer is a luxurious two days longer than normal term, I still felt pressed for


December 17th, 2013 0 comments Collaboration / Critique / Cross Discipline / Peer to Peer Activities / Peer to Peer Exchange / Student engagement

Rising Expectations

Last Friday night we held the first presentation in our Verve: Guest Artist Series with an inspirational artist and cultural organizer Favianna Rodriguez . The series focuses on the intersection of art, teaching, learning, and social practices. Favianna discussed many profound cultural inequities while sharing a view of her pieces.

Her work particularly stood out to me since earlier in the week while contemplating the


November 20th, 2013 0 comments Critique / Verve: Guest Artist Series

Critique Ideas and Prompts

Critique Resource
A list of ideas, guided questions, and prompts for critique written by Marwen teaching artists. Also see this post for more unique ways to facilitate critiques.
Comment below if you'd like to add ideas

Critique Helpful Hints:

It can be helpful to have students answer a few guided questions (individual writing activity) before the critique so they feel prepared with ideas to discuss during the


August 29th, 2013 0 comments Best Practices / Critique

How to Leave a Great Comment on Your Peer’s Blogs

This post comes to us from Teaching Artist Alexis Ellers and her classes' Marwen Photo Blog! 

Good advice for both critiques and blog commentary. Also be sure to check out the "Marwen Photography Classes" Facebook page to see the awesome photos being created by Alexis' students
 How to leave a great comment on your peer’s blogs 

The comment section on our blogs is great place


March 7th, 2013 0 comments Best Practices / Critique / Photography / Spotlight: Marwen Course

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