Best. Conference. Ever.

What makes a good conference? Great workshops and networking, of course. Hold it in a drop dead AMAZING setting like San Diego’s New Children’s Museum (NCM) and you have a home run hit! San Diego Art Education Association held its first annual Visual Arts Educators Conference this month at the museum. After introductions by energetic new SDAEA president Ron Jessee and a keynote address, Tomoko Kuta, NCM’s Director of Education & Exhibitions, took us on a tour.

The New Children’s Museum is one of the only children’s museum in the United States dedicated to commissioning artists to create site-specific works for a youth audience.

Staff held a kiddie yoga class under this Layer sculpture the day we visited.

Jason Rogene’s sculpture/light fixture made of styrofoam packaging.

Jason Rogenes’ Megalitransponder includes kiddie climbing wall topped with cardboard installation.

I got to attend three workshops, all tied in to NCM’s current exhibition, TRASH. They were held in the museum’s art education studios.

  • ’30-minute’ collograph printmaking with the museum’s art educator, Maxi Moraga
  • sculpture/drawing project based on the art of Peter Opheim by fellow San Diego elementary art teacher and blogger Don Masse of Zamorano Arts Academy
  • cardboard climbing squares group sculpture based on Charles and Ray Eames’ House of Cards, again by Maxi Moraga

Maxi Moraga leads collograph workshop.

Collograph print. No press required!

Sculpt/draw with Don Masse. I really admired this project when I first read it on his blog. So thrilled to try it out myself!!

Starting point for the house of cards sculpture. We collaged/painted our pieces, then assembled. This would be a great whole class or whole grade project.

As if all this wasn’t enough, we had a fabulous lunch from Urbane Cafe, gift bags with goodies from Blick and Artists and Craftsmen and a raffle with prizes donated by Blick, A&C and area education and arts organizations.  I won tickets to the City Ballet! Thanks also to local arts advocacy group art pulse.

A lot of foks in SDAEA, SD County Office of Education and NCM put together this amazing event. Thanks so much for a perfect day.

Like I said:


 UPDATE: San Diego County art educators: check out our new SDCAEA Facebook page!

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3 thoughts on “Best. Conference. Ever.

  1. JEALOUS! So happy for you to have such an awesome experience! I love Don Masse and his blog. So cool you got to meet him. I will definitely make the San Diego Children’s Museum a destination next time I’m on the Coast. Thanks for a great post!


    • Hi Pat
      Please visit the museum. It is a wonderful unique hands-on and visual wonderland. Don’s lesson plan is pure genius. He gets 5th graders to do the whole project in one 70 minute class. I don’t know how SDAEA is going to top this conference next year, but I can’t wait!

      p.s. NAEA national conference will be in San Diego in spring 2014!!!!!

  2. thanks for posting about the conference, Rina. It was SO nice to meet you:) Looking forward to seeing more cool stuff on your blog. Sorry I havent sent the ppt out yet:( Soon…

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