Art of Collaboration Immersion Workshop 2015

July 21, 2015 by


Four new AOC teams from Cumberland and Wilson Counties kicked off the Art of Collaboration’s ninth season with a two-day immersion workshop at the North Carolina Museum of Art (July 15 – July 16). Teachers explored the museum’s diverse collections, modeled visual literacy techniques with NCMA Educators, created hands-on projects, and collaborated with their teams to identify and develop art-integrated lesson plans and co-teaching opportunities for the year ahead.

A documents page for 2015-2016 has been added on the right side of the page. Links to both the documents page and immersion workshop PowerPoint are listed below:

AOC Documents for 2015-2016

AOC Immersion Workshop 2015 PowerPoint

We look forward to working with our new AOC teams in the weeks ahead!

Lasers & Paint! Exploring Art Through Science

May 26, 2015 by

Conservators rely heavily on their knowledge of the periodic table and the visual arts when deciphering a work of art. By slicing a small cross-section from a painting and placing it under a microscope, conservators can gain a better understanding of the colorful pigments’ chemical makeup. In turn, this elemental information can provide incredible insight into the culture in which the painting was originally created. By literally digging deeper into a work of art, conservators can accurately date an artwork, see how pigments have chemically reacted to environmental changes over time, as well as discover any modern additions by detecting the use of synthetic paints.

Traditionally, conservators would cut a small cross-section of a painting, however, thanks to advances in science there is now a non-evasive means of studying the chemical makeup of a work of art. Physicists and chemists at Duke University’s Center for the Molecular and Biomolecular Imaging collaborated with the North Carolina Museum of Art’s Chief Conservator to explore the pigments of an early Italian Renaissance painting in the museum’s collection. By using laser technology they were able to make 3D cross-section images, allowing the conservator to study the chemical make-up of the pigments without causing any physical harm to the original painting. Formally called nonlinear pump-probe microscopy this type of laser technology was originally developed to create 3D imaging of the pigments found in human skin as a means to study skin cancer. Now this type of laser technology is also being applied to the study of paint pigments in art. Discover more about this fusion of science, technology, and visual art in the article Exploring Beneath a Painting’s Surface from the online periodical, American Scientist.

Art of Collaboration Celebration 2015

May 11, 2015 by

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Students, teachers, and families from Clinton City, Duplin, Henderson, Polk, and Sampson Counties gathered at the North Carolina Museum of Art on May 2 for the Art of Collaboration Celebration. This end of year reception highlighted art-integrated projects by students from grades K-7. Student docents from all six participating counties engaged with the public by sharing insightful information about works of art in the NCMA Collection. Students and their families enjoyed a variety of art-making activities and exploring the special exhibitions, Zoosphere and Field Guide: James Prosek’s Un/Natural World.  A huge “thank you” to this year’s talented AOC teachers and students, and to the over 370 people who traveled from across the state to join us for this wonderful event!

Jacob Lawrence and Painting the Great Migration

April 24, 2015 by

Jacob Lawrence’s Forward is a rich visual resource for teaching students about the Underground Railroad and the courageous life of Harriet Tubman. Lawrence was a prolific artist during the mid-20th century and created vibrant works of art which depicted some of the darkest periods in America’s history. His paintings evoke the fear, inequality, and haunting imagery of racism in the Antebellum and Jim Crow South. Lawrence was painting during the rise of the Civil Rights movement, and he used the power of his paint brush to make parallels between injustices in American history with those witnessed in contemporary culture.

A new Jacob Lawrence exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, showcases the artist’s “Great Migration” series. Consisting of 60 individual paintings, the series provides a visual narrative of the millions of African Americans living in the South who migrated to cities in the Midwest and North during the early 20th century. Lawrence wrote a caption for each of the 60 painted panels, creating in the artist’s own words an illustrated “epic drama”. Check out the exhibition article here to learn more about Lawrence’s use of visual art and written text in portraying the Great Migration, and the impact this event had on the transformation of American culture.

*Please be advised that the article and coinciding audio file contain some mature content.

Features of Art-Integrated Lessons and Issues Related to Process

April 17, 2015 by

At our July 2014 workshop, AOC teachers offered characteristics that they felt were important in planning integrated lessons. We revisited the list at our March workshops and added additional characteristics and issues to keep in mind based on a school year’s worth of experience. The list has been organized into different categories. The original comments appear in black and new comments appear in green.

Integrating Multiple Subject Areas

Include a work of art in the lesson plan

Vocabulary that is relevant to all subjects

Work of art is a logical connection to lesson/subject (natural fit/authentic connection)

Essential question is relevant to both subject areas

Art Making

Consideration of standards (art)

Art is more than a token;  take into consideration the artistic process and a deeper order of thinking

Exposure to different types of media (duct-tape)

Making Connections and Promoting Relevance


Exposure to different forms of art (performance art, visual, etc) appeal to different learning styles

Art is a form of differentiation and inclusion for all students

Power of visualization and making visual connections

Collaborative Lesson Planning and Time Management

Obvious respect for both subjects

Incorporate both student and teacher reflection


Clear and concise objectives

Clear outcomes, expectations

Assessment linked to standards

Inquiry-driven; emphasis on student response

Practical Issues

Sustainable funding for field trips to art museum

Preparing for the AOC Celebration on May 2

April 2, 2015 by

A few reminders about our upcoming end-of-year celebration:

RSVP deadline: Tuesday, April 21. Please try to get your numbers to us by Tuesday, April 21. We need the numbers riding the bus and coming in cars to make bus and lunch arrangements.

AOC Invitations: If you would like for us to send AOC invitations to specific people in your community, please send me the addresses. Principals and administrators that I have had direct contact with are automatically included. School board members and others that I may not be aware of are not on the list. We are happy to add them.

Student Docents: The student docent assignments are available for download.  Additional information about the works of art is linked within the schedule. Aim for at least six student docents total from each school; assign two to each time slot.

Bus Arrangements: Angie will work with you to make bus arrangements. We will need a contact person (or two) and cell number from each school. This should be someone who will be on the bus May 2nd. We will be contacting each school individually to discuss departure and return times, as well as giving you the contact info for the bus company. If it looks like you might not have enough for a full bus, we may look at consolidating with another school in your area if they have a similar situation.

Student Interviews/Evaluation Project: Our evaluators would like to get your students’ thoughts on Art of Collaboration. They will be setting up a videotaping station outside the reception and also speaking with the student docents. These will be brief interviews. Last year the questions were: What was the best thing about art in school/AOC this year? and How did art/AOC help you learn this year?

2015: Quarterly Workshop 3 Follow-Up

March 23, 2015 by
Brueghel, Harbor Scene

Jan Brueghel the Elder, Netherlandish, 1568-1625, Harbor Scene with St. Paul’s Departure from Caesarea, 1596

Workshop PowerPoint

May 2 Schedule and Letter Template

Student Docent Prep Resources

Lesson Revision Rubric Templates

Reflection and Revision Questions

2015 Sustainability Recommendations

Big Picture Programs


Around the Web: New Technology Page and more

January 9, 2015 by

On the AOC page: Kathleen has created a new technology resource page on the blog. It is linked under project resources on the right of this page. The page is a work in progress, so if you have any recommendations for Kathleen you can send her an email.

Elsewhere: How can art raise awareness and help spark conversations about important issues? The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has commissioned artists, writers, and directors to create work about vaccination. The project, called The Art of Saving a Life, is ongoing and initial works can be viewed on the project site. The art blog Hyperallergic has an article about the campaign.

Follow-up on Quarterly Workshop 2 (2014 Edition)

December 16, 2014 by

Studio of Hyacinthe Rigaud (French, 1659-1743) Louis XV, 1715-1717 Oil on canvas, 70 ½ x 53 ½ in. Purchased with funds from the North Carolina Art Society (Robert F. Phifer Bequest), 1952 (52.9.132)

Thanks to everyone for your contributions to the second set of quarterly workshops. You will find links to the activities and topics covered in the AOC workshop below.

A reminder: If your lesson plan was in progress or soon-to-be implemented during the workshop, please email me ( a copy of your lesson plan and reflection , so that we can provide you  with feedback in a timely manner.  All documents downloadable here

Workshop PowerPoint

Describe, Analyze, Interpret: Sample Questions

Worksheet_Using Art to Model the Design Process

8 Studio Habits Defined

Authentic Connections Article

AOC 2014-15 Student Progress

Exploring Color

November 13, 2014 by

At last month’s workshop, we spent a little time discussing issues related to color: color wheel relationships (warm, cool, complementary) and feelings associated with color. Last night, I caught part of a radio story on the different ways that the word and color “blue” has been used over time. This was part of an ongoing series that NPR has been running on color. You can find the lineup of stories here. The focus of the stories range from the scientific to cultural.


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