Friday, October 14, Honoring Our Rivers partnered with the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts (OCCA) and the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport to help coastal educators bring more arts into environmental science lessons at the annual Coastal Learning Symposium.
We led two professional development workshops training teachers on natural science illustrations using colored pencils and water colors. As teachers worked on their artist trading cards, painting oak leaves and mussel shells, we talked about the value of teaching environmental science using artistic activities -- just as they would deliver the content of their lessons while students draw and paint. Listening helps silence that inner critic that often holds us back from producing better results with artwork. By the end of the workshop, teachers gained more confidence doing art themselves and left with resources to align their natural science illustration activities with Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core standards.
During lunch, teachers got to try their hand at fish printing (with rubber fish) with Tob Web, director of the Newport Visual Arts Center. Then we took a bus drive along the scenic Yaquina Bay Road to the artsy, coastal town of Toledo. Teachers embarked on a hands-on nature printing activity with local artist Heather Fortner. Before heading back, we made a pit stop at another local artist's studio, Ivan Kelly, to gaze at his gallery of amazing landscape paintings.
The day ended with a mixer and gallery tour of the Newport Visual Arts Center where attendees could learn more about the center's resources for students and teachers. Everyone enjoyed provisions donated by Mo's Seafood Restaurant, Rogue Brewery, and Willamette Partnership despite the storm brewing on Nye Beach!
All this was made possible by a grant from the Gray Family Foundation -- Thank you!