Artist-in-Residence Site:  North Park Elementary
5575 Fillmore St NE, Fridley (Con. Dist. 5)

Collaborating Teacher: Scott Larson
Teaching Artist: Gustavo Boada
Art form: Mask-making, Puppetry

Project Overview
Students will develop an understanding of puppetry and mask-making by designing and creating their own masks inspired by animals of Africa. They will learn about visual art elements of design (shape, form, line, texture, and color) through the process of papier-mâché. For more pictures:

Project Highlights
“End product was amazing. Students were very enthusiastic about projected and were excited to show project others. Students were very helpful to each other.” – Scott Larson, Teacher.

“The most successful part of this residency has been the participation and communication among students due to the fact that the process (tearing the paper into pieces and put glue paste on paper) creates a psychomotor routine that allows the distension and the class becomes a atmosphere of confidence. In the first class, had two groups with different ages, levels of interest and demand, although the interaction between the two groups is indirect, however resulted in a decrease in the average attention time.” – Gustavo Boada, Artist.

Artist-in-Residence Site: WELS-South and CAP Program, Dist. 191
70 West County Road B2, Little Canada (Con. Dist. 4)

Collaborating Teacher: Erin Phelps-Stark
Teaching Artists: Linda Moraal
Art Form: Clay Tile Mosaics

Project Overview
Students participated in clay activities designed to increase engagement, strengthen social skills and learn more about each other through group interaction. They worked collaboratively with peers from WELS South and CAP program, staff and the Clay Lady to create an original tile mosaic. The focus of the final piece symbolized safety and respect. Friends and family celebrated the final work completed during a reception. Complete work will be installed in the entrance of the building.

Project Highlights
“Everyone was very respectful of their coworkers and also of time constraints today. Everyone came ready to work hard. Everyone listened, and asked appropriate questions.” -- Linda Moraal, Artist.

“Students from two programs who typically don't work together had to work side by side. It was challenging. The programs also have different manangers with different styles of staff/student interaction. We thought the WELS South students would struggle more socially but actually, the more chanlleged DCD/ASD were more interactive and on task than the CAP students whose labels included mild DCD/moderate to severe ASD/MI.

Know that I am so appreciative of the opportunities WELS South has had. Further, I have learned SO MUCH from each artist VSA Minnesota has provided. Thank you for helping promote these unforgettable experiences.” – Erin Phelps-Stark, Teacher.

Artist-in-Residence Site: Edgewood Education Center
 6601 Xylon Ave N, Brooklyn Park (Con. Dist. 3)

Collaborating Teacher: Brian Burns
Teaching Artist: Jamie Winter Dawson; Jamie Vu, Assistant
Art Form: Visual Arts

Project Overview
Students learned about what it looks like to be an artist within the Twin Cities. They visited two vocational artists working in their studios. Back in the classroom, students created multiple artworks using artist’s media. They learned the elements of displaying their artwork in an exhibit that is open to the community including three main components of an artist statement and a brief documentary of the residency. Each student completed a final portfolio containing artist statement and 3-5 original works of art. Students planned and organized an exhibition to display their artwork and documentary inviting the arts community, staff, peers and families to opening reception. View photos and video: 

Project Highlights
“By doing an artist statement [students] got a good idea of what type of art they like to create.  It was a really good self-reflective lesson” – Brian Burns, Teacher.

“Reflecting upon my time with the staff and students at Edgewood Education Center, I am so inspired by the creativity and individual strengths that each student brought to the ‘Telling Our Stories’ project and by the dedication and care that staff and teachers provided. I feel the project was a huge success and am so grateful to VSA Minnesota for providing the support and resources make the project possible.” – Jamie Winter Dawson, Artist.

Artist-in-Residence Site:  Minnesota Valley Education District
801 Davis Street, St. Peter (Con. Dist. 1)

Collaborating Teacher: Kelsey Hutchins, Work Site Coordinator
Teaching Artists: Juana Arias, Arts Center of Saint Peter; Cyle Gruver, Assistant
Art Form: Visual Art                                                

Project Overview
Students learned about being a commissioned artist, public art, the process and techniques to create and install a tile mural in a public space. They worked with the artist to communicate their ideas, develop technical skills relating to working with clay, the ceramic glazing and firing processes, and installation of ceramic tiles using mortar and grout. Students had an unveilling reception for the school and community upon installed of the final piece created.

Project Highlights
“All students became well acclimated to using the tools to create the tiles. Many of the students increased their attention span and focus to complete their tiles. I observed a change in the students who regularly participated (attending a majority of the classes). They were able to focus themselves more quickly, and were more patient when learning a difficult task. I observed that the students were more respectful to one another and their staff when they were focused on their work.”  -- Juana Arias, Artist.

“Some students worked well and others needed guidance.  Everyone participated in planning (artistic expression), some will stay on past the residency to help install the clay tiles from our project. Some students did very well interacting with others and completing the project while others struggled with an outside of school setting and challenging project.” – Kelsey Hutchins, Teacher.

Artist-in-Residence Site:   Castle Elementary School
6675 50th St N, Oakdale (Con. Dist. 4)

Collaborating Teacher: Susan Rensted
Teaching Artists: Lindsay McCaw; Xena Huff and Olie Johnson, Assistants
Art Form: Mural Painting

Project Overview
Students learned about the process and techniques to create a painted mural. These activities addressed building community, what it means to stand up to bully and how to stand up for each other, taking turns, following directions, and sequencing; and increased their artistic skills with design, transfer, color, and pattern. Students had a final unvieling of the installed mural for the school and community on the last day of the residency.

Project Highlights
“Many of the activities seemed to bring out some inner creativity and joy from students.  We were able to repeat some of the activities that brought forth some of these inner performers and creators and that was satisfying.  The cooperating teachers were excellent to work with.  The project was simple and undemanding enough that we could have some fun with it.  We were able to vary the activities to find ways to engage everyone, but it was a challenge.  The class sizes were large and sometimes unpredictable. .”  -- Lindsay McCaw, Artist.

“Students were able to discuss warm and cool colors, develop several tiles of art and share their process and end result as a group and present to the school.” – Susan Rensted, Teacher.

Arts Ambassador Presentation Site:  Buffalo

A total of 25 high school students and three teachers at Buffalo High School were able to participate in a presentation by VSA Minnesota’s Arts Ambassador Tara Arlene Innmon. Tara, a Minneapolis visual artist, shared about losing her vision and how the feelings of grief and anger lead to transformation and acceptance.

Artist-in-Residence Site:  Willmar High School
611 5th St SW, Willmar (Con. Dist. 7)

Collaborating Teacher: Chad Owens
Teaching Artists: Nikki Bettcher Erickson; Kelsey Moe, Assistant
Art Form: Film

Project Overview
Students learned how to create a documentary video that addressed these three questions: Where have I been? What can I do? Where am I going? Students had the opportunity to present their film for the school and community on the last day of the residency.

Project Highlights
“It seemed that students started out thinking that this would be a very easy process and learned that a lot goes into making a film. They took the acting portion seriously once they got used to it – and became more relaxed with time – they seemed to be more of a team by the time that the project was over and seemed to be able to express their wants and needs in a clear way – overall I enjoyed seeing how communication between the film crew improved. A few students that were more stand-offish at the beginning seemed to open up towards the end. It seemed to build confidence in some of the students involved.” – Nikki Bettcher Erickson, Artist

“Students gained a better understanding of issues that people in our community may have to tackle such as a language barrier, or the education needed for some jobs. Students needed to encourage each other and work together to create a single project. Several of the students had to look into their lives and share personal thoughts with people they don’t know.” – Chad Owens, Teacher

Artist-in-Residence Site:  Lester Park Elementary
7600 Boone Ave. N., Suite 72, Duluth (Con. Dist. 8)

Collaborating Teacher:  Leigh Ann Viche
Teaching Artist: Stacey Dimberio
Art form: Dance

Project Overview
Students learned different dance genres, interpretive, tap to hip-hop.  Key goals were movement and sensory awareness that include following directions, spatial awareness, kinesthetic awareness, and impulse control development. Students had the opportunity to perform for the school and community at Stacy’s dance studio on the last day of the residency.

Project Highlights
“Students ran in to class with excitement. They practiced at home. They gained knowledge of real technical dance. Very rewarding to teach this appreciate group. ”– Stacey Dimberio, Artist.

The show was wonderful! We had a great audience of parents, grandparents, friends and school staff -a full house! The students showed off what they had learned and the audience was impressed!” – Leigh Ann, Teacher.

Artist-in-Residence Site:  Hoffman Learning Center / Arts Center of Saint Peter
2001 Sheppard Drive, PO Box 89, St. Peter (Con. Dist. 1)

Collaborating Teachers: Joann Smith, Lyn Vavreck and Deb Wenner
Teaching Artist: Grant Hanson, Art Center of Saint Peter
Art Form: Visual Arts

Project Overview
Students explored a range of visual art mediums from pencil/pen drawing, tempera abstract painting, to pinch method clay portraits and coil method clay vessels with watercolor paint with teaching artist Grant. They viewed the artwork of both historical and contemporary masters reflecting each lesson’s objectives. Final artwork was on display May 17-June 16 with an opening reception on May 17, 6-8p.m. at the Arts Center of Saint Peter where the students were able to share their artwork with the community.
Project Highlights
“Students began reserved and became more creative.  They gained confidence and encouraged each other. They took great pride in projects.”  -- Lyn Vavreck, Teacher.

“Artistically, some students were specifically challenged due to inexperience with the medium or techniques.  Throughout the course of each lesson, each and every student produced artwork that successfully completed the objectives. By the end of the residency, many students expressed their displeasure with the residency being over!”  -- Grant Hanson, Artists.