MAAE - Leaning into the Unknown

Register here:

Manitoba Association for Art Education (MAAE)

Location: Virtual

Date: October 21 & 22, 2021

“The function of art is to do more than tell it like it is - it’s to imagine what is possible.” - bell hooks, Art on My Mind.
What lies beyond the pandemic for visual art education? How can we lean into this with hope and curiosity? What is the potential for our classrooms within these realities? How can we do this with and through looking at and making art together? The opportunity for a virtual conference allows us to connect with people from around the globe. This year’s MAAE conference features an engaging group of presenters from all across North America, France and England. Conference participants will also be given the opportunity to submit images of student work for a virtual provincial gallery of work.

Thursday evening, October 21, 2021
06:00pm - 07:00pm - Imagining a Canada Reconciled: The Calls to Action, Engagement, and Art - Presentation from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation

Friday, October 22, 2021
9:00 am - 10:30 am - Keynote
10:30 am - 10:45 am - Break
10:45 am - 12:00 - AM Sessions
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm - Lunch Break
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm - First PM Sessions
2:00 pm - 2:15 pm - Break
2:15 pm - 3:30 pm - Second PM Sessions

MAAE Member Fees including SAGE Conference Fees

MAAE Membership Renewal & Conference Fee........................$70
Non-Member Conference Fee (no membership).......................$80
MAAE Full-Time Student Membership & Conference Fee.........$40
MAAE Full-Time Student Conference Fee (no membership).....$45

***First 50 registrants will be entered into a draw for a $50 gift certificate for the WAG gift shop.

Cancellation policy: May cancel or change registration up until October 15, 2021 for a full refund.

For Conference Information, please contact: Stacey Abramson - or Jonathan Dueck -

For Registration Information, please contact: Stacey Abramson - or Jonathan Dueck -

Looking forward to seeing you at the conference!

Sessions - Thursday 6:00 PM-7:00 PM

TRC - Imagining a Canada Reconciled: The Calls to Action, Engagement, and Art

In this presentation, participants will learn about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) Calls to Action, different perspectives of
reconciliation, and identified barriers to achieving it. Time will be dedicated to learning about Indigenous artists, leaders, and heroes engaged in reconciliation work through artistic expressions and tangible actions. Finally, participants will become familiar with Imagine a Canada, a youth leadership and arts initiative offered by the NCTR, which can be used in the classroom to help support students’ learning journeys.

Presenters: Kaila Johnston

Kaila Johnston is the Supervisor of Education, Outreach, and Public Programming at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR).
In this role, Kaila oversees matters related to the support of educators, development of resources, establishment of outreach initiatives, as well as public engagement on residential schools and their legacy. Prior to the NCTR, Kaila worked with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) as a statement gatherer and coordinator to support statement gathering activities. She holds a BA (Hons.) in Criminal Justice from the University of Winnipeg and a M.Sc. in International Crimes and Criminology from Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam.

Suitable for: All Educators

6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Platform: Virtual

Sessions - Friday 9:00 AM-10:30 AM

Keynote - Participate, Collaborate, Relate: Contemporary Art Practice as a Means of Collective Explo

Artists Lucy Cran and Bill Leslie, who work together as Leap Then Look, will discuss their participatory arts practice, before, during and post COVID and the ways in which they have used contemporary arts practice as a form of collaborative research, inviting others to join them in exploring often deceptively simple ideas, materials and processes. This approach, informed by their own arts practices and practice-based art research has led them to develop holistic, participant-led approaches to teaching and participation based on play, material exploration, and cross-disciplinary meddling. As well as discussing our work we will invite participants to engage in some
collaborative, playful, interactive activities over Zoom. Our aim is to use the experiences we have had during the pandemic to rethink the
ways in which we continue to work, relate and collaborate with others.

Presenters: Lucy Cran and Bill Leslie, Leap Then Look

Leap Then Look create art works, participatory projects, workshops and events for people of all ages and abilities. Our focus is on working together, inspiring playfulness, inquisitiveness and experimentation. We use exciting and unconventional approaches, including object making, performance, installation, film, and photography, enabling our participants to engage in multiple processes, creating their own work. We believe that contemporary art practice should and can be made available and accessible to everyone and that we can all benefit from engaging with new ways of looking, making and thinking.

Leap Then Look was established in Spring 2019 by artists Lucy Cran and Bill Leslie. Since then we have run
participatory projects at institutions including Tate, Royal Academy, Phoenix Art Space, Orleans House Gallery, Photoworks, Brighton Photo Fringe, Thomas Tallis School, West Rise School, Hemmingway Design Events, and Universities of Brighton, Kingston, Westminster and UCL Institute of Education. We are currently undertaking research at the Universities of Westminster and Kingston and have been supported by Artist Newsletter and Arts Council England.

Suitable for: All Educators, Administration, Student Teachers

9:00 am - 10:30 am

Platform: Virtual

Sessions - Friday 10:45 AM-12:00 PM

AM1 - Live Animals

An experimental drawing workshop led by Chloe Briggs of Drawing is Free. Chloe created Drawing is Free in 2013: an initiative designed to bring people together around the pleasure of drawing no matter what age, experience, or background. The sessions are delivered in a non-hierarchical way – Chloe draws too. She believes that working alongside her students is a principle aspect of her teaching. Participants will work from a collection of close-up images of different animals (fur, scales, feather…) chosen for their potential as drawn marks, patterns, textures, and tones. The aim is to create life in the drawing: an energy that defies the spiritlessness of the screen they were drawn from. A new form of animal will then be invented by editing, cutting, combining and reimagining the original works made.
Risk-taking, productive failures, losing oneself in the process are all encouraged as essential elements of creative work.

Presenters: Chloe Briggs

Artist and educator / @drawingisfree_org
British / French
Lives and works in Paris, France.

Education: Foundation (1995) City of Bath College, Syndey Place; BA (1998) Fine Art Painting, Winchester School of Art; MA (2002) Fine Art Drawing, Wimbledon School of Art; Graduate Certificate (2006) and Post-graduate Certificate (2007) in Learning and Teaching in Art and
Design, University of the Arts, London.

10:45 am - 12:00 pm

Platform: Virtual

AM2 - De-Centering Whiteness in Art Education

De-centering whiteness in our classrooms requires much more than teaching “diverse art.” Alisha Mernick is an artist, educator, and organizer based in Los Angeles, who has been implementing liberatory, critical arts pedagogy in the k-12 classroom for over a decade. In this workshop, Alisha shares how she explicitly names and disrupts the erasure and tokenization of bipoc artists in traditional art pedagogies, and de-centers whiteness in her art classroom today.

Presenters: Alisha Mernick

Alisha Mernick is a Visual Art and Social Justice Educator based in Los Angeles, CA. She holds her MA in Art Education from NYU, and has
been implementing liberatory, critical arts pedagogy in the k-12 classroom for over a decade. She specializes in using art making to engage students in a critical analysis of issues of identity, social justice, anti-racism, and civic engagement. Alisha has served on the National Art Education Associations Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Task Force, and is currently serving as a California Art Education Association EDI Commissioner and Southern Area President Elect.

Suitable for: Senior Years

10:45 am - 12:00 pm

Platform: Virtual

AM3 - Curriculum Slam: Middle Years

This open session is for middle years teachers (specialists and general classroom teachers) to connect and share ideas, lessons and build community. The session will be structured as a virtual sharing circle. Come with your questions, best lessons and encouraging words.

Presenters: MAAE

Suitable for: Middle Years

10:45 am - 12:00 pm

Platform: Virtual

Sessions - Friday 1:00 PM-2:00 PM

PM1 - Students as Collaborators

Sustaining our resilience as educators can be a challenge during times of change. Based on Dr. Ungar’s research around the world and his clinical practice, this presentation uses examples from his new book Change Your World: The Science of Resilience and the True Path to Students as Collaborators - What does it mean to collaborate with someone? How can the teacher/student relationship benefit from taking on more of a collaborator role? What can we learn when we let students lead the way?

Presenters: Shape and Sound Arts Academy (Ben Pawlowski and Patrick Booth)

Shape and Sound aims to provide meaningful Art based experiences to students everywhere. Through the lessons, resources, and community that we we build, we aim to use Art to make connections across great distances.

Suitable for: Early and Middle Years

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Platform: Virtual

PM2 - The Canadian Schools Art Education Program

The Art Canada Institute’s education program is a national resource that offers primary and secondary school teachers thematically driven resources to facilitate the study of Canadian art through a wide range of subjects, from Decolonization to Multiculturalism, and
Environmental Activism to Global Citizenship. We offer easy-to-use curriculum guides for teaching a broad variety of cross-curricular subjects, all through the inspiring lens of Canada’s celebrated artists. In this presentation, we will share how we created these resources and the questions we have been exploring in relation to classroom activities, assignments, and discussion topics. We will also share some of the multimedia resources that we began developing during the pandemic to support online learning.

Presenters: Art Canada Institute (ACI)

Launched in 2013, the Art Canada Institute is the only national institution whose mandate is to promote the study of an inclusive multi-vocal Canadian art history to as broad an audience as possible, in both English and French, within Canada and internationally. The ACI works with more than fifty of Canada’s leading art historians, curators, and visual culture experts who are dedicated to the creation of authoritative original content on the people, themes, and topics that have defined Canadian art history.

Before the ACI, accessible and authoritative information on the lives and work of Canadian visual artists was hard to find. We are creating a central digital resource to tell the world about Canada’s most important works of art and where they are located. By functioning as an online art museum, a digital library, and an interactive Canadian art encyclopedia, the ACI is an indispensable resource on Canada’s visual heritage.

Based at Massey College at the University of Toronto, the ACI is a not-for-profit educational organization and a registered Canadian charity.

We are dedicated to making Canadian art history a contemporary multi-vocal conversation. We promote the study of an inclusive Canadian art history to as broad an audience as possible, within Canada and internationally.

Suitable for: Middle and Senior Years

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Platform: Virtual

PM3 - Curriculum Slam: Early Years

This open session is for Early Years teachers (specialists and general classroom teachers)to connect and share ideas, lessons and build community. The session will be structured as a virtual sharing circle. Come with your questions, best lessons and encouraging words.


Suitable for: Early Years

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Platform: Virtual

Sessions - Friday 1:00 PM-3:30 PM

PM4 - Thinking Deeply About Our World

This workshop will present art educators with ways to expand student thinking through the world of Contemporary Art and artists. Participants will see how interacting with artworks can inspire students to develop richer questions, and to make and communicate independent discoveries. Through an integration of looking and studio activities, we will explore ways of enriching student perspectives about art and the unknown.

Presenters: Don Ball

Teacher Ball has learned from decades of experience in art education with both gallery and classroom experience. Making looking at art a hands-on activity transformed their curriculum for students. Don Ball received the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence from the former teacher in 2017. "Don generates situations where students are able to confront new ways of making and seeing while realizing meaningful connections to personal, social and ethical issues."

Suitable for: Senior Years

1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Platform: Virtual

Sessions - Friday 2:15 PM-3:30 PM

PM5 - Creating Spaces and Connecting Communities

How can making art help us to feel safe and connected to one another? What do Nick Cave, God's Eyes, and mermaids have in common?! Learn how a simple craft activity turned into a collaboration across classrooms and communities and how installation can be a powerful tool for empowering young students to see themselves in physical spaces. In this session elementary art educator Dana Joy Helwick will discuss her experiences teaching third, fourth, and fifth grade students online and in person throughout the pandemic, and how working together with her art collective, The Glitter Goddesses, has changed her teaching practice.

Presenters: Dana Helwick

Dana Joy Helwick is a visual and performance artist, educator, coordinator, improviser, and a firm believer in “all things fun all the time.” Dana holds a BA in Art from UCLA and an MA in Art Education from NYU. Over the past 10 years Dana has been a teaching artist in the Bronx, an Art and Technology teacher at a special-education K–7 school in Manhattan, and she is currently teaching art with third, fourth, and fifth graders at a large charter school in Queens. For eight years, Dana assisted in coordinating and facilitating the Art21 Educators program, a professional development initiative and learning community dedicated to using contemporary art and artists as creative role models for teaching and learning, and she continues to be an active member of the alumni community. Dana believes that collaboration is a key to creativity and is committed to exploring the intersections of learning, play, liberation and social / emotional / spiritual growth.

Suitable for: Early Years

2:15 pm - 3:30 pm

Platform: Virtual

PM6 - Conversation with Esmaa Mohamoud

Join us for an open conversation with Esmaa Mohamoud, an artist who was shortlisted for the Sobey Art Award this year. Come with questions of your own to ask!

Presenters: Esmaa Mohamoud

Esmaa Mohamoud (Canadian, b. 1992), is a Toronto based African-Canadian artist. She holds a BFA from Western University (2014) and an MFA from OCAD University (2016). Recently, Mohamoud has exhibited in at the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Royal Ontario Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts Montreal and the University of Michigan’s Institute for the Humanities Gallery, USA. Upcoming exhibitions include: To Play in the Face of Certain Defeat, travelling from Museum London to: Art Gallery of Hamilton, Ottawa Art Gallery and Winnipeg Art Gallery and Garmenting: Costume and Contemporary Art, curated by Dr. Alexandra Schwartz, Ph.D., Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY, USA

Suitable for: All Educators

2:15 pm - 3:30 pm

Platform: Virtual

PM7 - Curriculum Slam: High School

This open session is for High School teachers (specialists and general classroom teachers) to connect and share ideas, lessons and build community. The session will be structured as a virtual sharing circle. Come with your questions, best lessons and
encouraging words.

Presenters: MAAE

Suitable for: Senior Years

2:15 pm - 3:30 pm

Platform: Virtual