Please Don't Eat the Artwork

ART WITH MS K


5 Comments

Ireland – An Adventurous Road Trip

Hellooooooo lovely readers! And happy first day of summer ūüôā

Those of you that have been following me for a while know that I have many passions – teaching art, making art, and travelling in the summertime. While my chosen career path will never pay enough (monetarily speaking) the two months off during summer is nothing to complain about!

I have had the extreme pleasure of being able to travel around the country and around the world for the past couple of years: from Israel to Italy and Greece, San Francisco and Portland (OR), Chicago, and even Burning Man I have been to some breathtaking places. But nowhere has surprised  me and captured my heart quite like Ireland.

IMG_20160607_161455

I travelled with two companions and we began in New York City. Though we weren’t there for very long, I had to get some snaps of the awesome street art we saw!

IMG_20160603_165837IMG_20160603_170440IMG_20160603_170544IMG_20160603_170918_01

We had just enough time to stop by the CW Pencil Enterprise Shop and score some sweet pencils! #artteacherdream

IMG_20160603_174042

From JFK we flew into Dublin. As we drove in (on the left side of the road!) I was delighted to see a modern city on the river with some excellent architecture.

IMG_20160604_160429

IMG_20160610_081850

IMG_9748

IMG_20160605_002107

Dublin is a very old city with some magnificent cathedrals and parts of the original fortress wall still intact.

IMG_20160610_080556IMG_20160610_082632

The big park in the middle of the city (St. Stephens Green) was stunning on a somewhat sunny Dublin day!

IMG_20160604_212803

And of course I couldn’t leave without some more street art snaps:

a9722002-5263-4265-8760-79ec80647f79IMG_20160605_010014

IMG_20160605_004001

The view from the top of the Guinness Storehouse was stunning!

IMG_20160610_142938IMG_20160610_142938-PANO

From Dublin we travelled south to Cork. The drive was beautiful, we passed lush green fields of cows, sheep, and wind turbines looming in the distance.

IMG_20160605_191054IMG_20160605_183543

We spent a couple of hours in the city of Cork.

2984761b-e2ff-4299-b3fb-a3affb642774a7964bf7-5caa-4642-80bf-058c5de81421

 

There was a building block covered in murals:

From the city of Cork we continued south to the charming seaside town of Crookhaven (also quite possibly the most charming town in the entire galaxy). It is the most southern point of Ireland and while we were there freezing our Georgia tushes off in winter gear, many Irish tourists were enjoying a summer holiday in shorts and t-shirts!

The town lies across a bay and has only 40 full time residents. It was quaint, quiet, and quite the hidden gem.

IMG_20160605_202434IMG_20160605_204523

IMG_20160605_210749

IMG_20160605_211958

It was in Crookhaven that I enjoyed one of the finest meals of my life and here I am laughing about how deliciously divine everything is. #YUM

2a0f2118-ec99-48be-8016-2827fbdb8f90

The bed and breakfast we stayed at had the cutest donkeys that were so sweet and gentle.

ec3b5164-23ef-43bc-a552-2b0f2a6404d4

The real highlight of the trip was the impromptu kayak excursion in the Celtic Sea. We paddled through cold water that looked like liquid silver in the cloudy sunlight Рit was the experience of a lifetime.

IMG_20160610_234008_01

IMG_20160606_122631IMG_20160606_120611IMG_20160606_141206

After kayaking, we headed up to some castle ruins. The townspeople were very excited to inform us that it will be in the next Star Wars movie – cool!

IMG_20160606_150549IMG_20160606_150716

IMG_20160606_223059IMG_20160606_151418

We journeyed west to Portmagee from Cork. Portmagee is another small seaside town with more delicious seafood and salty Irish fishermen than you can count.

IMG_20160606_213300 (1)

We were extremely fortunate to be able to book passage to the Skellig Islands for a tour. Only 12 boats of 12 people each are allowed to visit this world heritage site everyday. I thoroughly enjoyed the choppy, chilly boat ride to the islands:

IMG_20160607_094613

The big Skellig island was inhabited by monks a thousand years ago. They lived 600 steep steps up into the fog on cliffs above the sea.

IMG_20160607_104603

The cliffs were covered in precious puffy puffins!

IMG_20160607_141715IMG_20160607_105406IMG_20160607_105050IMG_20160607_104648IMG_20160607_102721

The climb into the sky was surreal and when we got to the top we walked around the dwellings still standing after a thousand years.

66c07d10-5762-4f33-b178-12e3eac355bfIMG_20160607_111219IMG_20160607_1154419ec409e0-87f3-453b-84c1-aff75be68768

If these structures look familiar, that is because this is also a location from Star Wars. This is where Luke Skywalker was chillin’ at the end of the Force Awakens. This island was fascinating not only for Star Wars purposes but the ecosystem and habitat the monks cultivated.

After visiting the Skellig islands, we traveled a few kilometers to the Kerry Cliffs. Ireland has many natural and beautiful cliffs and we were thrilled to visit this one. In the distance you can see the Skellig islands:

IMG_20160607_161929

IMG_20160607_234609

Next we traveled to the west coast to Galway. Galway is a lively city along the water with lots of fun things to do including walking the green way and going to the beach!

IMG_20160608_095300IMG_20160608_095957IMG_20160608_101027IMG_20160608_104833IMG_20160608_124811

I definitely got a sunburn at Salthill Beach – was not expecting that in Ireland! We miraculously had gorgeous weather the entire time we were there.

IMG_20160608_132134IMG_20160608_131457IMG_20160608_142122

And the very best thing to do in Galway is a small shop called¬†Dungeons and Donuts¬†where you can enjoy delectable donuts inspired by nerdy pop culture references while playing board games. We stayed with the Star Wars theme and played Star Wars Carcassonne ūüôā

IMG_20160609_110755

 

After spending a couple of nights in Galway we headed back to Dublin. On the way we stopped at Birr Castle. Birr Castle was beautiful, we strolled through the lovely gardens and enjoyed scenic views. Unfortunately we missed the earl who still resides there which is a real shame because I am sure he would have enjoyed our hiking boots and flower crowns!

3bff41b4-30e1-4e8d-8723-0b29b1a169b4IMG_20160609_143256IMG_20160609_150306 (1)IMG_20160609_151104IMG_20160609_151434IMG_20160609_151600IMG_20160609_154549

From there it was back to Dublin for a couple more days then back home. I loved this international adventure. Ireland should definitely be on your bucket list if it is not already. It is a country filled with friendly folks, beautiful scenery, delicious seafood, and the adventure spirit. One week was certainly not enough time to fully experience all of the beauty, history, and fun Ireland has to offer so I hope to return one day for more adventures! ‚̧

IMG_20160616_153558


4 Comments

NAEA 2016 in Chicago

Getting back into the swing of things today has been rough! (#thestruggleisreal right after a conference!) I had a blast in Chicago at this year’s NAEA conference!

IMG_20160318_080632-2

This was not my first time in Chicago nor was it my first national conference but it sure was a unique and fun experience!

Screenshot_20160318-080014

I was so inspired by many of the sessions I attended especially the Curriculum Slam.

I got to spend a few hours in the Chicago Art Institute museum which was a truly amazing experience. I always feel so starstruck seeing artwork in real life. I didn’t take many pictures because I was so busy experiencing the museum!

IMG_20160318_142305IMG_20160318_144459IMG_20160318_150316IMG_20160318_152306

The city of Chicago is also filled with artwork in the form of fantastic murals and public sculptures!

IMG_20160317_154435IMG_20160317_154438IMG_20160317_155016IMG_20160318_080551IMG_20160317_192501IMG_20160318_161519

I loved seeing my dear friends Melinda, Rosie, and Noelle and rooming with them yet again, we always have a great time ūüôā

IMG_20160318_185635IMG_20160318_185622IMG_20160317_190653IMG_20160318_135325

There was a cosplay convention at the conference center while we were there which just goes to show how art teachers affect creativity!

IMG_20160319_133432IMG_20160319_134548IMG_20160319_133002IMG_20160319_132935

What a fab experience! I can’t wait for next year’s conference in NYC!

IMG_20160318_154722¬† ‚̧ Ms. K

 


2 Comments

Italy and Greece

Tomorrow is the first teacher workday for the 2015-2016 school year. That means that it is time for my summer-minded brain to get on board the Back-to-School train. This is easier said than done as I have had the great pleasure and fortune of being able to travel this summer. I went to cities near and far and just returned from an incredible trip to Italy and Greece. If you follow me on Twitter you have seen many of these pictures already but I wanted to put the story all together here on the blog.

This trip was months in the making and was made possible by a very detailed (possibly too detailed) google doc and strict savings plan. It was absolutely incredible to see works of art that I have grown up learning about and teach my students about. There is something very surreal about being surrounded by ruins or frescos that are thousands of years old, it makes you feel connected to humanity in the past, present, and future. This was the second time I have been out of the country and I was just as enchanted and inspired.

So with that in mind I present to you my journey abroad!

We began in Milan. Milan is a modern and clean European city that has more contemporary architecture than architecture of antiquity. However there is a magnificent Duomo cathedral in a Gothic style! This building was enormous and so intricately detailed.

IMG_20150718_162238

I loved riding the hop-on-hop-off bus in Milan which included an audio tour describing some of the sights.

IMG_20150718_155458 20150718_160025

The next stop was Monterosso al Mare, one of the cliff towns of Cinque Terre. A friend recommended me to go here and after watching Rick Steves I was sold!

I can only describe Monterosso as magical with its lovely beaches:

20150719_115234 IMG_20150719_122121

Charming town:

IMG_20150719_183820 20150719_131422

Splendid views:

20150719_162229 IMG_20150719_202040

and the BEST pesto I have ever had:

20150719_193326

I went on an amazing hike from one town to the next which led through winding vineyard hills and cliffs overlooking the sea:

20150720_112924 20150720_121023 IMG_20150720_151646

The next stop on the trip was Florence. A tour through the Tuscan countryside was first up on the agenda.

20150721_112224

Walking around the city of Florence was so much fun, I even stumbled across an exhibit featuring paintings and sculptures of Salvador Dali inspired by the poetry of Dante.

20150721_152617

20150722_131614

20150721_154852 (1)

20150721_160102

The Duomo in Florence is astounding:

20150721_153546

Near the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge there is a hidden alleyway filled with interesting graffiti:

20150721_085623 20150721_175219 20150722_131753 20150722_131801 20150722_131837 20150722_131853

The bridge itself is magnificent with its crowded street filled with shops selling gold and jewelry.

20150722_131940

The leather market nearby is also quite an experience:

20150721_151342

While in Florence I had the chance to visit the Boboli Gardens, part of the Pitti Palace. The garden has many sculptures of mythology and an excellent view overlooking the city.

20150722_142344 20150722_142921 20150722_145927 IMG_20150722_171752

After Florence, we headed to the coast for Sorrento. Sorrento is famous for its lemons and coastal fun. The town was charming with shops, restaurants, and small churches.

20150723_192926 (1) 20150723_200817

The best part of Sorrento was a boat tour to the nearby island of Capri. We got to see the famous lagoons and grottos and float once again in crystal blue Mediterranean water.

20150724_131140 20150724_134919 IMG_20150724_130456

After Sorrento, we travelled to Rome. Rome is a city of mighty magnificence. Everything there is massive and impressive and symbolic. There are sculptures in every plaza that have stories and histories. Just walking through the streets you can truly feel the splendor of one of the greatest cities the world has ever known.

20150725_203904 IMG_20150725_184216

The magnificence wouldn’t be complete of course without a trip to the Colosseum! Being inside and getting to walk upon and touch ancient stones was so impressive.

20150726_121723 20150726_123042 20150726_123502

We paid a visit to the Pantheon next and marvelled at the great condition it remains in. Looking up inside you can see the domes roof with a hole in the middle. The design was stunning!

20150726_151317 IMG_20150726_151712

The Vatican was another stop not to be missed. These pictures really do not capture how completely gigantic this building is.

IMG_20150731_120016

There was so much amazing art inside from cultures all around the world especially Greece and Egypt.

20150727_095441 20150727_102135

Every surface was decorated with vibrant frescos and every ceiling was sculpted with ornate details.

20150727_104650

My favorite part of course was the modern art collection including Matisse and Dali!

20150727_110200 20150727_110707

The very best part of going to the Vatican was climbing the 551 steps to the top of St. Peter’s Basilica. The climb was exhausting and difficult – we spiraled up and up and up through tight steep stairs until we finally emerged high above Rome and looked upon the magnificent city. What a view!

20150727_132348 IMG_20150727_140701

Leaving Rome marked the end of the Italian portion of the journey and the beginning of the adventures in Greece. We started out on the island of Santorini, famous for its beaches and sunsets. The appropriately named Black Sand Beach was a rocky shore of volcanic stones.

IMG_20150728_150426

The sunset was breathtaking and a true masterpiece of the natural world.

IMG_3092 IMG_20150728_202615

The island is covered in buildings made of white stone and there are many shops including a wonderful pottery studio with some of the nicest and more talented artisans I have ever met!

IMG_20150729_143036 20150729_132407

The appropriately named Red Beach is a sight to behold with its red stones and rocky shore:

IMG_20150729_141542

I haven’t been everywhere yet but I am certain that Santorini is one of the most beautiful places on Earth! From this paradise we travelled inland to Athens. I was so excited to see Athens because I teach my 3rd graders about¬†The Parthenon¬†and couldn’t wait to see the building in real life. So first thing we headed up the hill to the Acropolis.

20150730_114702 IMG_20150730_121522

From the top of the Acropolis you can look out onto all of Athens and Mount Olympus. It was a spectacular view!

20150730_121248

Being in front of the Parthenon was a very meaningful experience for me. I was of course impressed by all of the great landmarks in Italy but there was something about seeing this original structure marking the glory of the ancient Greeks that struck a chord for me.

IMG_20150730_120832

After the descent back down to street level, we visited the Acropolis museum. The museum was beautiful and it was so cool to see so many of the ancient adornments and sculptures up close.

20150730_133411 20150730_135317

The next stop in Athens was the original modern Olympics Panathenaic stadium from 1896. It was really neat!

20150730_145635

Then we went down the street and made it just in time for the famous changing of the guard. The was the guards moved and dressed was so bizarre and intriguing!

20150730_160629

We got to do another hop-on-hop-off bus tour which was a grand way to see Athens. The trip ended with a glorious rooftop view of the acropolis at sunset.

20150730_205630

This trip was an incredible experience, I learned so much about structures and art that I have only ever seen in pictures. I am excited to bring this experience back as an influence in my teaching. It is hard to believe that summer is already over!

I’ll post some pictures of my classroom sometime soon as I get it prepared for students. I have a few neat new things I am excited to implement and share. Here’s to a great summer and a great upcoming school year!

‚̧ Ms. K

 


4 Comments

SFO to PDX

Last summer, I went to Chicago to see the Braves play and experience the city. This summer I continued the tradition of following my team out of town to San Francisco and Portland. A few days after school was finished back in May I headed out west.

I got off the plane and headed straight to Chinatown for lunch. That place is crazy and the food is crazy good.

IMG_20150527_134207

20150527_132707 20150527_133220

Then from Chinatown it was off to Pier 39. We took a boat tour under the Golden Gate Bridge and got to see the seals too!

20150527_154251 20150527_161018 IMG_20150527_202644

The next day was a visit to Haight Ashbury and Japantown.

20150528_134923 20150528_102734 20150528_141516

That tie dye is the largest framed artwork in the city, on the ceiling of a shop in Haight Ashbury! The cool looking building is a monument in Japantown. We walked around and saw the famous Painted Lady houses:

20150528_125135

And watched vehicles try and traverse through Russian Hill:

20150527_175810 20150527_180304

San Francisco is serious business about it’s hills — there are some mighty steep streets! Here are some other cool things:

20150527_143335 20150527_120214 20150531_133222 20150528_131259 20150529_182332

Unlike last summer’s trip to Chicago, the Braves won against the Giants this time around! At the end of the game the stadium swarmed with seagulls.

20150530_204217 20150530_220227

One of my favorite parts of this trip were the amazing hikes. San Francisco is such a cool city — one moment you can be in the middle of a busy city and the next you can be on a hike in nature by the sea.

IMG_1554 IMG_1460 20150530_103158

20150530_102609

This is me running on a hillside:

IMG_1495

Here is a labyrinth made of stones on the edge of the world:

IMG_20150529_130331

One of the hikes was on a trail that had old army bunkers. . . now covered in graffiti!

IMG_20150531_071253

 

IMG_20150531_070506 IMG_20150530_111342121_HDR

After a few days in San Fran, it was time to jet off to Portland.

20150527_141348

(hahah get it? time to jet off!)

The first thing I did in Portland was visit an exquisite Japanese garden. It was so peaceful and quite stunning in its beauty.

IMG_20150601_131456 IMG_1638 20150601_124315 20150601_124723 20150601_125340

Then of course I had to try some local food at the food carts downtown. Noms!!

20150601_155048

And a trip to the famous and delicious doughnut shop was of course in order:

20150601_164240 IMG_20150601_183645

The evening ended with a trip to an awesome arcade:

IMG_20150601_230431

Overall it was a fantastic trip. Special thanks to Erika & Jeremy for their hospitality! I am really excited to continue my year of crazy travelling and jetsetting with my trip to Italy and Greece in a couple of weeks. Stay tuned for more adventures!

‚̧ Ms. K

IMG_20150529_082237


2 Comments

NAEA 2015 – A NoLa Adventure!

I had a blast in New Orleans this past weekend for the National Art Education Association conference!

333

I thought the conference was great, especially the vendor’s hall. #swag

55 77

I got to spend the weekend with some fab art ed buddies from GA. . .

99

1

33

222

I even got to see some art teachers from Fulton County:

8

And of course the amazing Tim Gunn! Here is a selfie with¬†Hope Knight¬†and Tim ūüôā

66

Make it work!

44

I was thrilled to present a session on blogging and social media in the classroom to advocate and network.

20150328_105048 (2)

I co-presented with¬†Melinda Gram.¬†‚̧

2

And of course the city of NoLa is a truly incredible place!

From daytime:

5 7 4

To night-time!

22

11

9

88

I can’t wait to go back. And I can’t wait ’til next year’s conference in Chicago!


4 Comments

Hey Chicago Whaddya Say?

I went to Chicago and it was amazing!

You can feel the friendly midwestern spirit as you walk down the streets:

IMG_20140712_121957 IMG_20140713_122512

There is public art everywhere:

IMG_20140712_170310 IMG_20140711_115944 IMG_20140711_111241

Cloud Gate (a.k.a. The Bean) is like a portal to another dimension:

IMG_20140711_113305 IMG_20140711_113646 IMG_20140711_113852 IMG_20140711_114816

One of my favorite things about Chicago is the architecture. I went on a river boat architecture tour and it was super cool!

IMG_20140713_154957 IMG_20140713_151636 IMG_20140713_150511 IMG_20140713_144002

The terrace of Trump Tower makes you feel like you are dining with buildings:

IMG_20140713_172611 IMG_20140713_165037-SMILE PANO_20140713_164328

The best building though was Sears Tower. I got to go in the glass box and could feel one of the tallest buildings in the world swaying and creaking in the wind.

IMG_20140712_184042 IMG_20140712_185629 IMG_20140712_185708 IMG_20140712_185735

And what is a trip to Chicago without a slice of deep dish pizza and a walk around Navy Pier?

IMG_20140713_132224 IMG_20140712_211459

Another highlight of the trip was a visit to the Chicago Art Institute. The art collection is grand with everything from ancient Eastern art to contemporary and modern art. I was starstruck to see so many of my favorite artworks in real life!

IMG_20140712_140601 IMG_20140712_131405 IMG_20140712_140509 IMG_20140712_144743 IMG_20140712_141102 IMG_20140712_143049 IMG_20140712_141416

Wrigley Field was also a great experience (even though the Braves lost). It is a really cool stadium!

IMG_20140711_152605

 

Chicago is a fabulous city and I can’t wait to go back!


6 Comments

Art in Israel

This summer I had the opportunity to travel to Israel for 10 days with a program called¬†Birthright. It was a whirlwind adventure of hiking, food, friends, sunshine, desert, bus rides, history, and culture. In short — it was¬†incredible.

1009936_10100951591165697_1561440281_n

Israel is a country full of natural and man-made beauty and I was so excited to see so much art everywhere — especially¬†public art all over mostly in the form of monuments or commemorations.

IMG_20130624_051836

 

The architecture is beautiful; especially in Jerusalem where all of the building are made out of limestone.

IMG_20130621_022707 110

 

IMG_20130621_025552

The columns, arches, and aqueducts are Roman inspired. Walking through Jerusalem felt like traveling back in time a couple of millenia. The stone streets were smooth weathered with hundreds and hundreds of years of wandering feet.

IMG_20130620_075751

Check out this awesome mosaic:

IMG_20130621_183726

We went to the room where The Last Supper (supposedly) took place:

IMG_20130621_022616

The mystical city of Tzfat is famous for artists and musicians. There were plenty of both selling art or playing music in the streets.

IMG_20130620_061212

A harpist playing the harp under a statue of a harpist playing a harp:

IMG_20130621_022451

 

This is a beautiful and intricately carved wooden ark where the Torah is kept. This was in an old Synagogue that was also filled with beautiful stained glass windows.

IMG_20130620_062313

A stained glass window with the “tree of life” symbol:

IMG_20130620_062540

 

A tzedakah or charity box outside the synagogue:

IMG_20130620_061428

The amazing waxworks in a small candle shop (made by weaving wax — WOW!) :

IMG_20130620_064142

We got to meet and talk to one artist named Avraham. He was so inspiring and creative! Here he is in his studio shop:

IMG_20130620_075244

Beautiful contemporary Kabbalistic art:

IMG_20130620_075133

If you know me in real life, you know that I absolutely love street art. Tel Aviv and Jerusalem had some really cool tags and graffiti.

IMG_20130620_174935

 

 

IMG_20130627_070717 IMG_20130627_092741

 

 

One very special art related moment occurred at the top of Mount Herzl (the military cemetery). A woman had an easel set up and she was painting a gorgeous landscape with oil paints. It was such a beautiful moment for an artist on top of a mountain in the sun.

IMG_20130624_050713

 

Israel is full of vibrant art. From street art to monuments, from paintings to architecture there is creativity throughout the country.And the beauty doesn’t stop at man-made — there is plenty of artistic and natural beauty.

Masada:

IMG_20130624_225659

 

The Dead Sea:

IMG_20130624_072722 IMG_20130624_095000

 

The desert:

IMG_20130625_093413 121 140

Gardens:

IMG_20130623_121359 IMG_20130625_054841

 

 

And of course the marketplace!:
106 104 103

I enjoyed every minute of my time in Israel and I cannot wait to go back and continue to explore such a vividly beautiful country. I am excited to use my experience as inspiration for my own art and to inform my teaching through understanding of other cultures. ūüôā

048

IMG_20130624_223142