Visual Art Sessions

The visual art component of the Academy explores art from the perspective of production, history, criticism, and aesthetics.  Instructors, whose work has influenced current educational practice and theory, come from around the country to provide stimulating and practical instruction. In addition to the visual art sessions, all participants attend performances, musings, special events and other activities.

Please check back regularly for updates and information about the 2016 Tennessee Arts Academy.


Elementary/Lower Middle School

Participants will attend each workshop listed below for two consecutive days and a summary workshop for both sessions on Friday morning.

Bridging the Curriculum through Art

Instructor: Pam Stephens
This interactive workshop offers elementary and middle school teachers the chance to experiment with meaningful and engaging 2-D and 3-D art activities. Participants will learn ways to help children respond to art and make connections across the curriculum. Activities include simple approaches to bookmaking, paper marbling, paper sculptures, and watercolor. Lesson plans tied to National Visual Arts Standards will be provided for each activity.

Patterns of Chaos

Instructor: Elisa Wiedeman
This interactive workshop will offer elementary and middle school art educators the opportunity to explore printmaking, pattern, and environmental sustainability. Mediums participants will use include color pencil, ink, paint, and printmaking materials. Special focus will be placed on collaboration and how to effectively integrate written and visual compositions. Lesson plans tied to National Visual Arts Standards will be provided to participants.

Upper Middle/Secondary

Participants will attend each workshop listed below for two consecutive days and a summary workshop for both sessions on Friday morning.


The Sculptors Dance

Instructor: Sheri Treadwell
The dancer Gabrielle Roth identified five musical rhythms that influence humans on both an emotional and a physical level. Through her own experience dancing these Five Rhythms, artist Sheri Treadwell has begun to discover a new, unique method of sculpting that she uses in her classes to help fire up the confidence and creativity of her students. In this workshop, participants will experience the power of the Sculptors Dance, an intuitive approach to exploring organic sculptural form. During the workshop, participants will complete an organic sculpture. Finishing and firing techniques will also be discussed.

Bridging the Curriculum through Art

Instructor: Nancy Walkup
This interactive workshop will offer upper middle and high school teachers the chance to explore culturally based ephemeral art experiences while making meaningful connections across the curriculum. The term “ephemeral art” refers to works of art that are not long-lasting or permanent. Workshop activities will include paper cutting and marbling, photography, stenciling, and tape drawing.