Art Class Curator

By Cindy Ingram

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This podcast is dedicated to empowering you to embrace teaching art with works of art. Each episode will dive deep into different aspects of teaching art - from passionate art teachers sharing their work, to mini trainings on art appreciation strategies that you can use in your classroom, to conversations about the highs and lows that come with being a teacher. Come back each week for an informative interview with an amazing art teacher!

Episode Date
14: Solo FAQ

Today I’m doing something I’ve never done before, and instead of having a guest, I’m going solo today. Join me as I answer frequently asked questions from listeners and students. 


Show Highlights:

  • Art Making versus Art Looking
  • How to facilitate discussion during Art History 
  • Techniques to try so your students will know you’re listening
  • How to keep students engaged
  • Why you learn to find comfort in the silence
  • How to deal with insecurities of your knowledge of an art piece
  • The versatility of teaching Art History
  • Advice on how to teach art when nudity is involved 
  • Why we need to embrace being uncomfortable
  • How to avoid copycat artwork from students 


Social Media Pull Quotes:


“You are modeling curiosity. You are modeling excitement about art. They are learning from you and your delight.”


“Even if you don’t know the answers immediately, you have the skills and techniques to get them.”


“There are things in life that are worth not avoiding. Learn to be okay with being uncomfortable.”



Resource Library 

Aug 13, 2018
13: Supporting Student Expression with Eric Gibbons

Eric Gibbons joins Cindy on the podcast today to share his passion for teaching art. While in college, a professor noticed Eric’s talents in art and teaching, and encouraged him to become an art teacher. Eric says he may have been the first student at his college to switch majors from pre-law to art education, but he has no regrets. Eric has nearly 30 years of teaching experience and has been able to carry his love for art to both Egypt and Japan, where he was able to teach art. Currently, Eric teaches high school art in New Jersey, and was recognized by the state for his excellence in art education in 2015. His classroom lessons have been featured by Davis Publications and other books on art and education through Firehouse Publications of Bordentown, NJ. Eric’s best-known book is If Picasso Had A Christmas Tree.

Eric’s work has been featured in international exhibitions and in many publications. Additionally, Eric is a blogger on his website, Art Ed Guru, and his blogs are appreciated by educators worldwide. 

Show Highlights:

  • Eric shares how his love of art began at an early age.
  • Cindy and Eric discuss components involved in teaching art in a public school
  • Eric shares why there has been some push-back to his philosophy of teaching art.
  • Students find relevance in art when they have a personal connection to it.
  • Cindy discusses how art can give students a method to express their emotions. 
  • Eric tells about how he has his art students partner with students at other schools for a project.
  • Eric discusses how he uses a universal rubric for 2D and 3D artwork in his classroom.
  • Eric shares how he has his students reflect on their work.
  • Eric shares tips for ensuring uniqueness and individuality in student work.
  • Cindy and Eric discuss incorporating art history in the classroom.



Art Ed Guru

Firehouse Publications

Art Grading

Tips for Ensuring Individuality

Tips and Tricks in the Art Room

Eric’s Philosophy Diagram

Ken Vieth


Aug 06, 2018
12: Mapping the Chaos with Lana Jelenjev

As most Art Teachers may know, it can be easy to fall into catering to what students and administrators want and need, but in turn, we lose sight of what we need ourselves. Lana Jelenjev is with us here today to share the importance of “checking in”. Join us and learn the questions to ask yourself in order to figure out your own needs and the imperativeness of doing so.


Show Highlights:

  • Lana’s method of making thinking visible
  • In the entrepreneurial world, how to know when to pivot or pull the plug
  • The powerful tool of “checking in”
  • What the concept of Reverse Mind Mapping has to offer
  • The questions to ask in order to identify your personal needs
  • The danger of becoming too attached to the idea of an end product
  • The practice that can help teachers and students in the classroom
  • The importance of defining what you need
  • What is compassionate communication and how it can benefit you
  • The difference in being selfish and being self-full that society doesn’t tell us


Blog: Dream See Do

Lana's Interactive Learning Site

90 Day Action Planner

The Power of Full Engagement

Essentialism: Mastering the Art of Less  

Jul 30, 2018
11: Funding Your Art Program with Holly Bess Kincaid

We’re following up with art class teacher Holly Bess Kincaid from Episode 5. Holly Bess is changing the world within the walls of her classroom. Her students make up a strongly diverse community of learners, so different languages, cultures, and life experiences are something she not only plans for but leverages to create powerful learning moments, using art as the conduit.

In this episode, Holly Bess shares her experiences and practical tips on how she has found success in getting grant funding for projects and resources that enrich her students’ learning.


Show Highlights:

  • Why an art teacher might need a grant
  • Holly Bess’s shares her favorite grant she’s ever received
  • How Holly Bess has used grant money she earned
  • Tips from Holly Bess on how to find and apply for grants
  • Places within your community you can seek grant funding for projects
  • How to tailor your grant to potential grant funders
    • What is your goal?
    • What are you going to do with your funding?
    • What’s the impact to students of completing your project or using your resources?
    • How will you share updates of what you do with the product or finish the project?
    • How will you give recognition to your donor(s)?
    • Tell a good story and include a budget
  • Effective tips for thanking donors
  • Whether or not you should re-apply to grants you’ve already received
  • Why Holly Bess uses her voice recording feature on her phone often


Links Mentioned in the Show:

Donors Choose

Holly Bess on Instagram - @artladyhbk

Holly Bess on Twitter - @artladyhbk

Capitol of Creativity

National Art Education Association (NAEA)

Art Class Curator

Jul 23, 2018
10: Teaching in Low Income Schools with Amy Bultena and Danette Albino

Amy Bultena and Danette Albino are here to talk about their experience in teaching at Title 1 Schools, lower-income students. These ladies hit on a variety of topics from the importance of actually respecting your students as people to taking time to prioritize yourself. If you’re a soon-to-be-teacher wondering what to expect or a seasoned Vet looking for reassurance you’re not alone, this podcast is for you!


Show Notes:

  • How to teach low-income kids when their most basic needs aren’t met
  • The most important thing kids need in the classroom in Title 1 schools
  • Why the Public Education System doesn’t necessarily know what’s best for its students
  • The skills teachers were not prepared for, to nurture students
  • The key to connecting with students in the classroom and cultivating those relationships
  • The benefits of treating kids as people and not just as students
  • Why it’s important to prioritize yourself alongside teaching
  • Alternatives to self-help and therapy for Title 1 Teachers
  • The thing we lose in stressful jobs, such as teaching low-income schools, that’s important to get back
  • How to address your own “privilege” in the classroom
  • The importance of talking about race, in and out of the classroom


Jul 16, 2018
09: Killing Your Color Wheels with Jim O'Donnell

The rigidity of rules may be hindering creativity for young artists.


Jim O’Donnell didn’t take his first art class until he was almost graduated from high school. Jim is proof that you’re not doomed if you didn’t learn the technicalities at a young age.  Listen to him share his experience with how his art painted its way into his life and, in return, has done the same for his students. Jim shares his pedagogies of inspiring and teaching future Elementary Education majors, the importance of failure, and how to get find balance with a school system focused on a grade letter. 


Show Highlights:


  • How Jim traded Advertising for Art
  • Jim explains the idea behind his blog Kill Your Color Wheels
  • How assessing art in the classroom isn’t as easy as a multiple choice test
  • Why perfectionism is the enemy of creativity
  • Why it’s important to encourage kids to fail more
  • Learn how art teachers can find the balance between imposing letter grades and nourishing growth
  • How art teaches us to slow down in a fast and furious society
  • The non-academic way of grading that’s difficult to measure
  • Jim talks about how he handles the difference between naturally talented artists vs. those who work harder
  • The importance of relaxing into what’s uncomfortable
  • Impactful artwork for Jim: Abbott H. Thayer Winged Figure, 1889 -


Links Mentioned in the Show:


Kill Your Color Wheels

Walking on Water by Derrick Jensen

Why I Hate the Elements and Principles of Art

Stephen Krashen, Linguist

Sheila Kriemelman

Grading on Standards for Achievement - Brookhart

Jul 09, 2018
08: Honoring Unsung Heroes with Brad Le Duc

Art competitions are actually beneficial for teachers and their students.

Brad Le Duc, an Art Educator, is here to share his passion for art and educating the young artists of the future. Brad has taught 2D art in several states across the country for the past 17 years. Brad here to talk about the Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes, the positive effects of art competitions, and how art teachers can get involved in helping their students submit their art pieces. 

Tune in for a refreshing and inspiring interview with Brad, and walk away with new insights on art, competitions, passion, and vulnerability. 


Show Highlights: 

  • Brad explains what the Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes is and their mission
  • Learn what the Discovery Award Competition and ArtEffect Project are
  • How students discover their “Unsung Hero”
  • How to get students involved with the Lowell Milken Center
  • How to reach kids who lack motivation
  • Brad tells a story of a former student whose artwork brought him to tears
  • Brad and Cindy discuss the importance and impact of passion
  • Two questions that Brad asks his students to initiate conversation
  • A free 10 Step Lesson plan to help art teachers get started
  • Brad shares one of his personal favorite art influencers from Brazil 


Links Mentioned in the Show:


Lowell Milken Center

Brad LeDuc"s Blog

ArtEffect Project

Wasteland - Vik Muniz

Irena Sendler

Alice Seeley Harris

The Art the Brought Brad to Tears

Kara Walker

Ai Weiwei

10 Step Lesson Plan


Jul 02, 2018
07: Authentic Arts Integration with Susan Riley

Susan Riley is bringing it all together through art. Her website, EducationCloset is the go-to resource for teachers working to integrate art into other disciplines and create STEAM programs. In an educational climate that places a high value on standardized testing, art integration is an effective method to engage students and teachers alike and has helped to infuse creativity and critical thinking back into the classroom.

Tune in to hear Susan’s passion come through as she shares stories, tips, and reflections on how to work art integration into your lessons, and how it can add to your classroom environment.


Show Highlights:

  • Why you shouldn’t be afraid of arts integration
  • The inspiring way EducationCloset got its start
  • How arts integration retains and reinvigorates teachers
  • Susan shares some examples of her favorite art integration lessons
  • How to incorporate peer reviews and partner work in art integration activities
  • Addressing the meeting of educational standards for all disciplines involved
  • How to be an advocate for both arts and arts integration 
  • Tips for building relationships with other teachers in your school that overlap with your integrated content
  • Why you should never say, “That’s not my job”
  • Susan shares her first experience falling in love with art

Links Mentioned in the Show:


Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Art Class Curator

Jun 25, 2018
06: Visual Literacy for the 21st Century with Dr. Katie Monnin

It turns out that comics are good for kids. 


Dr. Katie Monnin is here to tell you that art and language belong together, more than ever. She’s spent her career creating books on both how and why incorporating new graphic novels enhance visual learning and writing skills in students. More than that-- she’s also worked hard with a community of teachers to develop resources so teaching with graphic novels feels attainable and accessible to anyone.


Tune in for an energizing interview with Katie, and walk away with a plethora of tips and resources to bring into your first graphic novel lesson.



Show Highlights:


  • Katie explains what Pop Culture Classroom is and what it does
  • Why it’s important to let kids read graphic novels
  • What students learn from graphic novels
  • Kate shares a powerful story of how the 9/11 attack changed her perception of the need for graphic novels
  • How graphic novels are different from traditional cartoons
  • Tips for developing quality lessons plan for graphic novels
  • Katie shares about panels, gutters, and balloons, and their place in the classroom
  • How to find the balance of art and language in the study of graphic novels
  • The graphic novel artists and publishers Katie recommends for teachers starting out
  • A bit about the Denver Comic Con and why it’s worth attending
  • Ways to get started teaching in your own classroom using graphic novels



Links Mentioned in the Show:


Pop Culture Classroom

Email Katie: 

Find books by Katie Monnin

Diamond Bookshelf Lesson Plans

Toon Books

Sara Varon

As The Crow Flies by Melanie Gillman

Lion Forge Books

Brave by Svetlana Chmakova 

Maus by Art Spiegelman

Blankets by Craig Thompson

Spill Zone by Alex Puvilland

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Denver Comic Con 2018

Art Class Curator

Jun 18, 2018
05: Global Understanding through Art with Holly Bess Kincaid

Art class teacher Holly Bess Kincaid is changing the world within the walls of her classroom. Her students make up a strongly diverse community of learners, so different languages, cultures, and life experiences are something she not only plans for, but leverages to create powerful learning moments, using art as the conduit.


From practical tips on how to work with a variety of native languages in one classroom, to what projects have created the most excitement with students of all backgrounds, Holly Bess provides insights so that you can help students learn more about the world by learning from one another.



Show Highlights:


  • How to adapt your learning environment to a multilingual classroom
  • The way art lessons can bring out cultural lessons between students
  • Holly Bess shares an anecdote of celebrating Holi with a student’s family
  • Ways teachers can get to know their students’ communities better
  • Holly Bess shares about a particularly successful kite art project
  • Tips on managing students’ behavioral issues related to trauma
  • How to address tough conversations and fear with art lessons
  • The ways social media can isolate us from forging connections with others
  • How Holly Bess tailors her curriculum to her student’s needs
  • Why reading, writing or speaking are included every day in art class
  • How Holly Bess created a weekly lesson to critique art
  • The art that scared Holly Bess 



Links Mentioned in the Show:


Google Arts & Culture app

T.H.I.N.K. About Art - Weekly Lesson Guide

Holly Bess on Instagram - @artladyhbk

Holly Bess on Twitter - @artladyhbk

Capitol of Creativity

National Art Education Association (NAEA)

Art Class Curator


Art that scared Holly Bess: Ann Hamilton's Offering (1991)

Jun 11, 2018
04: Smart Classroom Management with Michael Linsin

Michael Linsin knows that positive classroom moments don’t just happen magically. In fact, a well-run classroom makes teaching-- and learning-- fun. His practical guides and tips come from years of experience and have culminated in his own online resource called Smart Classroom Management. In this episode, we dive deep into the how’s and why’s of best practices in classroom management, with a focus on art classrooms.

Tune in and be ready to mix up your classroom management style, so you can have more fun with your job and create a learning environment that transforms the lives of your students.


Show Highlights:

  • How Smart Classroom Management got its start
  • Michael shares his tips on having a well-run classroom
  • The importance of having a classroom management plan
  • Why it doesn’t really matter what consequences you use in the classroom
  • The most effective way to model behaviors you want students to emulate or avoid
  • How to create an engaging lesson on classroom management for your students
  • Why Michael doesn’t like reflection forms
  • Misconceptions other teachers have about having a well-managed classroom
  • Tips on how to build rapport with students
  • How old is too old for time outs
  • Types of consequences that work well for older students
  • How reward and points systems in your classroom can be ineffective
  • The importance of follow-through with your classroom management plan


Links Mentioned in the Show:

Smart Classroom Management

Facebook - Smart Classroom Management

Book - Classroom Management for Art, Music, and PE Teachers

Art Class Curator

Jun 04, 2018
03: The Aesthetics of Health with Megan Hildebrandt

Sometimes our most challenging moments are the times that create the biggest spark. For Megan Hildebrandt, one of those chapters of her life was while she was earning her Masters Degree in Studio Art at the University of South Florida and was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. 

This experience completely changed the way she views art, community, and remaining present.

In this episode, Megan dives into how her art transformed during her cancer treatment and how, now that she is in remission, she finds more and more ways to bring art students to communities in need of healing, inspiration, and consistency.


Show Highlights:

  • How cancer changed Megan’s perspective on art
  • Her evolution as an artist through cancer and the different mediums that captured her attention
  • Megan explains an artistic series that she produced while undergoing chemotherapy
  • How Megan got her experience as an art teacher
  • The story behind Megan’s course, “The Aesthetics of Health”
  • How cancer care experiences are enhanced with art in the waiting room
  • Anecdotes from figure drawing cancer patients
  • The difference between sympathy and empathy
  • Megan explains the importance of consistency in serving communities with art
  • How Megan sees her art programs scale to other schools and communities
  • The freedom and shared ownership of interpreting art
  • Megan shares 2 artists who have inspired her


Links Mentioned in the Show:

Megan Hildebrandt

May 28, 2018
02: Connecting Communities with Nic Hahn

For over 15 years, Nic Hahn has worked with students of all ages in various schools and districts around the Midwestern US-- and if there’s one thing she’s discovered, it’s the importance of community in teaching art. 

She started a blog called Mini Matisse in 2010 to connect parents to the art projects that were coming home in the hands of their children, but the online connection was just the beginning.  Her quest to bring people with interest and experience with students thirsty to try new forms of art has sparked local, nationwide, and international interest and participation-- demonstrating that the invitation to create is universal and that we all have a lot to learn from one another.

Show Highlights:

  • What prompted Nic to create her blog, Mini Matisse
  • How often she creates blog posts, and what her philosophy on blogging is like
  • The ways blogging has impacted Nic’s teaching
  • Nic shares her favorite community art projects, and why they’re important
  • Ways to proactively manage emotionally challenging art lessons with students
  • Tips for engaging families and volunteers in art class support
  • How to find and support classroom volunteers
  • Unexpected benefits of having volunteers come in to support students
  • Tips and advice for teachers starting a community-driven art learning program
  • Nic explains what an Artist’s Trading Card is
  • How Nic’s classrooms began trading art with schoolchildren in Japan
  • Nic shares her artistic inspirations
  • Why Nic named her daughter Matisse


Links Mentioned in the Show:


Community Project from Mini-Matisse

Bit-O-Bios on Teachers Pay Teachers

Artist Trading Card Project on Mini-Matisse

Lisa Congdon Art Project on Mini-Matisse

Mini Matisse

Instagram - @minimatisseart

Twitter - @minimatisse


May 28, 2018
01: Introducing the Art Class Curator Podcast

Welcome to Art Class Curator! This podcast is something that’s been in the back of my mind for years and I’m excited that it’s finally happening. Each episode will dive deep into different aspects of teaching art - from passionate art teachers sharing their work, to mini trainings on art appreciation strategies that you can use in your classroom, to conversations about the highs and lows that come with being a teacher.

Show Highlights:

  • We’re launching-- the Art Class Curator podcast is happening!
  • What the Art Class Curator podcast will be about
  • Hear highlights of a few upcoming interviews
  • The one telling question I ask guests at the end of every episode
  • A personal story of how host Cindy Ingram came into studying and loving art

Links Mentioned in the Show:

Art Class Curator

May 24, 2018