Art Teachers Association


October 26, 2018



Conference Registration Fees:

Conference Fee:  $90.00
Students / Substitutes / Retirees:  $45.00
Note:  Conference fee includes annual association membership

Registration questions should be directed to: or
Alison West:
Devon VanKoughnett:
Tim Taylor:

As per NSTU Operational Procedure 14(e)(iii): receipts of payment and attendance will not be distributed until the conference has concluded.

Conference Location

Workshops have been scheduled in numerous locations in the Province:  

Conference Schedule

8:15 a.m.  -  8:45 a.m. Registration
8:45 a.m.  -  9:30 a.m. Coffee/Tea, Snacks and AGM 
9:30 a.m. -  10:00 a.m. Travel to Workshop/Studio Sessions
10:00 a.m.  - 12:00 p.m. Workshop/Studio Session
12:00 p.m. -  1:00 p.m. Lunch Break
1:00 p.m.  -  3:00 p.m. Continuation of Workshop/Studio Session
3:00 p.m. Distribute conference receipts and collect evaluation forms


Participants will be attending ONE workshop during the day

Rocky Lake Junior High

Makerspace 101 
The classroom in the 21st century is transforming.  The makerspace movement is an approach to incorporate STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) into the P-12 classroom.  A makerspace provides opportunities for our students to develop their critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creative skills while engaged in meaningful problem solving projects.  In this session participants will learn about the maker mindset and philosophy, creating and sustaining a makerspace, and developing art-based projects for use in a makerspace.  Participants will also experience a variety of low tech to high tech hands-on makerspace activities that they will be able to incorporate into their practice Monday!
Prior Knowledge:  None
Chris Cocek
Chris is a Technology Integration Lead Teacher (TILT) for Halifax Regional Centre for Education located in Nova Scotia, Canada.  He supports over 60 schools and many more teachers and students with the planning and integration of new and emerging technologies in classrooms from K-12.  Chris is also a part-time instructor with Mount Saint Vincent University and St. Francis Xavier University where he teaches courses related to technology education.  Chris recently graduated with his PhD. in Educational Studies from St. Francis Xavier University with a dissertation that focused on the online learning experience of educators.

Art and Google Maps
This is an introductory workshop where teachers will explore several ways to integrate Art into different Google applications such as Google Docs, Google Slides, Google Drawings and Google Classroom. We will also look at ways Google Apps can be used in a Fine Arts classroom. Some topics to be covered will be: basic graphic design, image editing, animation/.gif creation, poster design, booklet creation and other small projects.
Prior Knowledge: GNSPES Login Information
Meaghan LeMoine

Meaghan LeMoine is a Visual Arts and Technology Education teacher at Sackville High School. She teaches Art, Dance, Yoga, Tech Ed and French. She also facilitates a female-empowerment group called Girl on Fire. Meaghan has a strong passion for empowering others through a variety of teaching approaches and an interest in combining Art and Technology.

Medicine Wheel Teachings
The Medicine Wheel focus' on a person's life journey, starting with learning about the self and then moving on to interaction with others. The workshop also includes the teachings of a Holistic Approach to living a balanced life style that includes the Spiritual, Physical, Mental and Environmental well-being of a person. Using interactive activities, individuals will participate in hands on learning, ending with the creating of a personal medicine wheel.
Identify which direction of the medicine wheel you were born, learn more about yourself and interaction with others and relationships. Learn how to balance your Spiritual, Environmental, Physical and Mental well-being. Then create your own medicine wheel to use as a reminder to live a healthy lifestyle.
Prior Knowledge:  None
Theresa Meuse

Theresa was born and raised in the Bear River Mi'kmaw community. She graduated from Dalhousie University in 1990 and went on to work for various Mi'kmaw organizations. She then worked as a First Nation Education & Advisor for several years and is presently working as the Aboriginal Student Support Worker for the Halifax Regional Education Centre. She is a published author, wife, mother of three and grandmother of four.

Clay is the WAY 
Get Dirty! Get your hands on some clay, learn some basic hand- building tips and tricks to give you confidence using this amazingly versatile medium at your school. Find out about the coolest ever, cross-curricular, service learning project and how you might spread the greatness of this initiative in your school community. Oh, and take home your very own sample product :)
Prior Knowledge:  None
Isla McEachern 

Former Visual Art & Technology teacher with the HRCE.

  • NSCAD U alumni with 3 degrees in Visual Arts and Education
  • Lover of Ceramics, hand-building and all things CLAY
  • Big fan of volunteerism, community involvement and service learning
  • Co-pilot of the first "Hungry Bowls" food bank fundraiser to be organized and run at the high school level in Nova Scotia

Scratching a Line
Scratching a Line is a direct drawing and printmaking workshop utilizing everyday materials like acetate and CD cases to make 3 different types of images- monoprints, intaglio prints and etched transparencies.  The process of direct drawing uses the transparency of these plastics to see and draw the world directly onto the surface allowing the artist to develop the image through scratching/etching and printing. The idea of multi layering of images will be discussed as a way to deepen meaning in art making.
Prior Knowledge:  None
Allistair Duncan

Alastair has been interested in art since high school, primarily photography.  He studied at NSCAD and delved into many subject areas. With this background he became an art educator.  Alastair currently teaches at J.L.Ilsley High School in Halifax where he is still following the same passion for materials, process and ideas that reflect lives of students and the world around them.

Making a Statement with Jewellery 
Use of personal adornment is universal across ages and cultures. Learn how to use leather and textiles combined with inexpensive, easily obtainable supplies to craft bold, one of a kind wearable art in the form of accessories.
Prior Knowledge:  None
Rita Van Tassell

Rita Van Tassel acquired her BFA from NSCAD in 2002 and soon after began running an art program for youth at risk with HomeBridge (based in Dartmouth). After graduating from the MSVU BEd program in 2008, she taught Jr. and Sr. High Art in Halifax while also creating and selling a line of unique textile and leather accessories.
Since 2014, Rita has been living in Lunenburg and running The Lunenburg Makery, a textile-based Maker space where they design and produce needle felting and hand-stitched felt kits. She also runs workshops, both in the shop and in the city, as well as continuing to produce her own accessories to sell at markets and to other stockists across Canada.


Multi-Colour Classroom Screenprinting
Screenprinting is magic. Simple but technical, dynamic yet practical – it's an art form that lends itself to many possibilities. This workshop is for all teachers who want to bring screenprinting into classrooms. Our focus will be on: building screens; understanding the basics of mesh and squeegees; stencil making for a variety of ages and abilities; multi-colour print techniques; ink varieties; and classroom management. Folks will come away with samples, some DIY screenprinting gear, and confidence to take this into various classroom contexts. Added bonus: access to screen printing resources/technical support during Open Studio sessions at Wonder'neath!
Prior Knowledge:  None - Bring apron or work clothes
Melissa Marr
Melissa Marr is an artist and educator based in Halifax. She is the co-founder of Wonder’neath Art Society, an arts based non-profit that brings the public together with practicing artists in dynamic studio explorations. She has a BFA from Mount Allison, and a Master in Education through Acadia. Melissa has designed workshops for students from P - 12 across the province. She has consulted and written curriculum for the Dept of Education, CBC, and AGNS. She has extensive experience creating art in collaboration with schools and neighbourhood groups and enjoys pushing the boundaries of simple mediums to see what’s possible.

Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design

MORE Books that Pop Up, Fold Out and Do Wonderful Things!
Back again with even more fun and unconventional books that go boldly beyond the flat book! We will dash our way through as many odd and unusual books as you can make in a day, most requiring only paper, cardboard and glue. Designed to contain a wide variety of subject matter, these “books” can be adapted to so many educational purposes, made on the cheap, and be crafted by small and large hands alike. BIG IMAGINATION is all you need to bring.
Prior Knowledge:  None
Katherine Scott
Katherine Scott is a book artist and multi-media artisan at the Little Pink House Studio in Gabarus, Cape Breton.

Printmaking for Everyone
Drawing on her degree in psychology and her experiences in Cognitive Development Nancy's workshop will bring together Print Making and developmental outcomes.  Comfortable and experienced working at any grade level Nancy will help you enjoy hands on exploration of different types of printing techniques using a wide range of materials to suit your budget...think found objects.  We will also create beautiful prints that you can use in the classroom or display proudly. 
Prior Knowledge:  None
Nancy Chiasson
Nancy Chiasson is a ceramic and visual artist living in Coxheath where she creates beautiful work inspired by the plant kingdom and Cape Breton's supernatural landscapes and seascapes.  Her work includes hand built pottery, mixed media collages and acrylics.  You can find her at Nancy Chiasson Designs & Paint Night with Nancy on Facebook, and

Pick it up!
After teaching art at all grade levels & in both rural & city schools, I know how to stretch a budget dollar. During the workshop, we will explore jewellery making with minimum supplies & equipment. As well, we will make use of found natural materials like leaves & drift wood to make interesting pieces.  All materials will be provided. We will have fun & you will take some new ideas home with you!
Prior Knowledge:  None
Lynda Lou MacIntyre

Lynda Lou MacIntyre is an artist working in watercolour painting, metal smithing, silk painting and printmaking. Her work, inspired by the beauty of nature and the natural elegance of living, has been exhibited in solo and group shows.
Lynda Lou has worked as art teacher for the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board, has taught countless art workshops, has been a mentor for many students and currently teaches jewellery making at the Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design. Pieces of her diverse work can be found in collections around the globe.
"As an artist with a long history of teaching, I have been constantly energized and informed by my students whether young or old. Their delight in their explorations is contagious. I am looking forward to meeting the art teachers & working with them."

Pinch pot pottery
This class will explore the creation of pinch pot pottery.  We will be using an air dry clay that does not need firing in a kiln.  Once the pinch pot is created we will continue to build on the pot using a coiling method.
Prior Knowledge:  None
Nancy E. Oakley

Nancy E. Oakley is a First Nation artist of Wampanoag and Mi'kmaq descent living on the Eskasoni First nation reserve in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.  She is a graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico where she studied photography and traditional pottery.  After moving to Nova Scotia, she studied a year at NSCAD, taking courses in photography, pottery, weaving, and jewellery making.
As an artist she creates culturally significant vessels that imbue her spiritual and traditional knowledge and honour her role as a mother.  She creates her pieces on the wheel or hand building larger sculptural pieces and finds inspiration in nature and the creation of life.
She incorporates traditional practices in her creations, such as stone polishing and smoke firing and later embellishes each piece with traditional Mi'kmaq black ash basketry, intricate beadwork and/or the spiritual element of sweet grass

Douglas Street Recreation Centre

Prints Charming
Design and print your own fabrics! In this class we will explore design using screenprinting and block printing and various resist methods to build up an image. This course will encourage artistic exploration of ideas translating them using the various print methods demonstrated. We cover basic colour theory to mix your own colours and experiment with transparent and opaque print pastes. The skills developed in this course can be applied in the classroom, studio or on the kitchen table. Suitable for all skill levels. 
Prior Knowledge:  None
Kate Ward

Kate Ward is an interdisciplinary artist whose interests include textiles, ceramics, jewellery, printmaking and intermedia. She is the recipient of numerous international scholarships, residencies and exchange programs. Her work has been selected for national and international exhibitions and awards and her work is represented in national and international collections. Kate is currently curating the 2018 Uncommon Common Art outdoor exhibition in Kings County, the recipient of the 2018 AFCOOP Super 8 Bursary, and a selected Artist for Resident in Iceland and LAIR at Nova Scotia Centre for Craft and Design in 2018

Loop-in-Loop Jewellery Chain Making
Have you ever wanted to try your hand at jewellery making? Are you interested in ancient skills and techniques? If so, this workshop is for you! In this workshop we will make loop-in-loop chains, a technique that has been used for at least 2000 years! The workshop will cover basic soldering (using simple butane torches), wire forming techniques (jump ring making and link forming), basic clasp making, and a variety of chain patterns and sizes. Each participant will have the option to make either a bracelet/anklet or necklace with a clasp.
Prior Knowledge:  Soldering experience suggested, must NOT be afraid of fire!
Ann Perry McCosker

Ann Perry McCosker was born and raised in the State of Vermont. The child of two craftspeople, she was surrounded by a creative atmosphere that encouraged her to work with her hands. While attending St. Lawrence University she worked in the theater designing and constructing costumes. After acquiring her B.A. in Environmental Studies she was accepted to the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD University) to pursue her interest in costuming. At the suggestion of a friend she took Introduction to Jewellery and fell in love with working with metal; she was so enamored she promptly became a Jewellery Design and Metalsmithing major. McCosker enjoys bringing skills from her diverse crafts background and passion for historic craftsmanship to her jewellery. Currently she combines the ancient technique of filigree with a sci-fi, futuristic aesthetic.

Ross Creek

Making Art from Sticks and Stones
This workshop uses the raw materials that can be gathered in any back-garden, school-yard, ditch or patch of land to make drawing and painting materials, and is intended to demonstrate three main ideas:
1) The raw materials for drawing, painting and dying are present in every environment
2) Artworks made in a specific locale with the materials of that place will have material and colouristic qualities of that place
3) The alchemist’s tools (heating, grinding, soaking, boiling, slaking, drying) are the same as the artist’s.
In the workshop, we will make vine and willow charcoal ‘from scratch’, as well as test a range of other woods to see how they work as drawing materials. We will gather a range of plant material, soil and stones to make dyes and pigments, which will be tested on fabric and with watercolour and egg tempera. Workshop participants will experiment with making plant-dyes, as well as grinding and slaking plant and soil-based pigments. (None of these materials are toxic though we will use dust-masks when grinding and mixing pigments). Participants will then test all of these materials with drawing, painting and dying.
The workshop is divided into four 1-hour sessions.
1st session: gathering wood, plant materials, soil and stones from Ross Creek's woodlands, pastures and market garden; making charcoal
2nd session: soaking plant material, grinding and slaking pigments; drawing with charcoal
3rd session: painting in watercolour and egg-tempera with local pigments (local eggs, too! – and this makes a difference. Cennino Cennini in The Artist’s Handbook suggested painting the face of a young person with an egg from the city; for that of an old man or woman, a country egg should be used).
4th session: dying with local dyes
Prior Knowledge:  None
Sara Hartland-Rowe
Sara Hartland-Rowe is a painter and installation artist, and a regular part-time instructor at NSCAD, where she teaches in the Painting and Drawing Departments. Colour has been a central focus of her work for several years; part of her research into colour has led me to explore ‘local colour’ through local dyes and pigments.
Sara has shown her work across Canada as well as in the US and Europe, and has had grants from the Canada Council, Arts Nova Scotia and the Ontario Arts Council. Permanent public art installation includes 'Travellers', situated at the Halifax Transit Bridge Terminus. This work was short-listed for a Lieutenant-Governor’s Masterworks Award in 2015.

Hands up for Mud! Working with children and clay
This workshop is designed to give teachers some insight into how they can use clay in the elementary school classroom, even when they themselves have little experience with it.  Clay, for me, is a lump of very interesting stuff (a little natural science here…) filled with potential: as soon as you get your hands into it, it starts to speak to your imagination, as if the material itself can generate its own shapes.  The participants will explore some of the clay themes I have found most successful with children, will make things to take home and will get very dirty-guaranteed!  To conclude the workshop, we will discuss some of the practical considerations related to bringing clay into a classroom.
Prior Knowledge:  None
Elizabeth Sircom
Elizabeth Sircom received her art training in Paris. She returned to live in Nova Scotia in 2013 after living for 20 years in Normandy, France, where she worked as an artist and gave weekly classes in drawing and painting to adults, and workshops to children. Since her return to Canada she has given numerous workshops at the Acadia Art Gallery (adults and children) and in local schools, through “Paints” (Visual Arts Nova Scotia) and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia’s Arts Smarts programme. In 2016 she designed the murals for the pump house at Reservoir Park in Wolfville which were painted as a community art project. In her own work she has explored a wide variety of media, often on a portrait theme, and presently focuses on clay sculpture. Her most recent sculpture project was a series of historical portraits for an exhibition in Charlottetown on the theme of Confederation. Elizabeth Sircom is also an active musician (cello) and is the Outreach Coordinator for the Acadia Regional Youth Orchestra (Wolfville.)

Seeing Thru Acrylics
Explore different properties of acrylics to mimic the characteristic of watercolour or oil paint on a variety of surfaces.
The unrecognized versatility of acrylics is revealed when we use them in unconventional ways. Mixed with modifiers or diluted with water, acrylics produce the subtle blending and fresh luminosity without the lifting or muddying of colours or cracking when applied to thick paint layers. Acrylic paint can be permanently applied to many surfaces including paper, cloth, glass, metal or plastics.
Class activities explore a watercolour project suitable for older grades and faux stained glass project ideal for younger students.
Prior Knowledge:  Experience with acrylic paint is not necessary but an open attitude and sense of humor is. Paint will be spilled.
Bonnie Baker
Bonnie Baker has been a full time visual artist in Nova Scotia for over 20 years. She has worked extensively with textiles but in recent years has focused on drawing/painting and printmaking. Her work can be found in the Nova Scotia Art Bank, as well as in private collections. In 2016 she was awarded Established Artist award by Arts Nova Scotia.
As a teacher, Bonnie fosters others in developing their creative and artistic skills, encouraging students to experiment with materials in new ways, explore dynamic compositions and embrace the beauty of unpredictable results.
Her website is
Instagram @enoughbakers

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