JMU art sudents, faculty, alumni participate in 2019 VAEA Annual Conference

jmuJames Madison University art students, faculty and alumni will take part in the 2019 Virginia Art Education Association annual conference, which returns to the Shenandoah Valley for the first time in 40 years.

The conference runs from Nov. 7 until Nov. 9 at Hotel Madison and Shenandoah Valley Conference Center with numerous workshops being held in JMU’s Duke Hall.

The conference, which features sessions by JMU art students and faculty, welcomes about 500 art educators from across the Commonwealth, including many alumni who are members, says Blue Ridge region VAEA president Karin Tollefson-Hall, who also serves as the associate director of JMU’s School of Art, Design and Art History as well as the art education coordinator and associate professor of art education at JMU. “There’s a lot of excitement about getting people into the spaces… into the hotel, Duke Hall, on campus in general.”

The conference is organized around the theme Threads, which focuses on fibers and the book arts, and 100 sessions will take place during the three-day conference. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear keynote speaker Julie Chen, an internationally-known book artist, as well as presentations on the latest research and most innovative lesson plans in the field of art education. They can also participate in hands-on activities in the studio spaces at Duke Hall.

VAEA partnered with Any Given Child Shenandoah Valley, who is bringing visual artist Kevin Reese to the conference for a project called “Mobilizing Our Community.” The JMU student chapter of the fine arts fraternity Kappa Pi and art students in the Harrisonburg High School Fine Arts Academy will work with Reese and conference participants to create mobiles that will be hung at various Harrisonburg downtown destinations. Several downtown shops and galleries will remain open late on Friday, Nov. 8 to accommodate conference attendees.

The conference also welcomes VMFA on the Road, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts artmobile, for a three-day stop. The artmobile features the exhibition How Far Can Creativity Can Take YouVMFA Fellowship Artists, which celebrates the role VMFA has played in the lives of fellowship recipients. It will be parked between Duke Hall and the Music Building on JMU’s campus. Admission is free and open to the public on Thursday, Nov. 7 from 3-5 pm, Friday, Nov. 8 from 10 am-6 pm, and Saturday, Nov. 9 from 10 am-2:30 pm. Parking is available in the Mason Street Parking Deck.


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