Spring 2024

Here's what's new with IAEA!

We are so excited to share our second newsletter of 2024 with you! Inside you will learn about what your board members have been up to, important dates to add to your calendar, fun end of year tips & tricks, and more! Sketchpad is IAEA's digital newsletter. The newsletter is published quarterly and includes information about upcoming opportunities for educators and students, highlights from around the state, and resources from friends and colleagues.

From the President

I always know it’s the end of the school year when the sun is coming up and the world isn’t dark on my drive into work. This time of year is always so exciting; it’s warming up outside, things are growing, we’re starting to look towards our summer plans, and we’re reflecting on the end of this school cycle and what we hope for in the next year.


With this time of year, though, comes some of our greatest challenges as educators. Our students are coming down with spring fever. The end-of-year gauntlet of never-ending testing, grading, and field trips or assemblies is beginning. Students are making silly choices and pushing the boundaries. And our cups are overflowing with things to do and very little to replenish the energy we’re expending.

Here are my few tips to help you make it to the end of May or beginning of June, depending on how many more Mondays are left in your school year:

Take time for yourself: This time of year is always so busy. Yes, you have grading to catch-up on and parents to email and a million other things to do. But you also need water, healthy food, and sleep to be able to do the great things you do in your classroom each day. Find a way to fit a few minutes into each day that helps you de-stress and find joy in this time of year. Go for a walk around your neighborhood, work in the garden, take a bubble bath, read a book, or watch an episode of a favorite TV show without thinking about work.

Look ahead to the future (Future You will thank you): While you’re staring at the walls of your classroom during state-mandated testing or whatever, inevitably you’ll come up with a genius new idea for next year. Come up with a system now to catch all of your musings so you can find them this summer; it could be a Word document saved to the cloud, a page in your sketchbook, a note on your phone, etc. Also, take inventory of the classroom and the supplies you need to reorder, reconsider, or write grants for over the summer so you don’t accidentally end up with eleven cans of spray fixative in your storage closet (whoops).

Enlist the help of your students: You have an army of (reluctant) helpers at your disposal right now! Create a task sheet, clipboard, or task cards for your early finishers and the last day of classes. Have your students help you take inventory of supplies, empty out the drying racks, wipe down tables, scrub out the sinks, sort crusty paint brushes into keep and toss piles, test out markers for the dried-out ones, and recycle the construction papers where students cut one shape out of the exact center of the paper. You don’t need to do it all yourself!

Find time for fun: Above all, make sure you enjoy these last weeks with your students and colleagues! Whether it’s playing Bob Ross Bingo on the last day of school, tie-dying T-shirts, showing a silly video clip for a brain break, or contour line drawings out in the sunshine on the soccer field instead of in the classroom for a day, find the time to laugh and connect with your students. Make it a goal to crack a joke or smile with every class, period, or group of students each day. Children deserve fun, and so do tired art teachers!

I wish you all the absolute best end to your school year this year, and hope you have an amazing summer break!

Melissa Stephenson, IAEA President

News From Your Regional Reps

Our regional representatives help IAEA's Executive Board know what's going on in each part of our state. Reach out to your rep if you have questions or exciting news to share about your school or classroom!

Rachael Eastman

Regions I/II, Northern Idaho

Students at Sacajawea Middle School in Lewiston, Idaho are wrapping up the end of the year by continuing their work on student-led mural project on an exterior wall.

If you are in our region, stop by Sacajawea Middle School for the Creative Carnival on May 21, 2024 from 4-6 p.m. The event is organized by the After School Art Program. Come for a fun celebration of the arts! There will be student art for sale, a raffle, a band performance, a collaborative paint by number mural, face painting and henna, as well as snacks and drinks.

Emily Meidell

Region IV, Magic Valley/SE Idaho

As we're nearing the end of the school year, school kids start to get squirrely, and behaviors go up. The weather is nice (sometimes...c'mon it's Idaho!), and students are feeling excited or anxious about summer break. We've also made it through almost a whole year and we are feeling the effects too.

I like to keep the following things at the forefront of my mind:

  • Keep teaching and exploring art together and give yourself grace. 
  • Connect with students; talk about their interests.
  • Take care of yourself by taking time for what you love: make some art, go on a hike, spend time with family and pets...
  • Take it one day at a time and take deep breaths. You've got this!

Michael Feik

Regions V/VI, Eastern Idaho

Two students from Rigby High School, Ellie and Aundrea, entered and placed in the photo contest for the Idaho School Board Awards. The contest winners are published in a magazine that is distributed to school board members and district officials across Idaho. Aundrea placed first overall (top) and Ellie placed 11th (bottom).

In April, I took a group of 17 high school students to Alaska for five days to take pictures. We used Infinity Tours to plan and run the tour. We visited Anchorage and Seward. We did a tour of Matanuska Glacier, a wildlife course, went to a wildlife sanctuary, and many other amazing places. We were able to get photos of wildlife, glaciers, and the northern lights! You can follow our Instagram to see pictures that the students took in Alaska @rigby.photo

Regional Highlight

If you're in Region III, check out the Boise High School Art Show on May 2, 2024 from 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. The show includes work from ceramics, photography, painting, drawing, art for wellbeing, the AP 2D and AP 3D classes.

Boise High School (Basement)

1010 W Washington St, Boise, ID 83702

We want to hear from you! If you have something cool to highlight in our newsletter, reach out to your regional rep or to IAEA's Executive Board.

Opportunities & Resources

Nominate an outstanding art educator!

IAEA needs your help to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of those inspirational educators!

Consider the characteristics of outstanding art educators. Think about their ability to touch the lives of young people and encourage them to flourish and grow. Nominating an art educator for an award is a great way to recognize their contributions to visual art in Idaho!

Award categories include: Elementary, Junior High/Middle, High School, K-12, College/University, Retired, Museum Educator, and Distinguished Service Within the Profession

Nominations are due June 1, 2024 and award recipients will be announced at the IAEA conference in October. To nominate a teacher, simply complete the nomination form and submit the required materials before the deadline.

Visit idahoarted.org for more information

Alt+ Book Study & Summer Creativity Challenge

June 13 - August 1, 2024

IAEA’s 2024 book study course is based on The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Clair. Rather than a traditional book study, this course takes a more creative, interactive approach. IAEA’s book study includes a virtual opening session, five weeks of exploring art making techniques, a curriculum development component, activities designed around new ways to use Elements of Art, and a virtual closing session. Register by Friday, May 31!

Visit idahoarted.org for details and registration

Grants for PD from Arts Idaho

Did you know that the Idaho Commission on the Arts (Arts Idaho) offers support for artists, arts administrators, K-12 teachers, and educators?

This quarterly grant opportunity supports the professional development of artists and arts administrators. Applicants may receive funds for attending a conference, workshop, or other form of professional development. The next grant deadline is June 3, 2024.

Visit the Website for Details

Award for students, teachers, and artists in Meridian, Idaho

The Meridian Arts Commission (MAC) is seeking nominations for the 3rd biennial Tammy de Weerd’s Awards in the Arts to recognize and encourage excellence in the arts throughout the City of Meridian. The Awards will be presented in the four following categories: Excellence in the Arts, Support of the Arts, Arts in Education, and Student Excellence in the Arts. Please consider nominating a deserving individual, student, business or organization, and/or an art educator for these awards. Click here to view the guidelines and nomination form.

Read the Call for Nominations Here

Save the Dates

IAEA Fall Conference | October 4-5, 2024

The Idaho Art Education Association’s annual fall conference is October 4-5, 2024 in Twin Falls, Idaho. College of Southern Idaho has generously offered to host the event. Watch our site for more details!

NAEA National Convention | March 20-22, 2025

The National Art Education Association’s annual convention is March 20-22, 2025 in Louisville, Kentucky. More information at National Art Education Association

Time to Renew

Now is a great time to join IAEA or renew your membership! Members receive discounts on professional development opportunities like workshops, classes, and the annual fall conference.

Not sure if you need to renew? Reach out to IAEA's Financial Chair.

IAEA Membership Form

Get Involved

Want to get involved? We're currently accepting nominations for the following positions:

  • President Elect
  • Communications Chair Elect
  • Advocacy Chair
  • Region III Representative

Find out more about these positions or contact us here: IAEA Website

Blick Art Materials supports the Idaho Art Education Association, as well as other state associations and art teachers across the nation. Learn more about lesson plans and great materials for you classroom here.

Idaho Art Education Association | idahoarted.org

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The Idaho Art Education Association promotes excellence in visual arts education in the State of Idaho. IAEA is a 501(c)(3) organization governed by a volunteer board that provides professional development opportunities and support for art educators throughout the state.