LIVE from NAEA – 2014



Since most of you can’t attend the 2014 NAEA Convention in San Diego, we went for you! We’ll be detailing many of the sights and sounds of this great event right here. We’ll be posting live throughout, so visit often and refresh this page for the most up-to-date posts!

P.S. Check out last year’s LIVE convention post.



Thursday, March 27th | 7:26am

Jessica: We leave for San Diego in one day! I’ve got all of my sessions and presentations planned out. Here’s a sneak peek at many of the activities we have planned for the convention, which you’ll be hearing more about right here as the convention takes place. If you have any questions during the event, be sure to add them to the comments section so we can answer them! One thing I’m excited about is the expanded AOE Booth this year. We purchased a double-wide booth so that we’d have plenty of room to engage with AOE Readers, and also put on a fantastic Blogger Meet and Greet – and thankfully that shipped a few weeks ago. (more photos later)



Thursday, March 27th | 8:00am

Derek: The AOE Team will be representing this year’s NAEA Convention – we will have 8 great team members in attendance! Alecia Eggers, Derek Balsley, Ian Sands, Jessica Balsley, Kelly Berwager, Nic Hahn, Sarah Dougherty, and Sarah Welch. Many of the team members will be posting sights & sounds from the convention LIVE, right here!

Alecia-140Derek-140Ian-140Jessica-140Kelly-140Nic-140Sarah D-140Sarah W-140


Thursday, March 27th | 8:10am

Jessica: Do you have any questions for the team? What would you like to see from the big event? Any companies you’d like to hear from or products you’d like to see in action? Be sure to post your thoughts/questions in the comments section, below! We’ll answer as we can!


Thursday, March 27th | 8:45am

Jessica: The blog world is going to be well-represented at this year’s NAEA Convention (can’t wait to see you all in-person) check out all of these great posts:



Thursday, March 27th | 8:58am

Jessica: Follow along with the convention via Twitter:


Friday, March 28th | 4:32pm

Jessica: The AOE booth is all set up and ready for tomorrow! The exhibitor hall is a bustling place, can’t wait to see all the great swag and action here tomorrow morning!




Friday, March 28th | 6:05pm

Alecia: Hopefully you are all getting signed in, swanky, and ready to join us for free drinks at 7:00!

I signed in for the conference at the convention center today and was already like a kid in a candy shop when I saw the ribbon table to tailor name tags!! What a fun way to “spark!” up a conversation with another art educator! (Yes those are guitars on the bed cover – Hard Rock Hotel!)

I also got a sneak preview of the exhibitor booths going up when helping set up the AOE booth!! I’m so excited to chat with all the vendors and art educators!





Saturday, March 29th | 7:55am

Jessica: AOE hosted a social for art teachers last night – Lots of great conversations, and of course, we had the beautiful bay sunset behind us to enjoy on the outside patio. Thanks to all the art teachers who came out last night!





Saturday, March 29th | 9:59am

Derek: Art teachers are lined up, anxious to get in, and the AOE Team is
ready for them. ;)

lined up

AOE is ready

Saturday, March 29th | 11:55am

Derek: We’re asking everyone what their favorite part of being an art teacher is! Fun!
favorite 1

favorite 2

Saturday, March 29th | 12:38pm

Jessica: Ian and I presented on “using iPads in the art room without sacrificing the art” and all teachers agreed: stop the segregation of art and technology! Use technology to make art and enhance the artistic process. Check out Ian’s article from this week for 5 ways to do just that!
ian and jessica

Saturday, March 29th | 12:42pm

Jessica: Conference Etiquette 101: Can you leave a session if it’s not what you expected? My answer. Yes! It’s your conference and you can shape it. Catch as much as you can! Be polite, sit in the back if you may need to leave. On the other hand, if you need to enter a session late, I say go for it. Thoughts everyone?
leave conference

Saturday, March 29th | 1:47pm

Jessica: Jessica: Met up with Patty Palmer from Deep Space Sparkle today – what a gem!

Saturday, March 29th | 2:00pm

Alecia: This fantastic app and cool tool help your students visualize lines and planes when developing a perspective drawing. Check them out at!

Saturday, March 29th | 2:10pm

Alecia: These fun color sticks from Jack Richeson & Co, Inc. are clean, easy to use and have the ability to appear as pastels or as poster paint depending on the pressure you apply. There are metallic, neon, and basic colors, and now fabric and textile Playcolor sticks as well!

Saturday, March 29th | 2:25pm

Alecia: We can now trace to transfer and make Lino prints at the same time! Make these prints even more fantastic with Jack Richeson’s new Solucryl Resoluble Acrylic Paint. You can let it dry and re-wet it without diluting to bring it back to its liquid state!
Clear Lino

Saturday, March 29th | 3:14pm

Alecia: We all know our favorite “Getting to Know Artist series” of books and DVDs, but did you know they also have a “Getting To Know All About Art” series? Concepts are organized within chapters for quick and easy viewing. This set can be purchased individually or as a set: Line in Art, Color in Art, Shape & Form in Art.

I’m so excited to view more of the content on these DVD’s, it’s fantastic for our spiraled curriculum of art concepts!
getting to know 2

Saturday, March 29th | 4:01pm

Alecia: Remembering Dr. Elliot W. Eisner. NAEA directors recite “The 10 Lessons the Arts Teach.”

Saturday, March 29th | 5:00pm

Sarah: San Diego is a city full of public art! From the airport floors to the sculptures outside the convention center, there is art everywhere!
public art

Saturday, March 29th | 5:47pm

Alecia: Learning coding and computer programming can be fun! At Sean Justice’s session. He teaches creative programming for art teachers at Columbia in New York. Two of my favorite quotes from his session:

“Technology: a tool to engage with your environment”

“As we make choices we change the world”

Sunday, March 30th | 9:10am

Sarah: Conferencing can be invigorating and exhausting all at the same time. Must haves for navigating the conference: comfortable shoes, water, a big bag for carrying swag, and the AOE couches for a quick rest!

Sunday, March 30th | 9:15am

Derek: Blick had the biggest booth this year, as always. Fun hands-on projects, materials to try, etc.

Sunday, March 30th | 9:30am

Derek: Good news readers, we’re going to be giving away 3 “Keep Calm and Teach Art” T-shirts – not at the convention… but right here! If you’re reading this, you can win! All you have to do is leave a comment or question about the convention below this post, and you’re entered to win! We’ll choose three random winners, and send your t-shirt via mail! (remember to log-in when leaving your comment so we can contact you if/when you win!

Sunday, March 30th | 10:15am

Jessica: I attended a session this am called Drawing Through Thematic Units. Fabulous! Students explored the theme of time by drawing the seasons and placing them on a 3d cube.
3d cube

Sunday, March 30th | 10:30am

Jessica: I sit down to a presentation and my heart immediately fell as I sat in the chair, 5 minutes late. The presenters were reading every single word in a monotone voice, behind the podium, hardly looking up.
I give it a chance for 5 more minutes. The information is quite good, so I stay. (see conference etiquette 101 from yesterday). However, I thought one of the no-no’s of presentation delivery says “Don’t read” – The flip side, is they can cram in so much more detailed information by reading. They don’t forget anything, but the passion is lacking. Is passion a key element to any good presentation? Does reading your entire 50 minute presentation lack the gusto needed to engage an audience?

Sunday, March 30th | 11:15am

Sarah: Hands-on opportunities are everywhere! From sessions to the exhibitor hall, you can really get your hands dirty and create with colleagues.

Sunday, March 30th | 11:20am

Sarah: Sometimes it’s easy to pick the art teachers out of the crowd!
art teachers

Sunday, March 30th | 11:35am

Sarah: As promised, we are bringing you the best of the swag. Teachers are taking home full size samples, books, flash drives, buttons, and bags to carry it all home. Hope they left space in their suitcases!
photo 1

swag 2

swag 3

swag 4

swag 5

Sunday, March 30th | 12:08pm

Sarah: Art teachers doing what they do best: being themselves and encouraging students to do the same. Love the hat!

Sunday, March 30th | 12:15pm

Sarah: New tools are being introduced! The clay slicer from Amaco-Brent makes cutting through hollow forms a breeze.
new tool

Sunday, March 30th | 12:32pm

Derek: Great to see so many AOE fans! We love our readers!!

Sunday, March 30th | 12:35pm

Jessica: Blogger Meet and Greet! Great people – so glad we could all engage in-person.

blogger 1

blogger 2

blogger 3

blogger 4

blogger 5
blogger 6

blogger 7

Sunday, March 30th | 2:45pm

Sarah: Art teachers love accessories! This attendee shows us how it’s done with a maximum-impact name tag!
name tag

Sunday, March 30th | 3:20pm

Jessica: I am so impressed with students from my alma mater, as I watched them present with their professor, Lea Lovelace on “Using a Critical Eye When Looking at Pinterest and Social Media.” Preservice teachers entering the field of art education AND elementary educators who want to incorporate art into their curriculum don’t always know the “Good” from the “Bad” when it comes to looking at resources. We can easily “pin” something and not really understand what it means for the artistic process, or what the actual artistic learning targets are.
This is a great question for all of us to ponder as we find ‘Cute’ lessons around the web. Just because something is “on pinterest” doesn’t mean it’s necessarily good. Great job ladies!

Sunday, March 30th | 4:19pm

Jessica: Seeing Deborah Butterfield speak today, meeting her in person and having my book signed was one of the highlights of the conference. She was delightful and her process and body of work’s evolution over time is fascinating. This also captures me personally because I took my students to see her sculptures every year at the local art center. She was running behind in finishing up her speech, and asked a full crowd, do you need to get somewhere? NO! We all yelled. How could you leave?

Monday, March 31st | 9:55am

Jessica: I saw Phil Hansen speak today and there is so much to share, but here is the most ground breaking: the release of Phil’s Goodbye- Art Academy Website (

The website just went up yesterday. Phil just announced it to us today!

It offers a library of high quality educational visual art videos accessible to educators without having to go through YouTube. You can supplement and reinforce your teaching while cutting your research time.

You can also create assignments for your students, view videos and see printouts to help with the fundamentals as well as creative thinking. Printouts are available to help you create value exercises, draw a circle without a compass and more.

The site also aims to help students let go of the end product and engage solely in the creative process.

We hope to do an in-depth review on the site on AOE soon!

art academy

Monday, March 31st | 10:11am

Sarah: Great words of wisdom from Ann Bedrick’s session on student-directed and choice-based learning and teaching.
what is choice

Monday, March 31st | 1:08pm

Jessica: Corral: the folding art horse is a neat product for studios with little space.
Hopefully this post inspires you to attend more professional development opportunities in the future, including the annual NAEA Convention, the bi-annual AOE Online Conference, and AOE Online Classes.


Jessica Balsley

Jessica Balsley is the Founder and President at AOE. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.


  • Suann Evans

    I would like to hear a couple of their top “ah-ha” moments and a few of the things they are going to come back and implement in their classrooms right away. And it is always fun to see what swag the exhibitors are giving away!

    • I happily volunteer to do some swag investigative journalism just for you, Suann! Great suggestions, thanks!

      • Suann Evans

        I saw all the pictures! Thanks for showing us the sway!

  • Sarah Shu

    Always go to the Ohio Art Ed. conference, but am hoping to make it to a NAEA one in the next few years — like, when it’s closer and cheaper for us in Chicago. :) Thanks for posting all of the photos – it’s fun to recognize faces from AOE presentations and look for Ohio folks I know. Would love to hear about your favorite interactions/ideas/presentations. Thanks!

  • Jessica Sinclair

    I am so sad to miss this year’s NAEA. I have gone every year for the last 5. I am hoping I will be able to make to New Orleans next year. Did you get to make it to Olivia Gude? She is really amazing. I was able to see her present at the NYSATA conference last year.

  • Courtney White Prugh

    Last year’s conference was so much fun! I hope to join everyone in New Orleans next year!

  • Trying out the new art supplies and getting free samples is always a blast. I have walked out of sessions before if it was not what I thought it was going to be. Yep, public speaking 101! Jessica, did you bring your little girl with to the convention? I have seen people bring their kids before.

    • We left her back home with grandparents, the schedule is just too busy, although I know she would have loved the zoo! Thank goodness for FaceTime

  • artprojectgirl

    Looking at these pictures is like looking at the celebrities of the art ed world! Jessica (the hostess with the mostess), Phyl (the roots of our community), Nic (a sparkler of an art teacher/mom who every parent wants their kid to be in her class), Patty (what can I say THE OG!), Ian (the skittle binging, zonkey loving, balloon popping bad boy of the art teachers), Princess Cassie (that’s what my daughter Stella says when I showed her a picture of Cassie, . . . Princess of FUN and INSPIRATION) and Mr. E (who proves each day that really nice guys finish first) just to name a few:) Going crazy trying to remember the blog of the girl with Phyl because she is awesome. . . . . . just having a brain melt down.

  • laura

    Looks like so much fun!! Do you have a list of art Ed bloggers you featured in the meet and greet? I wish I was there, but my two year old is very demanding!

  • Yvonne Arpino

    Whaahahahh!!!! I want one in Perth Western Australia!! :,(

  • Thanks for sharing all the pics and highlights. Can’t wait to see more of your awesome art ed discoveries from NAEA14.

  • Laura

    Love, Love Love seeing these great bloggers! Great Photos of Great Friends!
    Laura @ Painted Paper

  • Andrea Marie

    Is the conference geared more about sharing lessons or new research?! Where is NAEA next year?

    • Andrea- There is a little something for everyone at the conference.

  • ckruger

    Did anyone from the AOE team attend the pre-conference session about the new visual art standards? I am hoping to learn more about them so I can utilize the new info this fall for 2014-15 school year. Thanks for sharing about the NAEA conference!

    • Yes, our team attended many sessions on the New Standards, including the pre-conference session. Lots of research taking place as we speak over here at AOE. We have a new class in June helping art teachers with implementation of the new standards. The process can be daunting! More to come from us!

  • kficker

    Would love to have a copy of the new art standards. Maybe already a lined with CC. Reading, writing, language arts, math, social studies, science, and American history (6th, 7th, & 8th grades) (Just a thought). My principal is insisting that I prove all subject coverage.

  • Courtney White Prugh

    Andrea, according to the website next year is New Orleans, followed by Chicago then New York City.

  • Kelly Moncure

    So wonderful to meet you all at the conference! Great photos! Welcome to my city of San Diego!

  • Brenda Price

    Love the photos! Wish I could have gone!

  • Cheri

    Love your concept and your booth display stood out!!! It was a fun time!

  • Donnalyn

    So sad I was not there…..but will be for 2015!!!

  • Cre8ivity101

    Great re-cap. I feel like every session decision was agonizing. I missed so many that I wanted to see or do to attend others. They were usually at opposite ends of the conference center, which felt like an airport terminal. It was not uncommon to see people running from terminal session 7a to 33b. It was nice to meet with you briefly and chat a bit about sharing what we do. I’m contemplating my priorities.

  • Jane

    Wished I went to bloggers meet and greet! Forgot with all the excitement! Thanks for the recap and your session on classroom management tips were great
    Jane c. From MA

  • Leslie

    Thanks so much for live blogging about Miira Artist Tools and our products at the NAEA Conference! We appreciate it very much!! ~Leslie Lienau

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