Connie Norman
Connie Norman

Archive for the ‘teaching’ Category

Minnesota Scholastic Art Award

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

I’m little late with this post. This is my third year being a juror of the Minnesota Scholastic Art Award (MSAA). The MSAA is a statewide regional affiliation of the National Scholastic Art Awards, which offers recognition of creative teenagers and scholarship opportunities for graduating high school seniors. Every year it’s hosted by MCAD, Minneapolis College of Art and Design. I’ve enjoyed it every year.  This year was much easier than in the past.  Last year I judged at all seven categories: Painting, Drawing, Ceramics-glass, Printmaking, Mixed Media, Photography and Video/Film/Animation, 1,232 pieces of art.  This year my job was just to judge the ceramics.  When I was finished I kept thinking was that it.   Where is the rest of the work? 

It’s amazing the amount of quality artwork that was submitted. As an art teacher, that also, submits students work into competition, I regretted every time I didn’t give an award, because I know that the teacher had confidence in the student’s artwork, and the student was proud of what they made. But Minnesota has a wealth of very talented young artists. I am deeply honored to have juried this year this year’s Scholastic Art Award.

These are a few of my favorites!  Good Luck Guys!!!

Here is Minnesota Scholastic Art Award’s link to all the artwork that was awarded a Gold Key, Silver Key and went on to Nationals. 

Lander Art Center –Potters of the Wind Rivers (POWR) Workshop!!

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

IMG_0862 I had a wonderful time in Lander giving the Potter’s of the Wind River (POWR)  a workshop.  It was a two day workshop last weekend.  Lander is about four hours from Cheyenne.  And it is the home of NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School).  When you arrive in Lander you notice something is a little different there, for a Wyoming town of almost 7,000 people.  It’s not your average conservative Wyoming town.  Because of NOLS Lander looks like and acts like it is a small Boulder, Colorado.  The people either are super athletic outdoorsy type or ranchers.  It is a very interesting mix.

I really love Lander, especially after this last visit.  All 15 spots filled in the workshop, and most of the people were experienced potters.  The pressure was on I had show them something new.  Thank Goodness I had a few tricks that no one had seen, such as my love of decorating with office supplies.

I started off showing everyone my glazing techniques, and my love of office supplies.  We spent the day glazing and did a quick fire that night, so everyone could see the results the next morning.  I did everything backwards for this workshop.  We glazed the first day and then made things the second day, I figured I do everything backwards this just made sense to me.


Here I’m showing everyone my deep dark secret.  Garage sale dots and a paper punch.

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Here are pictures of everyone working away.

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Some of the stuff that came out of the kiln.

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The second day of the workshop building stuff with slabs, and getting your aggressions out.

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Thanks to Deborah Britt and all her hard work getting me to Lander, I got to have a great time meeting new people, hang out and talk a ton about ceramics.

I have a few interviews that are waiting to be published.  Because of our recent computer problems I wasn’t able to get them out.  I even lost one when my hard drive crashed.  (Sorry Paul!)  But I think everything is resolved now!!  I hope.  Look for interviews from Paul Barchilon, Shelia Hrasky, Melody Ellis, Bebe Alexander, and Lisa Pedolsky.

I was asked to give a workshop at Lander Art Center!

Thursday, June 10th, 2010
I’m very excited to teach a workshop at the Lander Art Center. I was in a show there three years ago, in 2007.  It will be very fun to go back and see some friends and meet new people.  My friend Deborah Britt another Wyoming potter, wrote the grant and organized everything to get me to Lander.  She and I got to pal around in Philadelphia at NCECA this year.  I hope we have many more trips ahead.

Lander is the home of Sinks Canyon where a geologic phenomenon in which the Popo Agie River vanishes into a large cavern (the Sinks) but reappears in a trout- filled pool, the Rise, about half a mile down the canyon.   I was thinking Todd and Vander could feed the trout during the workshop, but unfortunately the Popo Agie is flooding the area and has been declared a disaster area by Gov. Freudenthal.  I was told that the flooding is dreadful, no  electricity, bridges are out, water mains are broken, and people are being evacuated.  And they are in great peril of losing their home.  Yikes!!  I hope the river receeds fast.

Here is the press release for the workshop…

Connie Norman is a professionally trained instructor and ceramic artist who has taught numerous workshops throughout the West.  She has been featured in Ceramics Monthly and Great Lakes magazines, and was recently commissioned to create art for the Denver International Airport.  Her work will also be featured in the upcoming Lark publication, 500 Vases.
Ms. Norman will be conducting a two-day, hands-on workshop featuring hand-building and glazing techniques.
When:  Saturday, June 19 (10 am-4 pm) and Sunday, June 20 (10 am-2 pm)
Where:  Lander Art Center, 224 Main Street, Lander, WY
Cost:  $60 per person (includes materials, some experience encouraged)
A welcoming reception for the artist will be held Saturday evening.  Please call Deborah Britt (307-332-9771) or Lander Art Center (307-332-5772) for details.
This project is partially funded by the Wyoming Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts and Lander Art Center.
(Here is a little about the Sinks I lifted from a Wyoming tourism site.) At Sinks Canyon State Park outside Lander, a major river just disappears. The Middle Fork of the Popo Agie (pronounced Po-Po-zsha, meaning Tall Grass River in the Crow language) rushes out of Wyoming’s largest mountain range, the Wind River Mountains, and into Sinks Canyon. It flows merrily along for quite some time until it suddenly turns into a large cave and, as the name of the park and canyon suggest, sinks underground. It isn’t until ¼ of a mile later that the river reemerges at a large, calm pool called “the Rise.”

For a long time, no one was even sure the water at the Rise was the same water that disappeared into the Sink, but then scientists did dye tests and proved the two were one and the same. Tests also revealed more water emerges at the Rise than goes in at the Sink. No one knows where the water goes for the two hours it takes to get from the Sink to the Rise though … but that’s just fine: curiosities and oddities are even more curious and odd when they can’t be fully explained.

This I Believe

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

I’m a big fan of NPR, and one of my favorite shows is, This I Believe.  I was inspired to write my own belief statement.  So without further ado…

Gibberish is My New Language “I love the smell of art in the mornings!” Frequently, I’ve started my  classes with this statement. Usually I get weird looks, a few giggles, and always everyone’s attention.

My students have transformed my life of mediocrity, to a life full of intensity and zeal.

My goal early in life was to become a rich and famous artist. This didn’t happen; I floundered through my youthful year’s right after graduating from college. I didn’t produce a piece of art. After ten years, of my feeble life as a cook, I stumbled into teaching; I started teaching adults two nights a week who wanted to learn pottery. I felt like a fraud. It had been years since I had even touched clay. The first few months I struggled making my hands remember what they had been so good at years before. One day one of my students touched me in a way that changed my life forever. She stopped me at craft fair and critiqued the pottery. I realized I had taught her something. This tiny moment has shaped and formed my life; from this experience I discovered I loved teaching. Believe in Make Believe

Now ten years later, my junior high students affect me in this way everyday. My role as an educator is to be an art cheerleader, I cheer to my students, adults, and colleagues alike. I teach as if this will be my student’s last and only year of art. I have to cover it all in such a short time. In this year, they will make art, write art, talk art; dream art and most of all appreciate art. Of course, I want my students to grow up and become rich and famous artists, but if they survive my “art boot camp” I know they will be lovers and appreciators of the arts.

I believe my students have given me the most beautiful gift; they have awakened the power of creativity in me. With so much artistic potential in my classes my students give me the energy to create, and to be a working, professional artist.

Invisible Strength In return, I give the arts to my student’s; the arts are everywhere you just have to notice them. Once you become aware of art you have to know what to do with it. I transform my students to art detectives. They are not allowed to causally look at art, but to carefully inspect the clues and details. This is a tool that will serve them well; it will tell them the real meaning of art. What is the real meaning of art? It is; to make the viewer think, ask questions, connect to the artwork, and how it correlates to your life. It will fill you with a sense of wonder, and a sense of satisfaction.

I believe in the power to share your passion. I believe in the power of art. I believe with the help of my students I am on my way to becoming a rich and famous artist.

Dogs Should Be Allowed in Restaurants and Stores