Art Residencies, Author Visits, and Professional Development Sessions
Jennifer Stables, B.F.A., B.Ed. – Artist in Residence
With experience as a classroom teacher, Alberta artist Jennifer Stables offers unique and comprehensive school art residencies, author visits, staff workshops, and professional development sessions.
Jennifer began teaching for the Calgary Board of Education in 2005 as an AISI Learning Leader (Art Specialist), and later as a Reggio-inspired classroom teacher in kindergarten, grade one, and grade two. Jennifer worked in leadership positions within schools, providing guidance in Inquiry Based Learning, Reggio-Inspired Principles, Documentation of Learning, and Arts Integration. She has led countless professional development sessions for educators across Alberta on the subject of Art and Reggio-Inspired Education, including a full year of professional development sessions for early childhood educators in the Medicine Hat School District. She served on the board of directors for the Calgary Reggio Network Association as both a director and as President.
Jennifer has been providing art residencies to schools since 2013. Through her art residencies Jennifer strives to create meaningful art experiences for students while building teacher capacity to integrate art into the curriculum. True to her beliefs about teaching and learning, Jennifer does not use the same, pre-determined lesson with each group of students. Rather, she takes time to listen to the needs of each individual teacher and understand which aspects if the curriculum they wish to uncover through their art project. Each one of her art residencies is individually tailored to meet the specific needs of teachers, students, and school development goals. Jennifer understands the daily demands of classroom teachers, and is able to give practical tips and techniques for success.
Jennifer Stables has experience working with a wide selection of art materials and techniques. These include (but are not limited to): watercolour painting, acrylic painting, oil pastels, chalk pastels, sketching, art journaling, papier mache, print making, wire sculpture, assemblage, pottery (hand building), plasticine, print making and mural making.
Jennifer works with teachers and administrators to develop school-wide residency programs that suit the needs of their school development goals.
Drawing and Painting:
Painting techniques include colour mixing, building texture, glazing, creating depth, and creating form. Painting materials include tempera, watercolour, acrylic, watercolour pencil crayons, and ink. Drawing techniques include sketching, use of perspective, hatching, cross-hatching, pointillism, shading, and contour. Drawing materials include pen, pastel, coloured pencil, and charcoal. Jennifer often teaches a mixed media technique that combines both painting and drawing.
Sculpture is the creation of three-dimensional works of art. Materials used to create sculpture include clay, papier-mache, plaster, plasticine, sculpy, and wire. Through sculpture students learn the design principles of form, function, balance, and space. Jennifer also teaches pottery through hand building techniques.
Jennifer offers firing services at an additional cost to school that do not have a kiln.
Relief sculpture is the fusion of painting and sculpting. Like a painting, a relief sculpture is designed to hang on a wall, yet elements of it are sculpted and come forward from the base. Materials include papier-mache, clay, plaster, and found objects.
Mixed Media and Assemblage
Mixed media refers to the combination of 2 or more art materials in one piece. Assemblage is the arrangement of found objects to create a work of art. The possible materials for these art forms are truly limitless. This art form is especially relevant when teaching about waste in the world as it gives students the opportunity to create art by repurposing material that would otherwise be thrown away.
Author Visits: Greenie the Wheat King
Jennifer’s latest book, Greenie the Wheat King, is a tribute to rural life in western Canada. Based on actual events, it tells the story of a wooden grain elevator in the village of Burdett, Alberta.
Curricular connections include:
- Alberta History and Stories
- Prairie Communities in Canada
- Agriculture In Canada
- Seasonal Changes
- What is Home?
- Creative Writing
Jennifer welcomes both author visits and art residencies related to this book.
Author visits include a reading of Greenie the Wheat King, insight into the creation process behind the book, the true story of Greenie (accompanied by photos and artifacts), and one complimentary copy of the book per school. Teachers and students will be given the opportunity to purchase additional copies of the book at a special rate.
Art residencies related to this book are tailor-made to suit the needs of each class. Possible art materials include watercolour, pastel, wire sculpture, papier-mache, and assemblage. Possible subject matters might include prairie landscapes, grain elevators, rural lifestyle, and the history of Alberta. Jennifer will meet with interested teachers ahead of time to design an art project to suit their needs.
In addition to her residencies, Jennifer offers Professional Development Sessions for teachers and staff. She meets with administrators prior to each presentation to discuss staff needs and school goals, and tailors her presentation to respond to these needs. Sessions are available as 1-2 hour presentations, half-day workshops, or full day workshops:
- Art Studio Techniques (drawing, painting, sculpture)
- Jennifer offers tips and techniques for using a variety of art materials in the classroom with students. These hands-on presentations are a wonderful way to overcome anxieties or concerns about introducing new materials to students. She provides hand-outs to accompany her presentations. These sessions are available as entire-staff PD’s or by request as after-school workshops to groups of interested teachers.
- Portrait Drawing-
- Portraits are a wonderful way to engage students of any age. Portraits have many curricular links to mathematics, language arts, and social studies. Learn how to take students through the steps of creating beautiful portraits through careful observation and drawing. This session is available as an entire-staff PD, or by request as an after-school workshop to groups of interested teachers.
- The Image of the Child
- Fundamental to the Reggio approach to education is the Image of the Child as a capable and competent learner. Jennifer uses examples from her own classroom experiences, combined with current research to help teachers understand the immense capabilities of children’s’ thinking.
- The use of documentation as communication, and assessment for learning, is both powerful and transformative. Documentation compels us to take time to truly listen to our children. This presentation is available in several parts if desired. In part one of this presentation, Jennifer introduces documentation by sharing examples from her own work with children, combined with current research. She extends this learning into a second session where she guides teachers through hands-on workshops as they create their own documentation panels using photos, quotes, and artifacts gathered from their own classroom.
- The Pedagogy of Listening/ Revealing Great Thinkers
- How do we help children move forward with their thinking? What does it mean to truly listen to children? Using examples from her own Reggio-Inspired classroom, and drawing from writings and video by Dr. George Forman, Jennifer explores how we can reveal great thinkers in our children. She will discuss ways in which we can we better observe our children, listen to our children, and converse with our children. Strategies for asking children better questions will be introduced as well as examples of how we can foster nurturing environments for children to think creatively and critically.
- Art as a Language/Drawing as a language
- Art is a powerful tool for exploring ideas and expressing emotions. Jennifer presents examples from her own work with children as compelling evidence of the power of art as a language. This presentation can be combined with a hands-on art materials workshop.
For a list of available dates, or to book a residency or professional development session, please contact Jennifer at email@example.com.
I believe children are competent and eager explorers, and must be provided with opportunities to demonstrate their ability to think creatively and critically. By taking the time to listen to their theories, and by taking their ideas seriously, we create an environment that allows children to take risks as learners and expand their understanding. Art is a powerful tool for engaging students, exploring ideas, and expressing emotions. When art techniques and materials are integrated in a meaningful way in the classroom, it becomes another language for children to use. My goal as an art teacher is not to “decorate” the curriculum, but to “uncover” the curriculum through meaningful experiences with art and materials. Each person, at any age, has the ability to express oneself through art. By working alongside classroom teachers, I demystify art and show teachers how they can continue to use techniques and materials with their students on a daily basis.