On the Path to Art Education

Conference Reinforces Students’ Dreams
Abbey Goers | November 11, 2019

UW-Stout and Arts Integration Menomonie partnered to send seven Art Education students to the Wisconsin Art Educators Association (WAEA) Conference. The WAEA Conference was held at Silver Lake College in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, on October 17 and 18.

Students who attended the conference were Elsbeth Bandli, Olivia Bonlander, Angie Brewer, Lauren Dillinger, Chloe Halverson, Nicole Seidler, and Megan Sykora. They were joined by Stout alumna and first-year teacher Olivia Revolinski.

To Better Serve Their Students

The WAEA conference is an opportunity for Art Education students to discover ways to become successful teachers. They network, learn, and collaborate with art teachers and other pre-service educators from all over Wisconsin.

“Our students build confidence and competence by attending conferences,” said Ann Oberding, Art Education Program Director.

“As professionals, they can give back to other pre-service teachers on their journey. The life-long process of learning continues,” Oberding added.

UW-Stout Art Education student, Nicole Seidler.
Art education student Nicole Seidler. / Nicole Seidler

Nicole Seidler is in her final year in the Art Education program and begins student teaching in the spring. Seidler has attended two WAEA conferences and two National Art Education Association conferences in Seattle and Boston.

“The conferences allow you to grow as a teacher. You are given a plethora of materials, supplies, and new information to help you better serve your students,” Seidler said.

Lessons Learned in Art Ed

WAEA conference presenters included current and retired art teachers, pre-service teachers, and influential people within the art education community. They shared experiences and insights to promote lifelong learning for art educators.

“They inspire us to continue on the paths we are on,” Lauren Dillinger said.


UW-Stout Art Education student, Lauren Dillinger.
Art education student Lauren Dillinger. / Lauren Dillinger

Dillinger, a second-year Art Education student, wants to spread her passion for the arts to other people. She believes becoming an art teacher is the most impactful way to achieve her goal.

Art Education students learned about a variety of ideas and concepts. Students learned how to incorporate protocols within the classroom, the variety of teacher resources available, and classroom management techniques.

Students learned the importance of involvement in the art education community to stay connected with fellow art educators. They also learned to create accessible lesson plans and safe learning environments to foster creativity in their future students. 

Hands-on activities invited attendees to explore new creative avenues, like how to use chocolate as a painting medium. Another session focused on culturally sustainable pedagogy.

“This is very important for creating teacher-student relationships, curbing cultural appropriation in art, and for teaching students how to be open and accepting of their peers,” Elsbeth Bandli explained.

I cannot wait to implement what I have learned in my education courses and in the field,” she said.

Bandli, a second-year Art Education student, loves working with kids. She feels fulfilled by helping others to learn and grow creatively.

Reinforcing Their Dreams

“My dream is to be an art educator,” Seidler said. “My goal is to teach and develop the creative minds in every student through an accepting, respectful, and encouraging learning environment.”

“Every year I attend these conferences,” she added, “I always get goosebumps because I realize that I am in the correct field of work.”


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