The Sacramento State chapter of the National Art Education Association is adapting to shelter-at-home orders due to the coronavirus outbreak by holding virtual art activities.
The association helps art education students earn the volunteer teaching hours required for preservice art teachers to enter the Sac State teaching credential program. The club also connects these students with local art teachers.
The art education club initially reached out to art history and studio art students to join the meetings but shared the meeting ID publicly after Sacramento 365, a local arts and entertainment group, contacted the club asking if the meeting would be open to the public.
After Sac State President Robert Nelsen announced the cancellation of all in-person meetings, Nguyen said she was extremely disappointed to lose the club.
“You could feel the broken hearts as everyone was packing up their studios and art supplies,” Nguyen said via direct message. “Both professors and students shed tears as we said farewells. As a club, we knew we did not want to end the year this way.”
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After the news, members of the club started an email chain in which club treasurer Stephanie Howard suggested creating a Zoom meeting and Nguyen asked for activity ideas from the club.
“One really fun aspect of the group is that we are all creative people and I believe we enjoy being creative together, even if we are using our creativity to troubleshoot rather than to create artwork,” Howard said over text message.
The club held its first virtual art-make activity via Zoom on March 27, hosted by Sac State art education alumna Andrea Lunetta.
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In their first activity, Lunetta instructed participants to create a drawing using one of the seven elements of art — form, color, texture, space, value, line and shape — in five different panels to spell out a word of their choice. Only a piece of paper, pencils or markers and a ruler or ID card were required for the activity.
“It ended up being a great activity I think because it was so low budget that it made it accessible to everyone,” Lunetta said via direct message.
Sacramento local Kory Davis’ 9-year-old daughter had been participating in a weekly art class at Deterding Elementary school taught by Nguyen. Davis’ two daughters as well as her niece and nephew started attending the virtual art activities after Nguyen invited them.
“Now that we are homeschooling, it’s really nice to have someone else lead the activity,” said Davis over text message. “Honestly, the kids are happy and it gives me a break for an hour.”
Club president and senior art education major Theresa Nguyen started the Sac State chapter in Fall 2019, but officially launched this semester with assistant art professors Luis Garcia and the faculty adviser for the club Veronica Hicks.
The art education club plans to hold more art-make activities led by different preservice art educators and host presentations on careers in art education. The club will hold Zoom meetings every Friday from 10 a.m to 11 a.m. that are open to the general public.