VATA Conference

2019 VATA Conference 

Mark Your Calendars: 

Friday, September 27th, 2019

Lake Morey Resort, Fairlee, VT

Registration Opens: August 1st, 2019

It is our great pleasure to announce our Keynote Speaker for the 2019 Conference:

Cassie Stephens

Cassie Stephens Bio 

After spending entirely too long at Indiana University getting her degree in both painting and art education, Cassie Stephens did her student teaching in the magical land of Ireland. While she was away, her parents, fully aware of her slacker ways, sent out 52 art teacherin’ job applications to such far away places as Alaska. One such place that called her for an interview was Nashville, Tennessee. On a whim, she loaded up her jean-jumpers, resume and chain-smoking grandma to made the trip to Nashville where she landed her first teaching gig.

Fast forward nearly 15 years and Cassie had settled down with her husband and their three cats. Sadly, she’d fallen into an art teacherin’ slump rehashing stale art lessons, still wearing those sad jean jumpers and doing little creating of her own. It was then that she decided to create a blog that might help snap her out of her funk. Her idea was this: if she were to write thrice weekly about her ensembles, her lessons and her creations then she’d be forced to inject more creativity into her life.

Zip forward once more to the present. These days, you can find Cassie teaching in Franklin, Tennessee, just south of Nashville. Cassie has maintained her blog for the last four years. Since then, she’s managed to find the secret to her personal art teacherin’ happiness by connecting the passions in her life: teaching, creating and dressing like a crazy person. Such has helped her connect with a world of art teacherin’ friends who are also passionate about this most amazing and incredible job.  



2019 NAEA Convention in Boston: 

And that's a wrap! From thousands of sessions and workshops to our VT Teacher of the Year Ceremony to Renowned Artists and Educators. Hope all our members have recovered from the whirlwind known as the NAEA Convention.

A special THANK YOU to the VATA Members that came out to our Meet Up. We had over 40 members join us!


NAEA 2019 National Convention is in Boston this Year. March 14-16

1 City | 3 Days | 1,000+ Sessions | 5,000 Art Educators

Going to the NAEA Conference in Boston and Haven't Signed Up Yet?


Member Meet Up in Boston: Friday, March 15th, 6pm. Sidebar & Grille at the Sheraton Boston Hotel, 39 Dalton Street, Boston, MA. VATA will be providing appetizers to all members!






A special Thank You To everyone that made the 2018 vata Conference so Great!

We Hope to See you in Boston 2019!



Attending the 2018 VATA Conference?


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2018 Conference at Lake Morey Resort, Fairlee, VT  September 28, 2018

Address: 82 Clubhouse Rd, Fairlee, VT 05045
Phone: (802) 333-4311

Be the Artist! Art Educators... This conference is all about YOU! Connect your creative spirit to the national art standards: Create, Present, Respond, and Connect. Studio practices and engagement with contemporary and traditional art forms are essential to an art educator's professional development and lifelong learning. This is an opportunity for you to be the artist, the teacher, and the student. 

Our keynote speaker, Ken Leslie, will discuss his artistic investigations of light and dark, artist books, and talk about how he balances being a professional artist and professor of art. 

Take a workshop during our breakout session! Workshops include: Adobe Lightroom & Photoshop, Gelli Arts, Lantern Building, Creative Bookmaking, Transfer Collage Monotypes, Kumihimo Braiding, and a Color Intensive workshop with Ken Leslie.

Also, sign up for VATA's Saturday Studio Session: Work it Out with Clay: Using Clay to Address Trauma. The session will take place on September 29 from 10-3 at Artistree in Pomfret, Vermont. Learn both theoretical and hands on approaches to using clay to help students address trauma. Register early as space is limited.




(9/28) Transfer Collage Monotype Workshop with Lian Brehm
Create a transfer collage monotype! Participants will cut, tear, hole punch, etc. pre-inked oak tag pieces to create a reverse image, which will run through the print press, transferring the ink to paper. This technique that can easily be adapted for all students from K-12.

(9/28) Building Lanterns, Building Community Workshop with Gowri Savoor
Visual/teaching-artist, Gowri Savoor, will lead participants in a lantern-building workshop using a variety of construction techniques and materials including willow, tissue paper, and LED lights. Savoor’s in-school residencies culminate in a celebratory, outdoor processional event after dark, engaging students, teachers, parents and community members.

(9/28) Gelli Arts Workshop with Susan Smereka
The focus in this workshop will be on integrating stenciling techniques into your work. There will be two “follow along” demos to get you going. Then, you will create your own stencils and experiment with different ways to achieve the best results for your subject matter. Please come with drawings and/or picture/photos.

(9/28) Nip and Tuck Creative Bookmaking! Workshop with Linda Whelihan
 We’ll make decorative, expressive papers and fold, flip, stack and sew them to make engaging book formats. We’ll share ideas and materials. Bring your imagination, special papers and ephemera and we’ll brainstorm together!

(9/28) Braiding: A Marriage of Multiculturalism & Math Workshop with Ruby Leslie
It takes 5 minutes to learn to make 16-strand Kumihimo braids. These Japanese braids look complicated but are as easy for a 1st grader as a high school student and keep both equally engaged. All it takes is some yarn and a simple cardboard disk with slits and a hole in the middle. Make a sample braid, then learn to set up the disk for a wide variety of patterns. We’ll discuss how to integrate this gender neutral art form into curriculum - from mathematical applications to cultural studies.

(9/28) Lightroom and Photoshop Workshop with Mike Ariel
In this entertaining presentation, we will look at the benefits of using Lightroom and Photoshop together while making some amazing art. No experience needed, only imagination and enthusiasm. Come see how you can use these creative tools in your classroom. Supplies needed: All participants should have access to Lightroom and Photoshop. However, attendees may also observe the demo.

Color Intensive Workshop with Ken Leslie
Starting with a quick review of color theory for painting and design, we’ll do several projects ideal for getting you and your students excited about color and how to use it. We’ll look into the history of color in art and discuss the symbolic, emotional and psychological effects of color in art and everyday life. We’ll go on to a series of exercises that bring out the possibilities of color in art. Bring your choice of acrylics, watercolor, colored pencils or pastels and the appropriate paper.


Paid with Registration (9/29) - VATA's Saturday Studio Session @ Artistree in Pomfret, VT
Join us @ Artistree on Saturday, September 29 from 10-3 for "Work It Out with Clay: Using Clay to Address Trauma." Learn theoretical and hands on approaches to using clay to help students address trauma. Start by learning about using the arts with students affected by trauma from Tracy Penfield, founder of Safe Arts. Fiona Davis, director of the clay program at Artistree, will lead participants in several hands on activities that can help you lead trauma informed projects in a classroom setting.

 Tentative Schedule:

Friday Session:

7:30-8:00 Yoga/Pilates taught by Jenny Jacobson

8:15-9:00 Registration 

9:00-10:00 Keynote Speaker

10:00- 1:00 Breakout sessions

1:00-2:00 Lunch -Annual Meeting-TOY

2:00-3:00 Formal present, respond, connect.

3:00-3:30 Cookies, raffle, evaluations, & certificates (will come online) -end all together  in the main space.

Saturday Session: Artistree in Woodstock/ Pomfret


Announcing our VATA 2018 Conference, at the beautiful Lake Morey Resort. Please Save the Date!



Thanks To Everyone Who Made Our 2017 A Hit!