I'm using art to study how art can be used to learn.

See portfolios and more at The Art Don't Stop.

SFUSD art teachers reflect and share about Passion as part of a presentation about the Arts and Passion-Driven Learning Institute. #passiondrivenlearning #teachers

In the classroom today.

#substituteteacherartist #postitart #schoolsupplies

Learning means more when you’re making something.
Galileo Health Academy with help from Whole Foods. @wholefoodsmarketsf

What makes San Francisco so awesome? I moved here 16 years ago and I’ve spent much of that time using my art to try to research answers to that question (See some of my findings here: http://bit.ly/CityofAwesome and some of the data here: http://bit.ly/selfieART).

Based on what I’ve learned observing what people love about San Francisco (and my dorky zeal for following local politics and my public policy degree), I developed a voter guide for the Nov.4 elections at bit.ly/VoteSF14 - including recommendations for CA and SF ballots, plus a couple of picks for East Bay offices.

View of San Francisco Awesomeness

At the Agave Inspiration Happy Hour

Last week, I got some people together to drink tequila and draw. There was a lot of tequila involved, but I do believe it was a good example of arts education - or really, “art as inquiry.”

I asked participants to let the tequila talk to them, and to transcribe what it said; to turn experience into marks on a page. 

The ideas did flow. There was great variety in the art. I will be taking the next step - synthesizing these crowd-sourced drawings into a cohesive piece of art for the Herradura Tequila Barrel Art program.

At the bar, we let the booze lubricate our imaginations. What strategies can we use in a classroom with younger students to achieve the freedom of an artistic flow state?

At Everett Middle School, students are absorbed in writing their personal stories in preparation for editors from 826 Valencia. #kudostoteachers @826Valencia #classroom

OMG. I sneaked a peek at the Day of the Dead installation at SOMArts. Wow.

I taught a Day of the Dead lesson at a high school last year and wrote up some ideas about how structure a meaningful lesson. You can use this to teach history, literature, or art with just about any age group. 

Instructions for the drink and draw bit.ly/TeqDraw #ArtHerradura

Agave Inspiration in progress

I’m honored to be one of ten San Francisco artists selected to turn a Herradura tequila barrel into a piece of art as part of a national competition with a $100,000 top prize. The competition is going to be stiff (like a shot of tequila), so I’m going to have to make my art as Todd-Bermanesque as possible. That means I’m going to tap into the group mind for some creative crowd-sourcing.

Last night, a group of adventurous spirits joined me at Tres Tequila Lounge to drink and draw. Mike, a representative from Herradura, treated everyone to a flight of tequila and a margarita, and a large serving of knowledge about what gives each variety its distinctive flavor. 

Then, we drew.

Stay tuned for more posts about the process, images of our findings, and how this all relates to arts education.

Freedom in a Cell

Fela Kuti sang to us through the ventilation shaft in our tiny prison cell in Alcatraz. And for a moment, Renee and I let the music take us, and we felt profoundly free.

Then I banged my elbow. 

It was worth it. Everybody should dance whenever they hear Fela Kuti’s music, especially when examining the deep significance of prisons as they relate to free expression, and especially especially when visiting Ai Weiwei’s “Stay Tuned” installation in Cell Block A of the @ Large exhibit at Alcatraz.

Thank you, Lauren Girardin, for documenting. View video on Flickr.