For years I have wanted to attend the TAB Institute. This summer I finally made it! Run by the founding gurus of TAB (Teaching for Artistic Behavior) Diane and Kathy, the week long training includes lots of discussion and hands on learning. Since it has sold out quickly in the past few years, I jumped on the registration as soon as it opened. I am so glad that I did!
My school year was exhausting and a bit demoralizing. Luckily my personal emotional and physical health were being well maintained by my new(ish) life style changes so it wasn’t the end of my career. But it was bad enough it could have gone that way if I hadn’t created those important changes. Thankfully the TAB institute was ready to give me the reframing boost I needed for my professional practice.
Shortly after registration, I was invited to be a guest presenter at the Institute. Kathy and Diane wanted me to share my Around the Room activities with the institute attendees. Honored and excited, I prepared for that portion of instruction to be part of my learning experience. But a week before the trip, I was called and asked if I could possibly step in to substitute for the middle school level instructor. Nan had a family emergency that would prevent her from attending. Since I had yet to even attend the institute, it seemed a bit daunting to step in as the instructor. But I said yes! Then did what I could to prepare.
This year the institute had over 80 participants, 4 groups by teaching levels and 3 big art studios set up in TAB style. We had a panel presentation from some wonderful diverse artists, small group work time, a student art show, lots of studio time to create and a final teacher art show. We had opportunities to hear from the wise and wonderful Kathy Douglas, we had time to rethink our practice with insightful questions from newbies, museums were visited, and new friends were made. The dorm beds were horrible, but good food and lots of think time thoughtfully interspersed with time to create made the sleepless nights fairly tolerable. (I also supplemented my bed with some low priced but high value Target purchases.)
Being a first time TAB Institute student and the facilitator /instructor was a little tricky to juggle at times, especially with less than a week this prepare. I was worried that people would feel cheated to have me, instead of Nan, to guide them. But overall the feedback I received is that I was an acceptable substitute. Many loved the opportunity to experience my paint and artistic habits around the room activities. I heard that reading about them and even hearing about them at convention was not as good as experiencing them hands-on.
Needless to say, it was an amazing experience and I have a lot of new information to revamp my practice for new year. There will be quite a few future posts to share in detail my new discoveries.