Representatives of the MAT Program will appear once again at NAEA. Faculty member Kelly McConnell and Adrienne Kitko ’15 are hosting a Surrealist inspired game of Exquisite Corpse at the MECA booth. Stop by to learn how the processes of collaborative play and artistic expression resulted in exciting collaborations between such famous artists as Picasso and Dali.


Adrienne Kitko demonstrates how the Surrealist Movement used results from chance occurrences and group collaboration to foster spontaneity and exploration.


Last year MAT faculty and teacher candidates with BFAs in design fields were invited to offer workshops at the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD) sponsored Live Learning Lab.

As the previous NAEA conference theme suggested, the importance of teaching design extends beyond the specific content of any given field. Our program’s motto, “We teach for possibilities,” expresses the fact that design thinking prepares people to creatively face the unimaginable challenges of tomorrow.

Below you’ll find a short overview essay about the importance of design in visual art education as well as lessons plans that involve the designed environment.


Teaching about Art and Design is more than teaching about media, art history, and art-making skills. This essay by Kelly McConnell establishes a theoretical case and provides a practical example of how design thinking enlivens an art classroom.


Through an examination of the placement of everyday objects, this twenty minute warm-up activity highlights the complexity of the world around us. Demonstrated in the Live Learning Lab at the NAEA Conference in 2015.


Meredith Leoni takes a frequently used art lesson and redesigns it to show how student interests and inquiry can shift a lesson from replication to invention.


Shaun Aylward establishes an art and science investigation for kindergarteners to explore the winter ecology of moths and butterflies.


Aimee Carmella uses student interests to design a high school unit that focuses on how visual artists use images, symbols, and words to convey meaning.