Since the 1930's Mid-America College Art Association has provided a forum for the artists/teachers of America to discuss and debate the issues of our profession, to share ideas and information of mutual benefit and to affirm the friendships and collegiality that bind us together. We are made up of art faculty, art historians, independent scholars, artists, museum professionals, and affiliate organizations; our conferences also invite graduate students to participate.


MACAA at CAA International Conference

Feb. 10-13, 2021

CAA Affiliate Session, Feb. 12, 6 - 6:30 pm EST



From Pencil to Stylus, Hands-On to Remote 

Co-Chairs: Michelle Corvette, Ph.D., Belmont University, & Ann B. Kim,

Indiana University East


During the pandemic, we as instructors need to innovate on how hands-on learning experience can be brought into remote/online teaching. This can include incorporating new Reminder App to enhance one-on-one check-ins and individualized feedback, as well as Zoom demonstrations and digital tools. How might we as learning facilitators provide students with the possibilities of redefining education and themselves during and hopefully, post-COVID-19? How can we bring more vulnerability into online teaching and cultural work? What could you do different next time? How are you building spaces at your classroom that center something outside of a normative idea of productivity, such as moving away from product to checking-in? This session seeks effective online teaching pedagogy of art and design courses including foundations, drawing and painting. Hard and soft; direct and indirect teaching approaches; Hybrid studio teaching practice and the nuts and bolts of teaching online are also welcome. Please share your favorite online ice breakers as these are often overlooked but can be meaningful in establishing care and trust for the learning community.




Gateways to New Creativity  Michelle Corvette, Ph.D., Belmont University

Digital technology and modern techniques strongly impact the artists of tomorrow, especially in the fields of drawing, painting, and performance art. This presentation will examine the integration of digital tools and platforms in relation to teaching online art courses, particularly during the current global pandemic. The desire for connection and transcendence constantly develops in the minds of artists while the technologies for expression continue to change. By examining some recent approaches for online teaching to facilitate inclusionary discussions, critiques, and studio time, this presentation offers educators strategies for facilitating creativity, diversity, and vulnerability with a growth mindset.



Show Us Your Hand   Heater Hertel, Slippery Rock University

Through this transitional time where there is a lot of change, and art studios are converting to digital and virtual formats, it is important to not loose sight of the traditional hand abilities. While simultaneously leaping into this new unknown virtual world, where the possibilities of creativity are boundless, we are expected to teach the foundations and basics of painting and drawing. Are the days of lugging a large portfolio case and a tool box of art media gone? Hey wait, don’t through out your kneaded eraser quite yet! This presentation aims to share project ideas for reaching students where they are at....on their phones! How do we engage students virtually, achieve quality technical abilities and garner a sense of community through these small hand-held devices? Keeping in mind, the excitement to squeeze out pigment onto a palette, and feel how stimulating it is to mix paint, or how to achieve wonder in pulling a piece of vine charcoal across rag paper; we can’t afford to let those experiences vanish. Let’s take a look at how we may bridge the studio with technology. We will explore collaborative ZOOM drawings and Instagram projects for providing enriching and challenging ways for students to grow in their environment. So charge up those cell phones, and be ready to create!



It is Our Job to Care, Not to Harm: Compassion in the Virtual Classroom  Madison Manning, VCU

In a time when the world is upside down, it is important to remember that our classes are not our students top priority. With non-traditional classroom factors like showing of personal spaces and learning in open, familial spaces, non-traditional teaching strategies are more useful than ever. Our students are not simply seeking an education, they are living in the same upside down world. In my virtual classrooms I utilize queer empathy, contract grading, and collaborative small scale research projects to ensure that each of my students feel not only seen by their instructor, but feel a sense of community among their peers. In pre-COVID studio art courses, the encouragement of failure from experimentation among students was crucial because ‘to fail is to try’, to push boundaries. In non-studio virtual classrooms, there is a shift to advocate for experimental-failure so students can practice emphatic, communicative non-traditional learning in a non-traditional time.



The Beautiful Island of San Serriffe   Muyuan He, City College of New York

Most of my online classes start with a round robin question answered by each student. The person who answers picks the next person to answer—they need to pay attention in order to remember who has not yet been picked. One day I asked them where they would like to go when the pandemic is over. Many named countries far away from the United States. I followed by introducing them with the beautiful island of San Seriffe—a fictional island featured by Britain’s Guardian newspaper on April Fool’s Day in 1977. Another day I asked them the most exotic food they have had, which reminded me that what is normal in one culture can be considered absurd in another’s. On the day when students look tired, instead of the prepared questions, I ask them how they feel. If more than half say they are tired, I do an anonymous poll and ask them to choose one assignment out of the two on the schedule to postpone to the following week. They become excited to see how many of their classmates want to work on the same one that they want. Another strategy is to incorporate working on paper. Art is one of the few disciplines that can reasonably be conducted outside the screen. All of the projects require sketches on paper before any digital execution. I also give individual feedback by drawing suggestions to their design on paper. Examples will be presented.



Supporting All Learners During a Time of High Concern   Tommy Taylor, Lone Star College

Some of the best adaptive teaching methods available to educators have emerged during the pandemic, however some methods have been in place for years with educators teaching art courses online at large universities and community colleges. It is through careful consideration of traditional and non-traditional learners’ needs assessments and economic hardships that innovative approaches to teaching emerge. This presentation examines various hybrid and online art courses, in both studio and lecture formats, which lend practical and applied methods to facilitating an engaging and efficient classroom. Emphasis on Drawing, 2D Design, and Art Appreciation in relation to online enrollments, virtual office hours, and assignment checklists to help students navigate the challenges of working from home and feeling supported throughout the process will be explored.



Get information on becoming a MACAA

member and attending the upcoming





Get information on becoming a MACAA

Board member.

MACAA Online Juried Exhibition "Reality Shift"

Juror: Brielle Jenkins

Submission Deadline: December 15, 2020