Austin Peay State University
Clarksville, TN – More than 200 art educators, administrators and artists from across the state visited the Austin Peay State University campus this month to discover new, innovative ways to teach and advocate for the arts in the coming year.
APSU’s Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts (CECA) hosted the Tennessee Arts Commission’s 2018 Tennessee Arts and Arts Education Conference, which allowed CECA to show off the groundbreaking projects taking place at Austin Peay State University.
“It was an honor to host this conference at Austin Peay and be able to showcase our amazing facilities and faculty, many of whom were session presenters,” Dr. Janice Crews, CECA director, said. “Providing meaningful resources to arts professionals and getting such positive feedback made it all worthwhile.”
Scott Raymond, APSU assistant professor of art + design and former DreamWorks animator, unpacked two of the University’s new virtual reality systems so attendees could walk through 3D virtual paintings they made.
“Coming from digital animation, virtual reality is really taking off,” Raymond said. “They’re making interactive cartoons and shorts. And for artists, you can now paint and sculpt in a three-dimensional space.”
Educators from public and private schools took turns donning the VR headsets and hand controllers, and then they created wild, three-dimensional works in their own personal worlds. Down the hall in the APSU Art + Design Building, a group of music teachers huddled in a classroom, learning to play the Beatles’ “Let It Be” on ukuleles.
Other sessions included incorporating visual arts in elementary music, presented by APSU music professor Eric Branscome, and improv for everyone, led by APSU theater professor Talon Beeson. Arts administrators participated in sessions on grant writing, strategic planning and more.
The three-day event, titled “Design Thinking: A Pathway for Innovation in the Arts,” marked the first time APSU has hosted a Tennessee Arts Commission Conference.