August News

Little bit of news:

  • I have an updated page on my portfolio for sound/video things – had to scratch an itch that wasn’t painting-related and I had some fun. I plan to do more sometime in the future, but for now it’s back to painting so I have enough new work to show in the fall!  Someday during my lifetime, I would like to try and project these onto paintings at a show – even though it may not end up looking or sounding as right as it does in my head. Remember that these are amateur/experimental and I really don’t take myself that seriously as a sound or video artist (and my computer is a decade old).   To see them, follow this link:   Video & Audio 

 

new work and summer show

Volcanos

Volcanos

24 x 24 inches

mixed media on panel

I added new photographs and assemblages – all of them can be viewed here: https://sylviedakotahuhn.com/photographs/

The opening reception of my exhibit at the George R. White Library & Learning Center at Concordia University Portland went smoothly – much gratitude to the folks who came out (and to the catering table). My friend of a decade came up to visit, and I was gifted a cataloging rules book circa 1908 from my former exhibitor friend Amanda (Backstory Books) – I geeked out hard. The show will be up until the very end of August.

Day residency near Goldendale, WA

I took a 24 hour break from thinking about painting/photographing construction sites and went up with my sister to Rainbow Springs near Goldendale, Washington. The grass was pink with tufts of green and some scatterings of purple and dayglo yellow. The light and clouds, in typical PNW fashion, were dramatic. There was silence (except for the birds and bugs) and at night, complete darkness. We hiked to Ekone Ranch, followed a welcoming team through the horses and foliage to look at lady slipper flowers, and stayed for lunch (volunteering to wash dishes). We spent the last hour or so sitting in front of the canyon – I was able to get an underpainting started, while my sister read excerpts from her book about the social hierarchies of baboons. We have been processing the news of a family member’s sudden passing. The processing still continues but I’m glad my sister came up north this weekend.

Oregon IL Summit 2018

IMG_0786

With the help of my coworker Mark and his car (along with his encouragement to apply for the scholarship) – I was able to attend the 2018 Oregon Information Literacy Summit presented by ILAGO (Information Literacy Advisory Group of Oregon) at Chemeketa Community College in McMinnville.  It was a day long conference of modest size, but it was a big deal for me since I hadn’t been able to attend professional development gatherings in the past couple years due to costs. Although I don’t work within classroom instruction (which was one of the main focuses),  I still found the sessions to be relevant to the reference desk.

The breakout session I chose to go to was presented by Lewis & Clark College’s Visual Resources Librarian, Erica Jensen – titled,  More Questions than Answers: Thinking through Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) in Library Instruction. Again, this is classroom instruction (not relevant to my job/duties), but I’m always going to jump on anything art or museum related (I was also interested in hearing Jensen speak since her job title sounds amazing).  I knew nothing beforehand about VTS, but I realized it was a warm-up exercise used every so often in my art history classes years ago. The instructor would display an image with no context and ask the class three questions in the following order:  1. “What’s going on in this picture?” (once), 2. “What do you see that makes you say that?” (if a claim is made without supporting evidence), and 3. “What more can we find?” (continuously). This process is meant to build upon student curiosity and have the class actually slow down to engage with the ambiguous, rather than having immediate answers.  VTS began in art museums and art history classes over 20 years ago, but Jensen is interested in how it can be further integrated into a non-art setting within secondary, medical education and so on.

Afterwards I went over to one of the presentations, Reading and Metacognition in Library Instruction from Pam Kessinger of Portland Community College (PCC). Kessinger’s slideshow focused on how important reading apprenticeship is for students to be able to perform source evaluation, bias identification, and self-analysis (Metacognition: “thinking about thinking”). It may seem like the ability to read clearly in order to research/understand information is a no brainer, but there are some students leaving high school or entering community college that still struggle with reading comprehension. The takeaway (for me) from this is to slow down (either in reference or instruction) – talk through your search/thought process when demonstrating a database to a student. Print out the library homepage and draw arrows and circle menu items if a student needs a hard-copy of a research plan. Have the student verbalize their assignment/interests or (if instructing a class) have the students discuss their topics amongst themselves.

After lunch I signed up for the afternoon work session – Metacognitive Information Literacy Assessment hosted by Sara Robertson (PCC), Kim Olsen-Charles (my coworker at Concordia University), and Michele Burke (Chemeketa Community College). The workshop was part of developing an open source, statewide self-assessment tool. The participants were divided into groups – myself and Gabriela (a former fellow MLS student I hadn’t seen in ages) were one – and we had to take short statements which referenced any point of the research process (printed out on adhesive labels) and stick them under one of the three categories that we deemed applicable: Conditional Knowledge, Procedural Knowledge, and Declarative Knowledge. The stickers also had to be placed in descending order of relevancy. My head almost exploded but it was a good challenge and Gabriela was a champ. It was also a reminder that the subject of metacognition goes deeper than I had previously expected (which of course makes sense).

The main lesson I came way with from the ILAGO Summit is a reminder to (again) slow down. I still catch myself at the reference desk rushing through, trying to get an article for a student, trying to make things simple – to get them what they want without having them dig a little deeper. This could be chalked up to performance-anxiety under pressure, or the left over food-service industry instant gratification training. Showing a student how to research can also reveal how they can best process information – and there’s an overwhelming amount.

Phrases from the presentations that I wrote down in my notes because I liked how they sound (or look?):

  • habits of mind
  • permission to wonder
  • metacognition
  • constructionist pedagogues
  • why I did what I did
  • building identities
  • foundational to the frames
  • thinking about thinking