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Teacher News

Teacher News

Teacher News

Q & A Section

QWe use small, hand-held sharpeners for pencils, colored pencils, and other supplies. I would love to find a sharpener that is easy to clean, doesn't get clogged, and can handle being dropped occasionally! Any suggestions?


While we can't recommend one pencil sharpener as "the best," we can tell you which ones some of our customers prefer.

Maped Pencil Sharpener

The Maped Canister Sharpener has received many 5-star reviews. Mary from Lexington, Virginia, tells us, "I've used lots of handhelds before but none can compare with this great little sharpener, especially not my fancy electric one. It's also comfortable to hold and easy to work. A few turns and the point is back."

Marty, a teacher from Carrollton, Texas, prefers the Alvin Brass Bullet. "I teach middle school art. Middle school students can ruin anything, except the Bullet. It is the only sharpener I have found that is unbreakable, and it has replaceable blades."

Recently, Blick Art Materials partnered with The Art of Education to test moderately priced pencil sharpeners in the classroom. Two elementary teachers and their students conducted side-by-side testing of some of the sharpeners available from DickBlick.com. The research provided a great lesson in gathering and presenting data. To see their ratings and top picks, view the article here.

If you have questions regarding any art materials and their uses, please contact our Product Information Experts at 800-933-2542 between 8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. (CT), Monday through Friday.

Blick is a Platinum Sponsor of the 2014 NAEA Convention

Tri-Art Poster Paint

Blick Art Materials is pleased to once again be a Platinum Sponsor of the 2014 NAEA Convention on March 29-31, 2014, in San Diego, California. We welcome attendees to visit our large exhibit space at the San Diego Convention Center to receive a free gift and create exciting hands-on projects.

Visitors to the Blick exhibit will receive a multi-pocket canvas tote bag as a welcome gift, plus a free brochure explaining how to successfully complete the 17 new, original lesson plans that will be on display.

Creative Quill Pen

While in the booth, visitors will have the opportunity to try two of Blick's new lesson plans. They can make a Mystery Black Velvet Painting with new Tri-Art UVFX Black Light Poster Paint, then watch it transform by viewing it in a special black-light booth.

Visitors can also paint and assemble a Creative Quill Pen - a dip pen that is a work of art in itself!

As a Platinum Sponsor, Blick is proud to continue its support of NAEA beyond the convention and also to support state art education organizations by attending conferences, advertising in organizations by attending conferences, advertising in organization publications, and providing door prizes, product samples, and workshops.

Enter for a Chance to Win a Blick Printing Press & Bench - a $4,000 Value!

Blick Printing Press Contest

Artists, students, teachers, and schools are invited to enter the Clear Carve Print Contest for a chance to win a Blick Masterpress Etch Model II Printing Press and Bench.

To enter:

  1. Create a print using Jack Richeson "Clear Carve" Linoleum.
  2. Email your entry to clearcarvecontest@gmail.com.
    Please include the following:
    • Your name, address, phone number, and email address.
    • One image of your finished artwork. Please label your image (i.e., johnsmith.jpg). If you are entering on behalf of a school, also include the name of the school (i.e., johnsmith.hometownschool.jpg).
    • One image of your Richeson Clear Carve linoleum block with the barcode clearly visible. Please label this image (i.e., johnsmith2.jpg).

All entries must be submitted by August 1, 2014. The winner will be announced on the Blick website (DickBlick.com) and the Jack Richeson & Co., Inc. website (richesonart.com) on October 1, 2014.

Blick Printing Press Contest

No entry fee is required. Multiple entries are encouraged. Employees of Blick Art Materials and Jack Richeson & Co., Inc. are not eligible to participate. Selection of the winner is at the sole discretion of Jack Richeson & Co., Inc.

Congratulations to Blick 2014 NAEA Convention Grant Recipients

Again this year, Blick Art Materials made it possible for two deserving art educators to attend the annual NAEA (National Art Education Association) convention.

Pete Edwards (from Madison Central High School in Richmond, Kentucky) and Carolyn Frances (from Zephyrhills High School in Zephyrhill, Florida) submitted entries at the Blick Art Materials booth at their respective state art education conferences in 2013. Each was awarded a grant to attend the 2014 NAEA Convention in San Diego, California, on March 29-31, 2014.

The grant recipients were selected in a random drawing from more than 2,000 entries at state art education association conferences in October and November of 2013. The recipients will receive:

  • Registration for thet 2014 NAEA convention
  • Up to four night's lodging
  • Travel expenses and daily expenses

The estimated value for each grant is $2,000.

A drawing will be held to award similar grants to attend the 2015 NAEA Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, from entries submitted at the Blick booth at state art education association conferences in October and November of 2014.

Blick supports state art education organizations and the NAEA by attending conferences, advertising in organization publication, providing door prizes, handouts, product samples, and conducting workshops. Blick also understands the value of professional development and peer interaction for art teachers, and knows that all too often attendees at both state and national conferences must pay for their registration and travel expenses out of their own limited funds.

Rewarding educators who attend their st ate conferences is another way Blick shows support, by providing an opportunity only a small number of art educators ever have the chance to attend the NAEA's annual convention.

If you haven't attended your state or national art education association conference, it's time to look into taking advantage of the great experiences and resources they offer. click here to learn more about NAEA today. And s top by the Blick booth to say hello while you're there!

Winners Announced in Illinois Tollway 2014 Map Cover Art Contest

Map Cover Art Contest Winner - Crystal Thorns

Crystal Thorns, a senior at Lincoln-Way North High School in Frankfort, Illinois, is the grand prize winner of the 2014 Illinois Tollway Map Cover Art Contest.

High school students in the 12 counties served by the Illinois Tollway were invited to submit original works of art based on this year's contest theme - "Work Zone Safety."

Students selected as runners-up in the contest include:

  • First runner-up - Vlad Malinovic, Lyons Township High School, LaGrange, Illinois
  • Second runner-up - Austin Rice, Lyons Township High School, LaGrange, Illinois
  • Third runner-up - Nathan Eisenhut, Downers Grove North High School, Downers Grove, Illinois

Artwork created by the grand prize winner will be featured on the cover of the Illinois Tollway 2014 map, which is distributed at no cost to more than 125,000 tollway customers. Thorns was also presented with $400 in gift certificates from Blick Art Materials and $200 in gift certificates from U.S. Equities to use at retail shops and restaurants at Illinois Tollway Oases. The runners-up received $200 in gift certificates from Blick Art Materials and $100 in gift certificates from U.S. Equities.

"I'm thrilled that my artwork will contribute to efforts to promote work zone safety on the Illinois Tollway," said contest grand-prize winner Crystal Thorns.

"We are thrilled to see the level of participation in the student art contest," said Blick Art Materials Chief Executive Officer Bob Buchsbaum. "So many innovative designs from young students makes us excited about the future."

To view all finalist artwork, visit http://www.illinoistollway.com/news-room/map-cover-art-contest

2013 Youth Art Month Award Winners Announced

Youth Art Month 2013 Winners

The Council for Art Education, Inc., is proud to announce the Youth Art Month Awards for 2013.

Youth Art Month (YAM) is an annual observance every March to emphasize the value of art education for all youth and to encourage support for quality art programs in schools. Youth Art Month provides a forum for acknowledging skills that are fostered through experience in the visual arts, skills that are not normally attainable through other subjects offered in the curriculum.

The Council for Art Education, Inc., was started in 1983 by the Art & Creative Materials Institute, Inc. (ACMI). An international association of more than 22 arts, craft, and creative material manufacturers, this not-for-profit organization seeks to promote safety in art and creative products through its certification program.

The Council for Art Education's Board of Directors voted to recognize the following Youth Art Month Chairpersons for their outstanding participation in YAM 2013.

  • Claire Flanagan Memorial (Grand) Award: Jennifer Tiongson (New Jersey).
  • Awards of Excellence: Sarah Klein and Tasha Newton (Wisconsin); Jimi Herd (Virginia); and Judy Krueger (Illinois).
  • Awards of Merit: Virginia Berthelot, Jennifer Keith, and Carolee Miller (Louisiana); Katie Harrison and Whitney Riker (Georgia); Vicki Breen and Joe Baca (New Mexico); Donnalyn Schuster and Julia Lang-Shapiro (New York); and Dawn Norris (Ohio).

The awards will be presented at the 2014 National Art Education Association (NAEA) Convention, which is being held March 29-31, 2014, in San Diego, California. At the event, the YAM Museum and Flag Award Ceremony will be hosted in the NAEA exhibit area. Students in grades K-12 across the country participate in a national YAM flag design program, with each participating state selecting one design that represents their state and the creative spirit of YAM.

Want to get involved? Contact your YAM Chairperson by visiting www.arteducators.org. The Council for Art Education, Inc., can be found on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Thank you to all who participate in Youth Art Month and in art education.

Koinobori at The Candy Factory

Koinobori at The Candy Factory

Commuters and visitors in Manassas, Virginia, were treated to the colorful sight of carp-shaped windsocks this spring, as 120 Koinobori swam in the breeze on poles along the train tracks. Created by students from Center for the Arts at the Candy Factory and the Community of Prince William County, the windsocks commemorated two national holidays - Japan’s Children's Day on May 4, 2013, and the U.S. National Children's Day on June 10, 2013. The project was made possible by Education Director Louise Noakes, and donations by Art Room Aid and Blick Art Materials.

For more information about Art Room Aid, click here.

For a lesson plan on creating Koinobori, click here.

Blick Art Materials Congratulates Winner of the U.S. Presidential Scholars 50th Anniversary Logo Design Contest

Shipra De: Winner of Presidential Scholars Logo Design Contest

A design by Shipra De of Las Vegas has been selected as the winner of the U.S Presidential Scholars 50th Anniversary logo design contest. De's logo (pictured above) will appear in all publications, audio-visual presentations, promotional materials, correspondence, online communications, and other publicity for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. As a sponsor of the contest, Blick Art Materials awarded a gift certificate to De.

De was named a U.S. Presidential Scholar in 2006 while a senior at Green Valley High School in Las Vegas. She graduated from the University of Nevada – Las Vegas in 2011 with undergraduate degrees in mathematics, computer science, and economics, and continues to live and work in Las Vegas, where she is an Operations Test Analyst for JT3, LLC. In her spare time De enjoys reading, writing, and making pottery.

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 by executive order of the President, to recognize and honor some of our nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors, including students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative, and performing arts.

"Art From the Heart — Projects with a Purpose"

Art From the Heart

Florida Elementary School Helps New Jersey Art Room Recover from Hurricane Sandy Devastation

"Never underestimate the power of a child. I am constantly amazed and inspired by the compassion of my students each time we participate in Art From The Heart - Projects With A Purpose. I truly believe I get more out of the process than they do!" - SuzAnne Devine Clark, art teacher, Deerfield Beach Elementary School

Every year, art students from an elementary school in Deerfield Beach, Florida, participate in Art From The Heart — Projects with a Purpose, by creating original works of art and selling them to students, teachers, parents, and others. They then choose a worthy project to support with the proceeds.

This year, the Deerfield Beach Elementary School students made sand dollars and jewelry to raise money for the Bay Head Elementary School in New Jersey, which lost all of its art supplies when storm waters from Hurricane Sandy flooded the school's first-floor art room. The Deerfield Beach students and Parent Teacher Association wanted to raise enough money to replace the Bay Head School's art supplies so the students there could get back to creating art.

"Participating in this annual community service project is a wonderful way for our students to exhibit positive character education traits," said SuzAnne Devine Clark, art teacher at Deerfield Beach Elementary School. "They will see how their own artwork has a voice and can directly impact another child’s life."

In addition to the $500 raised from selling their artwork, the Deerfield Beach students wrote letters and created an additional 175 pendants for the Bay Head students because they wanted to send something personal to help heal the students' hearts. The idea for the pendants came from Blick's Sole Pendants lesson plan, which Clark had shared with her students. Donated children's shoes from a local Stride Rite® store were used to impress textured patterns onto small balls of clay to create the pendants. The students called them "Soles For Souls."

Emilio Hernandez, a Deerfield Beach 5th grade student, was inspired to help even more after seeing television coverage of homes being destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. So he donated an additional $20 from money he earned doing chores. "I want to help people's hearts come back to life," Hernandez said.

"Never underestimate the power of a child," said Clark. "I am constantly amazed and inspired by the compassion of my students each time we participate in Art From The Heart - Projects With a Purpose. I truly believe I get more out of the process than they do!"

Blick Congratulates 2013 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Winners

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards programBlick Presenting Sponsor

As a Presenting Sponsor of The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, Blick Art Materials congratulates the program's 2013 award winners. A long-time supporter of the visual arts and art education, Blick is proud to continue its support of the country's oldest and most prestigious award and recognition program for creative teenagers. This support includes:

  • contributing gift coupons to 74 Regional Art Affiliates who administer art exhibitions and ceremonies at the local level, and to the teachers of national Gold Medal and Silver Medal winners in the art category.
  • helping fund scholarships for Scholastic Art Portfolio Gold Medal recipients.
  • sponsoring the traveling exhibition

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers presents more than $250,000 annually in awards and scholarships to top winners of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and their teachers. High school seniors who are National Award winners and Medalists qualify to receive scholarships from art institutes, colleges, and universities that are Alliance Scholarship Partners.

Students who win at the regional level have their work showcased in more than 70 art exhibitions in museums and galleries across the country. More than 350 works of art and writing created by the National Award winners will be included in the ART.WRITE.NOW NYC national exhibition in New York City in June 2013, coinciding with the national awards ceremony at Carnegie Hall on May 31, 2013.

To date, The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards program has encouraged more than 13 million students, recognized more than nine million young artists, writers, and filmmakers, and made available more than $25 million in awards and scholarships. Past award winners includes such notables as Andy Warhol, Robert Redford, and Truman Capote. For a list of the 2013 National Scholastic Art & Writing Award Winners, visit: http://www.artandwriting.org.

To learn more about the Alliance for Young Artist & Writers and to visit galleries featuring award-winning artwork, visit http://www.artandwriting.org.

The Creativity Conundrum in Public Education Leadership

Roslyn Tam, a recent graduate of the University of Washington political science program and an advocate of creativity in education has recently published this article addressing the relationship of creativity and innovation to traditional notions of intelligence, and the apparent decline in creativity in the public school system. Tam points to Educational Support Organizations as a possible solution to the problem.

To view the entire article, please visit the Educational Leadership website: www.educationalleadership.com/the-creativity-conundrum-in-public-education-leadership

New Lesson Plan Brochure Available

New Lesson Plan Brochure Available

Check out the 14 new Blick Lesson plans for K-12 educators. You'll find something for all ages, skill levels, and budgets. Request a free copy by sending an email to info@dickblick.com. Be sure to type "Fall Lesson Plan Brochure Request" in the subject line, and provide your name and complete mailing address in the body of the message. To download free PDFs of individual lesson plans from the new brochure, click here.

"A+" Model of Art in Academics

The A+ method of arts-infused education, being promoted by the Thea Foundation in North Little Rock, puts the art in math, the drama in literature, the song in history, and has a proven record of raising test scores, improving discipline and heightening student and teacher satisfaction. It has been modeled after the A+ programs in North Carolina and Oklahoma, where it has successfully developed an effective whole school reform model that views the arts as fundamental to how teachers teach and students learn in all subjects.

A+ Schools combine interdisciplinary teaching and daily arts instruction, offering children opportunities to develop creative, innovative ways of thinking, learning and showing what they know. In A+ Schools, teaching the state’s mandated curriculum involves a collaborative, many-disciplined approach, with the arts - dance, drama, music and visual arts – continuously woven into every aspect of a child’s learning. This teaching method recognizes that students learn in different ways and this understanding helps teachers to better engage each child in the learning process.

A+ Schools combine interdisciplinary teaching and daily arts instruction, offering children opportunities to develop creative, innovative ways of thinking, learning and showing what they know. In A+ Schools, teaching the state’s mandated curriculum involves a collaborative, many-disciplined approach, with the arts – dance, drama, music and visual arts - continuously woven into every aspect of a child’s learning. This teaching method recognizes that students learn in different ways and this understanding helps teachers to better engage each child in the learning process.

Extensive university research in A+ Schools reveals dramatic improvements, including:

  • Elevated student achievement
  • Better student and teacher attendance
  • Decreased discipline problems
  • Stronger parental and community involvement
  • A more creative and enjoyable educational environment

For more information about the Thea Foundation in Arkansas click here: www.theafoundation.org Also, see how the A+ Schools Programs have been changing the course of education in in North Carolina aplus-schools.ncdcr.gov and in Oklahoma www.okaplus.org.

Linoleum Block Print Contest Discontinued

Click here for details.

Blick launches "Essentials" - Economical Alternatives for Younger Artists

Blick Essentials

Recognizing that many educators are struggling to keep art supplies on hand, Blick is pleased to announce two new economical alternatives for younger artists.

Blick Essentials Tempera is brilliant, rich, and cleans up easily with soap and water. Try the fluorescent tempera colors to make artwork pop and the metallic tempera colors to make artwork glow.Formulated with safety in mind, Blick Essentials Tempera is AP certified non-toxic and contains no latex, dairy, casein, soy, egg, gluten, peanuts, or tree nuts. It is made in the USA.

Click here for more details

Blick Essentials Colored Pencils have break-resistant 3.3mm cores that assure great color laydown for drawing, coloring and blending. Quality pigments result in bold colors that young artists love.

Click here for more details

Blick's 2013 School Catalog: We've lowered prices on thousands of items

2013 School Catalog

Blick’s 2013 Resources for Art Educators catalog offers 648 pages of products for students of all ages and skill levels. Inside, you’ll find the largest selection of art and craft supplies available, plus classroom furniture, studio supplies, free lesson plans and much more - all designed to make your teaching experience better and your budget stretch further.

Order your copy today!

Blick's 2013 Classroom Art Catalog - Resources for preK-6 educators

2013 Classroom Art Catalog

Blick’s 2013 Classroom Art catalog offers 192 pages of art and craft supplies for teachers and parents of pre-K through 6th grade children. Loaded with classroom essentials, furniture and free lesson plans, you’ll also find class packs, quantity pricing and Blick brand products. All designed to bring you the best combination of quality and value.

Order your copy today!

  • Dick Blick Art Materials
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  • Galesburg, IL 61402-1267
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  • International Phone +1-309-343-6181 ext. 5402
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  • Fax (800) 621-8293

Dick Blick Art Materials®, Blick®, Blick Studio®, and Artists Pick Blick® are registered trademarks of Dick Blick Holdings Inc. © Copyright 1999-2014 Dick Blick Holdings Inc. All rights reserved.

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