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Posted: September 12, 2013

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Art Teachers, Students Create New Mexico-Flavored Pieces for National Education Conference

More than 3,000 homemade items will be featured during the 57th annual fall conference of the Council of the Great City Schools Oct. 30-Nov. 3 in Albuquerque.

Art teachers work on hot air balloon centerpieces for the CGCC fall conference in Albuquerque.

APS art teachers and their students are busy these days creating New Mexico-flavored centerpieces and takeaways for next month’s Council of the Great City School Conference in Albuquerque.

Native American-style vases with corn husk arrangements, collagraph prints of New Mexico landmarks, hot air balloons with woven basket gondolas and New Mexico-themed postcards are among the items that are being created in classrooms across the district.

The items will adorn meal tables at the conference and will be given as small tokens of appreciation to the more than 1,200 education administrators who are expected to attend the conference from the country’s largest urban school districts.

The 57th Annual Fall Conference of the Council of the Great City Schools will be held Oct. 30 - Nov. 3 2013 at the Albuquerque Hyatt Regency Hotel.

The Council is a national organization representing 67 large city school districts with a mission to promote the cause of urban schools and to advocate for inner-city students through legislation, research and media relations. The organization also provides a network for school districts sharing common problems to exchange information, and to collectively address new challenges as they emerge in order to deliver the best possible education for urban youth.

APS art teachers and students are creating 350 centerpieces that will adorn the tables at five meals during the conference. Because the conference falls on Dias de los Muertes (Day of the Dead), one set of centerpieces will feature calaveras (sugar skulls) sitting atop mirrors in embossed tin frames.

Another meal will feature Native American-style clay pots made by fourth and fifth grade students. They will be filled with corn husk arrangements created by APS elementary art teachers.

Other centerpieces include star books featuring the artwork of elementary school students and matted black and white and photographs reflecting New Mexico’s culture created by middle school art students.

“All of these pieces are reminiscent of the folk art and traditions indigenous to New Mexico and the people who live here,” said project coordinator Janet Kahn, former APS Fine Arts Director.

Approximately 3,000 take away items also are being created for conference guests including pottery sherd magnets, embossed tin business card holders, and New Mexico-themed postcards in the style of old Route 66.

While creating the artwork for the conference, students have learned about New Mexico history and culture as well as art, geometry, math, literature and other subjects.

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