2021 Preconference
(Re)Activate and Transform Your Making Practice: Artmaking as Contemplative Practice

Nan Park Artwork Nan Park Artwork Nan Park Artwork

Nan Park, Thursday November 18, 2021 9 AM-3:30 PM,
In-person only at the Doubletree Hotel, Binghamton, NY
Artmaking practice is a personal act of story-telling, and the materials for making are all around and within us. For many, (re)activating artmaking practice can feel daunting, so starting with the intentional act of abandoning expectations can be a powerful catalyst for transforming practice. Through the simple act of noticing—and the presence required to pause in those moments—we can generate the internal spaciousness needed for contemplative making. 

In this hands-on workshop, you will immerse in a series of thought-provoking making and thinking prompts to help you consider the raw materials of your daily existence, with the goal of identifying the themes, processes, marks, and reflection formats that resonate most with you. Invoking the ever-present inspirations inherent in our natural surroundings, we will also harness the power of nature to inspire, ground, and revive us. Together, we will delve into compelling questions: How does immersion in nature ground us to the present, allowing the spaciousness needed to wander and wonder? In tandem with immersion in nature, how might artmaking practice serve as reflective practice that elicits deep contemplation about ourselves, serving as a powerful pathway toward self-care? 

The purpose of this workshop is to inspire artist-educators to renew their artmaking practice and recognize that art, made in small ways within a busy life, can inform evolving ideas about what it means to be an artist-teacher. 

You will: 

  • reconsider what a sustainable studio practice, concurrent to teaching, might look like;
  • explore which artmaking materials, processes, and reflection formats are most resonant and could become part of a personal contemplative artmaking practice; 
  • learn how intention to notice the everyday, presence to immediate surroundings, and activation of sense perceptions provide inspiration and raw materials for artmaking;
  • leave with concrete ideas for renewing and sustaining your practice.

I loved learning about Nan's rituals in nature and the ways she pushes herself to make time for art despite a busy work schedule and family life. I enjoyed hearing about the way she engages students to create art in nature. I thought the collaboration between students was fantastic!

—NYSATA professional development participant, August 2021 


9:00–10:00 Intro, presentation, reflective prompts
10:00–11:30 Making prompts (with 1 short break)
11:30–12:00 Synthesis, segment one closure
12:00–1:00 LUNCH (included in fee)
1:00–3:00 Making prompts (with 1 short break)
3:00–3:30 Wrap up and closure


Materials provided include a variety of papers, mark-making media (markers/oil pastels/colored pencil), gluesticks, and scissors

Participants should bring a sketchbook/journal, any special colored papers they have and want to work with, and their favorite writing/drawing tools


Registration Rates
(Includes lunch + CTLE certificate for 5.5 hours)
$75 Member/District Member
$65 Member Student, Retired, Unemployed 
$125 Non-Member

 Register NOW!
This event is limited to 40 participants.
Deadline to Register is November 12, 2021

CLICK HERE to Register for the Preconference


About Nan Park

Nan Park

Nan Park

Nan Park


Nan Park is a teacher, artist, mother, wanderer, and collector. Over the past 13 years, with son Jonah, she has engaged in a meandering journey of discovery through his eyes, using art and nature as grounding forces for slowing down, noticing with intention, finding resilience, and contemplating new pathways forward. Together, they collect ephemeral moments and indelible memories. She continues to embed structures for encouraging students to embrace these mindful habits in their own artmaking and teaching practice.

In almost 30 years as an art educator, NAN has taught in a variety of K-12 art classroom settings, and since 2004, she has been faculty in the MA in Teaching program at MICA. From 2018-2020, she also served as Interim Director of the MA in Art Education program at MICA. In MAT, she teaches both undergraduate and graduate art education courses and mentors students in their practicum experiences, and in MAAE, she mentored art educators as they conducted qualitative research in their classrooms.

Nan holds an MA in Art Education from the Maryland Institute College of Art, an MS in Art Education from Syracuse University, and a BA in Fine Arts from Haverford College in Pennsylvania. She is the recipient of the 2020 NAEA Eastern Region Higher Education Art Educator Award, the 2017 NAEA Art Educator of the Year Award for Maryland, and the 2014 MICA Trustee Fellowship for Excellence in Teaching. She regularly presents at state and national conferences and has been an active member of the Executive Council of the Maryland Art Education Association.

Nan’s research interests include contemplative practices in the higher education classroom, including contemplative artmaking practice as a means for art educators to cultivate mindfulness in their lives and explore their artist-teacher identities. Her studio practice revolves around capturing moments of everyday living, using ritual and contemplation as frameworks for making.