Art Education at the University of Maine

AED 474: From Art to Empathy


Greetings!  My name is Constant Albertson, and I am the professor in this University of Maine, Art Eduction Topics course, called AED 474: From Art to Empathy. As part of the requirements for this course, students are orchestrating a complex indirect service-learning project to benefit the Hirundo Wildlife Refuge:

Hirundo Wildlife Refuge is a 2,400 acre nature preserve, spanning Pushaw and Dead Streams, Lac D’Or (lake), vast wetlands, including domed bog and maple and juniper swamps, and mixed hardwood and evergreen forests. Only 10 miles from the University of Maine, Orono Campus, visitors paddle canoes free of charge and watch playful river otters, muskrat, beaver, breeding Wood Ducks, Bald Eagles, and Osprey in the tranquil beauty…. (

The four students (Hannah Berta, Abby LeBlanc, Nicole McGuigan and EB Miller) enrolled in this course are making ceramic mugs to sell, creating and managing material on this blog, researching art and empathy, doing all the PR and marketing, budgeting, and writing a research paper on the project.  There are many more aspects to this course, but those are the ones relevant to this blog.  However, my goals for this project include:

  • To practice the procedures to energize their future art programs by authentically integrating the regular art curriculum with a community service.  This includes negotiating, collaboration, technological, organizational, presentation, art, business and research skills.
  • To engage in critical reflection on all aspects of their project   
  • To learn how to use social media better to promote the exciting work of the art education students
  • To provide opportunities for the art education students to create professional materials to support their future careers
  • To consider, research, debate and ponder issues of relevancy, engagement, and professional ethics in Social Justice Art Education
  • To highlight and draw attention to the importance of the ceramics offerings at the University of Maine
  • To highlight and draw attention to the environment in general and to a vital local community resource for protection and education about the environment (Hirundo Wildlife Refuge,
  • To learn and practice graduate level research skills and project development.

This is the last you were hear from me because this blog belongs to Hannah, EB, Nicole and Abby.


1 Comment(s)

  1. Stephanie Larouche

    March 28, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    The Hirundo trustees are so grateful to these art students for choosing Hirundo for this project. I look forward to watching your progress! Best wishes, Stephanie Larouche, Hirundo Board Chair

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