For Teachers

Lynden offers a range of professional development opportunities for K-12 educators, from the intensive, cross-disciplinary Innovative Educators Institute; to a series of creative hands-on workshops developed by teachers, for teachers; to discounts on our artist-led workshops.

Lynden operates as a laboratory that creates, supports, and shares experiences at the intersection of art, nature, and culture. Partnering with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Art Education program, Milwaukee Public Schools, and others, we have used Lynden’s unique resources to develop a place-based approach to K-12 education informed by critical aesthetic pedagogy and principles of attentive living derived from an in-depth exploration of place. This place-based approach is supported by a relational learning space that extends from Lynden to the classroom, encompassing the exchanges between the two, and that integrates outdoor education, hands-on art-making, and an experiential learning process that encourages children to reflect on their “doing.”

Lynden is a partner in ArtsECO, and our professional development programs are designed for art educators and classroom and content area teachers who are committed to teaching through the arts. We support cross-disciplinary curriculum development; provide tools (field trips, artist residencies) that enhance arts-integrated teaching; nurture teacher-as-artist practices through engagement with artists at Lynden and in the classroom; and create staff positions and establish networks that support teachers as they develop their competence and confidence to teach through the arts.

We believe that teacher-as-artist practices--making time for art (whatever the discipline) and reinvigorating one's personal art practice--have a positive impact on teachers and teaching. It is in this spirit that we offer these teacher professional development opportunities.

Innovative Educators Institute
Teacher Professional Development Series
Educator Discounts on Workshops

Admission to the Innovative Educators Institute (IEI) is by invitation. If you are interested in participating, please contact Anna Grosch at

Lynden has been working with UWM's Art Education program for several years to develop a place-based K-12 curriculum that focuses on the intersection of art, nature, and culture, providing hands-on experiences that integrate Lynden’s collection of monumental outdoor sculpture and temporary installations with the natural ecology of the site. Thanks to the generous support of the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, we have been able to build the IEI into an intensive, hands-on, year-round professional teacher development experience that brings together pre-service, early-career, and veteran teachers with artists, Lynden staff, and university faculty to test approaches to sustaining and supporting early-career (years 1-5) teachers who are committed to teaching through the arts.

The institute runs in three-year cycles, and is built around cross-disciplinary, school-based teams. These teams are typically made up of an art educator and one or two generalists or teachers with other academic specializations. The focus is on developing and sharing interdisciplinary, arts-integrated strategies and methodologies that are easily adapted to the classroom. We also support teacher-as-artist practices through the IEI; provide resources and opportunities to the classrooms of participating teachers, such as hands-on field trips to Lynden and school-based residencies with Institute artists; and work closely with teachers to develop unique programs to support their individual teaching experience.

Each year the Institute is built around a different theme.

2018: Entanglement
Faculty member: Rina Kundu
Participating artists: Reggie Wilson, Arianne King Comer, Portia Cobb, LaNia Sproles
Entanglement provides a metaphor for a non-hierarchical, reciprocal approach to thought, creativity, and expression—and a dynamic understanding of place as a web of movements, actions, and materials. Entanglements call us into connection, shaping us as we intra-act with people, flora, fauna, objects, structures, and culture. Our learning about entanglement will be grounded in Lynden’s local phenomena, artifacts, and environment in relation to our own experiences, memories, and histories. Using movement, making, and writing, we will explore the fluid and flexible processes of the experiential, the affective, the haptic, and the performative that construct and connect us to place.

2017: Narrating Space: Wandering, Encountering, Dwelling, Resonating
Faculty member: Rina Kundu
Participating artists: Fo Wilson, Reggie Wilson, Colin Matthes, Rose Curley

2016: Emplacement
Faculty member: Rina Kundu
Participating artists: Fo Wilson, Tyanna Buie, Colin Matthes

2015: Movement and Migration
Faculty members: Laura Trafí-Prats/Rina Kundu
Participating artists: Reggie Wilson, Santiago Cucullu, Nirmal Raja

2014: Living Matter
Faculty member: Prof. Laura Trafí-Prats
Participating artists: Linda Wervey Vitamvas, Kevin Giese, Emilie Clark

2013: Attentive Living: Art, Nature and Place
Faculty member: Prof. Laura Trafí-Prats
Participating artists: Roy Staab, Shana McCaw and Brent Budsberg

In autumn 2018, Lynden is launching a new series of hands-on creative workshops for K-12 educators. Entanglement is the umbrella for quarterly workshops developed and led by Lynden’s teachers-in-residence. The Teacher as Writer, a series of mini writing retreats for educators, is part of our collaboration with the UWM Writing Project, an affiliate of the National Writing Project.

Teachers-in-residence Sue Pezanoski Browne (La Escuela Fratney) and Katie Hobday (Bruce-Guadalupe Community School) team up to offer quarterly hands-on workshops for educators on the theme of this year’s Innovative Educators Institute: entanglement. These relaxed, informal workshops are designed to encourage open-ended experimentation with materials, processes, and concepts (new materialism, principles of possibility, artful thinking routines) within the context of arts-integrated, place-based education. Suitable for all K-12 teachers.

ENTANGLEMENT: Seeds & Papermaking
Saturday, September 29, 2018 – 10 am-12 pm
Fee: $15

This workshop begins with seeds, works its way through plant identification, takes in root systems and water resources, stops by the pollinator garden to understand plants and the food chain, touches on practical uses of plants in medicine and art; and delivers a DIY on constructing paper-making screens for classroom use. A combination of artmaking, nature observation, and practical skills, Seeds & Papermaking builds connections across the curriculum between art and science (think botany, ecology, food studies).

Participants are invited to bring something from home (plant material from your yard or a nearby park, teabags, a previously used piece of paper, a natural colorant) that can be added to the prepared paper pulp that we will use in our artmaking. We will be going outdoors, so dress appropriately.

ENTANGLEMENT: Fabric Interventions
Saturday, November 17, 2018 – 10 am-12 pm
Fee: $15
Click here to register.

What is the new materialism in practice? In this workshop we will stitch together fibers and stories, personal objects and narrative (look for strong connections with language arts) as we make meaning through objects, processes, and experiences. Like contemporary artists using fibers in their painting and sculpture practices, we will explore a range of approaches to textiles: stuffing and sewing, embroidering, stamping, distressing, and more. Handouts to include an illustrated glossary of embroidery stitches.

Participants are invited to bring a used cloth item from home that had a specific purpose or that evokes particular memories (a piece of clothing, a toy, tablecloth, blanket, or curtain) AND a narrative idea attached to that item. These will be used in our artmaking.

THE TEACHER AS WRITER: A Mini Writing Retreat with the UWM Writing Project
Saturday, October 27, 2018 – 9 am-12 pm
Fee: $20 (fee includes admission to the garden for the day)
Register by phone at 414-446-8794.

Are you a teacher? Are you also a writer? Do you crave opportunities to develop your writing and get in touch with your creative side during the school year? Join UWM Writing Project Teacher Leaders Joe Belknap (Greendale High School) and Amy E. Casey (Port Washington High School) for a unique opportunity to connect with other educators who use writing for personal reflection, creative expression, and as a way to re-invigorate their teaching practice.

Enjoy the stunningly beautiful grounds of Lynden Sculpture Garden as you participate in guided and open-ended writing experiences, as well as discussion about how cultivating a habit of writing can translate to our work in the classroom. This will be an indoor/outdoor workshop, so dress for the weather, and bring your favorite notebook in addition to any digital writing devices.

Lynden offers discounts on its workshops on a space-available basis. To view the list of qualifying workshops, and to register for a workshop as an educator, visit our Educators' Portal.

©2010 Lynden Sculpture Garden