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.

2019: Re+stor+ation
Faculty member: Rina Kundu Little
Participating artists: Rosemary Ollison, LaNia Sproles, and others to be announced.
The 2019 Innovative Educators Institute focuses on the theme of restoration. "Repairing," “rebuilding," “reconstructing,” and “returning” are processes associated with restoration; they allow us to reconnect to self, re-imagine others, and rediscover our relationship to the land. The summer lab will use an experiential, interdisciplinary approach to learning while developing skills, confidence, and understanding of the value of place. It will build cooperative learning strategies that involve members of a place in the process of education; enable listening and learning from the community and the land; and facilitate restoration through art-making and myth-making. Rosemary Ollison will be one of the featured artists for the workshop. She is a self-taught artist who creates drawings, sculptures, quilts, jewelry, and environments by repurposing collected materials. Her art often works at a catalyst for well-being with restorative possibilities.

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 launched 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: Earth, Fire, and Human Stories
Saturday, March 23, 2019 – 10 am-12 pm
Fee: $15

Register by phone at 414-446-8794.
In this workshop, we will take a reflective look at the universal connection between humans and the elements of earth(clay) and fire. Participants will view examples of how people throughout history have used clay for functional and artistic purposes. We will investigate how the making and using of clay objects literally and symbolically entangles us with the earth. Participants will become further entangled, as we write personal stories, memories and/or hopes that will then be placed into the interior spaces of clay vessels. These vessels may also have a connection to sound, as participants may choose to create wind chimes or a rattle.

ENTANGLEMENT: Zooming In: Scale and Point of View in Image-making
Saturday, May 11, 2019 – 10 am-12 pm
Fee: $15

Register by phone at 414-446-8794.
Using digital microscopes, we will make visual discoveries that will lead us to new ways of developing meaning and images in our artmaking. Participants will bring in natural materials from home, as well as collect items in the Lynden gardens. Through the lens of entanglement, participants will explore the “zoomed in” parts of their world, uncovering connections to the human experience through scale and point of view. A variety of art media will be explored, including printmaking, collage, silk screening, citra solv transfers, watercolor, and monoprints. Visual discoveries will be extended through text, further connecting us to our senses and memories.

THE TEACHER AS WRITER with the UWM WRITING PROJECT: Writing with Art for Reflection and Renewal
Saturday, April 13, 2019 – 9 am-12 pm
Fee: $20 (fee includes admission to the garden for the day)

Registration is closed.
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 us for a restorative retreat to build self-awareness and connect with other creative minds.

Writing can be a powerful reflexive process that asks us to open our hearts and minds to new ideas. Engaging with art supports this practice with close observation, active inquiry, and thoughtful reflection. In this retreat, UWM Writing Project Teacher Leader Kelly Saunders (Nicolet High School) has created an opportunity to connect with interdisciplinary educators who use collaborative conversation about art as restorative practice. Through participation in a series of reflective visual literacy and writing activities, you will examine your own unique experiences and then join others in understanding their perspectives to together construct deeper meaning.

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.

©2019 Lynden Sculpture Garden