One of the many resources available to art educators in Georgia is the Georgia Art Education Association (GAEA), a statewide professional organization of art educators. The purpose of GAEA, which is affiliated with the National Art Education Association, is to ensure the highest degree of art instruction in the state by:
* representing the art teachers of our State
* improving the conditions of teaching art
* promoting the study of teaching art
* encouraging research and experimentation in art education
* holding public discussions
* sponsoring institutes, conferences, and programs
* publishing articles, reports and surveys
* working with other related agencies
According to GAEA President Debi West, art educators "arts education is a necessary component to building the whole child" and students with a background in arts "are better problem solvers, cognitive thinkers, and can transfer their knowledge into other disciplines in the curriculum." GAEA sponsors a number of important arts events around the state that foster student interest in the arts, including Youth Art Month and the Capitol Art Exhibit, which it sponsors in collaboration with the Office of the Secretary of State. Both events showcase student artwork and provide both the legislators and the general public the opportunity to appreciate the creative ability of young Georgia artists.
GAEA membership is broken up into six categories that reflect the scope of the organization's reach: Elementary, Middle, Secondary, Higher Education, Administrative/Supervision, and Museum Education. The two statewide GAEA-sponsored professional events each year cater to members of each of these categories. For information about the coming school year's Fall and Spring Professional Development Conference and to begin your exploration of visual art resources available online, visit the website at www.gaea.armstrong.edu.