Sowing Seeds of Support for OAT

By Bob Reeker, OATK12 Co-Director

Posted on September 21, 2021

The act of sowing has been utilized by people for centuries. The ability to sow or plant seeds has been a critical behavior in creating sustenance for humans and animals. Living in Nebraska, I understand how agriculture is a major sector of the state’s economy. Nebraska farmers and the “seeds they sow” are the backbone of Nebraska’s growth as a state.

Image Credit: The U.S. National Archives, no known copyright restrictions.

Similar can be said of OATK12. Our members and our team leaders have and continue to plant the seeds of support for one another. Since our inception in March 2020, nearly 20,000 art educators from all over the world have forged a sense of help and hope for one another as a form of sustenance; advice and ideas that have supported one another through some of the most difficult teaching situations in education history.

A great example of sowing the seeds of support was our latest professional development day held in July! Many of you joined us for the 2021 Summer Camp OATK12. From our amazing two keynote speakers --- Trinity Villanueva and Jane Montero --- and sessions from our OATK12 team leaders and others, the feedback from attendees spoke to the value of our professional development.

“Philosophical as well as ‘hands on’ information was presented which was welcomed.”

“I liked how the topics ranged from technology tips to ideation to equity, diversity and inclusion and all were very timely and relevant.”

“Good insights, big picture stuff as well as hands on practical applications! Thank you!!!”

“OATK12 has been such a lifesaver this past year! Providing a place for peers to come together, like minded people with sometimes the same struggles/challenges/& even triumphs! While 2021 Camp OATK12 was a long day, I truly appreciate the time and effort it took to plan and put this amazing art conference together at no cost to the attendees. Then to be available for appropriate applicable educational conversations to boot! Thank you thank you thank you! I look forward to more time with my OATK12 peeps!”

Additionally, what’s great is that the 2021 Summer Camp OATK12 support continues in having archived recorded sessions available indefinitely at: Visit now and visit often to support your growth as an art educator in supporting your learners every day!

Image Credit: Masrur Odinaev, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

From my school building in Lincoln, Nebraska, we can see the iconic Nebraska state building. On the very top, a statuesque bronze sower over 19’ tall made by New York sculptor Lee Lawrie oversees downtown Lincoln. It is a symbol of the act of sowing, a vital part of the Nebraska economy. Sowing seeds of sustenance. And just like the symbolism of Lawrie’s sculpture as a sower of seeds , OATK12 has been a support system symbolizing how art educators can step up and help one another to best serve learners through visual arts. The need continues. Turn to each other with your questions, your ideas for support, and most anything else that will make your work with learners the most effective and the best it can be for all involved.