Dan Gruhlke

Photography, Storytelling, Nature-based math and science

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Teaching Artist Statement

A 35-year seasoned educator with a creative soul who enthusiastically encourage others' expressive explorations through photography, audio stories, geometric design, writing, or natural media. Lovingly called "Mr. G.” or "Doctor Dan" due to my insight for enmeshing Art with science, math, environmental education, and maybe a bit of bicycling. Facilitating others' creating is like smoking chicken on a charcoal grill: succulent, moist, anticipated, remembered, and enjoyed.

Explore and Nurture Creativity in the classroom

Whether you are rationally minded desiring your students and families to engage in mathematically innovative, artistic experiences, try Doctor Dan's "PLC" or “Line Up” where students use fractals, cycloids, epicycloids, hypotrochoids, and other compositional geometric points, lines, and curves. Or, maybe you'd rather have them experience the gravitational pronouncement of "Pendulum Painting" or the equally mathematically mesmerizing "Pendulum Wave". Whatever your choice, your students and families will explore their artistic intersection of math and art with Doctor Dan.

More interested in science? Try "PPE" where your students explore the hunting, hammering, or hewing to explore the artistic sculptural expressions of the environment through "Rock On" or leaf-skeletons in "Bare Bones".

Doctor Dan offers storytelling, too, through having your students develop pourquoi tales, traditional non-fiction literary stories, or the thousand words of point-and-shoot photography.

Residency Projects

Beginnings: In July 2010 Carrol Henderson began the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ project, “Digital Photography Bridge to Nature” that over two years reached 1,147 Minnesota teachers. I was not one of those, though the project, the first of its kind in the nation, was allowed to continue on a limited basis for another year, and in 2013 I became an excited participant. Following the training workshop I borrowed cameras from several state facilitators over the next two years in order to allow my classroom kindergartners opportunities to engage with this underused medium of digital point-and-shoot cameras. Their photos were juried by classroom teachers, parents, and their kindergarten peers. They were displayed for about 1,000 students as well as the local photo club where hundreds more saw and discussed their abilities.

1,000 Words Project: Purchased Nikon point-and-shoot cameras to continue my in-school and community Dan presentations along with Education Minnesota 2015-2016 Spring Convention representatives and attenders.

1,000 Words Project: Expanded: Near 300 kindergartners in one year used my Nikon cameras totaling 21,060 potential photos from which there were 2,987 usable photos from which 191 kindergartners had usable photos that were compiled into a book. This book is composed of 673 unedited, raw photos straight from their eyes.