Milwaukee Area Teachers of Art

by Jean Sobon

Milwaukee Area Teachers of Art (MATA) has been in existence since 1940, when it was organized by a group of Milwaukee Public Schools Art Specialists. In 2005 this 65-year old organization is open to all active and retired, full and part-time, public and private school visual art educators, and currently has about 120 members drawn from the five-county Milwaukee metropolitan area.

Officially MATA is and unincorporated non-profit organization registered with the State of Wisconsin. MATA has an elected Executive Board which includes a President, Past-President, President-Elect, Secretary, Membership Chairperson, Newsletter Editor and four At-Large members who serve as workshop chairs or in other capacities. This Board meets monthly during the school year. MATA’s newsletter is published for the months of September through June and is now available to members online as well as in print.

MATA continues to serve its original purpose as a networking and support group for its members, with educational field trips to art exhibits and with workshops, social gatherings and two yearly membership exhibitions, one juried, both with awards. MATA has also been involved in outreach to the larger community of art educators through events such as Exemplar exhibits, Idea Fairs and Big Art Giveaways of teacher and art materials. Some recent MATA workshops have culminated in exhibitions, such as “WORD – Exploration of Mind and Spirit” in 2002 and MATA Plein Air Exhibits at Boerner Botanical Gardens in 2004 and upcoming in 2006. This summer MATA participated in the first Milwaukee Artist Market held at the Milwaukee Art Museum.