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While participating in a Teacher Workshop organized by Georgina Valverde at the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013, Michael Hill began a one-year artistic and pedagogical odyssey making original images (always featuring some aspect of one or more athletic shoes) and posting them daily to a visual blog he created to help kick-start writing projects among the many student athletes he tutored at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He started the year self-identifying as “scholar/teacher,” but at year’s end Michael looked in the mirror and said, OK, still “scholar/ teacher,” but also “artist.” Here are the workshop organizer’s foreword, the scholar’s introduction, the teacher’s formal lesson plan, 52 plates from the artist’s blog, and a proxy example of student work.

MICHAEL R. HILL earned two doctorates at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln and was for ten years a tutor in the UNL Department of Athletics. His specialties include archival research, human spatial behavior, visual sociology, and the theories, methods, and histories of the social sciences. Hill is a writer/researcher/artist at D&H Sociologists in St. Joseph, Michigan, and a docent in the Krasl Art Center’s K-12 Understanding Art Program.

GEORGINA VALVERDE is an established Chicago artist and Assistant Director of Teacher Programs at the Art Institute of Chicago.

(A higher-resolution 100 MB version is available [below] as an additional file.)


ISBN 978-1-60962-105-6

Publication Date



Zea Books


Lincoln, Nebraska


photography, surrealism, athletic shoes, blogging


Arts and Humanities | Digital Humanities | Industrial and Product Design | Interactive Arts | Interdisciplinary Arts and Media | Photography


Copyright 2016 Michael R. Hill

The Year-Long Adventures of the Blue Shoes & Their Friends