Art Education

I have a BA in Fine Arts and 13 years of art education experience. I have taught age groups that span from age 4 to age 40. Working with young minds is by far my favorite demographic to work with because of their unabashed bravery and creativity that naturally serves their artistic inclinations. It is a joy to work with a group of kids for many years in a row as a specialist and watch them grow in their love and understanding of their art work and their own process.

To me, art making and observing is like learning a second language. Art transcends time and culture. It is built within everyone’s human nature to respond to the visual world, and if we can be prepared to better examine it and even express ourselves within the visual world, we are better able to communicate with each other, empathize with each other, understand people of the past, and potentially create a better world for those in the future.

Being a teaching artist allows me to have amazing access to so many varying creative perspectives. It is a never-ending well of inspiration. Being able to discuss the world through art allows me to grow as an artist and, in my opinion, become a better person. I am passionate about sharing my love and understanding of art. It is my calling. Growing up, my elementary art teacher taught me that “there are no mistakes in art, only different paths to a new solution.” I have lived my life by that motto.

Picasso Abstract Faces

During this two class unit (though sometimes taught as one class), second graders studied Pablo Picasso’s development towards abstraction in his own work. They invented their own abstracted faces using their knowledge of composition, color, shape, and line. The media they used was also an exploration in blending oil pastel on black paper.

Jen Stark Color Melt Collage

Fourth grade students learned about the local working LA artist Jen Stark. As a humble college student, Jen Stark’s signature aesthetic was started with a simple stack of construction paper in the south of France. Students observe Jen Stark’s website and discuss how she was able to take something ordinary and make it extraordinary by using her imagination and technical skills. By using their knowledge of pattern and color theory, the 4th graders designed their own Jen Stark inspired collage by carefully repeating color, shape, and strategically gluing each piece in order to make a new silhouette at each layer.

3D Abstract Wire Sculpture

Inspired by artists such as Alexander Calder, this project students are challenged to think deeply about form and how 3D space is used with shape, movement, and volume. They built forms starting with wire sculpture and then stretched hosiery over the wire form, changing its shape once again. Students then paint their forms, dividing and changing the form another time. Considering how their art changes as it moved, students added final details with pattern and texture.

Native American Artistic Impressions Abstract Landscape and Collage Artifact

A cross-curricular unit with third grade students. As students study four unique Native American groups and are then assigned to one group, they are asked to design their own abstract landscape based on their group’s environment. We studied Monet’s “Impression of a Sunrise” and discussed how color, shape, and texture can create an abstract landscape. Students were then encouraged to jump in with kinesthetic energy, painting their personal impressions of a landscape leaving bold colors and textures to stand out. The second phase of this project, making it a multimedia unit, was to identify artifacts of their Native American group which were a result of the landscape they lived in. Choosing one artifact to represent this, students made collage representations and collaged them into their landscapes while considering strong composition.

Dreamscape Self Portrait

Sixth grade students are asked to develop a conceptual self-portrait as a culminating elementary art piece reflecting on their elementary career and life. Their goal is to use their art skills to show a visual dreamscape of themselves using symbolism, pattern, and color choices that represent them and what is truly important to them as individuals.

Still Life Observation Drawing and Painting

Still life is a great way for young artists to grow in their skills of observation. Students work from a variety of materials, such as arranged still life with everyday objects to live herb plants that they will later plant in the schools garden as a cross-curricular unit in Kindergarten. Students learn how to observe contour lines as well as finding the unique shapes hidden within an object, as well as overlapping and perspective.

Kinetic Heads

Kinetic Heads is an after school arts program combining theatrical and fine arts skills while utilizing multimedia concepts. Each course would have an overarching theme that would guild students in building a functional art piece that would be used later in a collaborative performed narrative that would be filmed, edited, and shared with the school community at the end of the course series.