As a child I lived in rural Iowa and walked beans, played sports, taught swimming lessons and worked as a lifeguard, babysat, waited tables, made art, and arranged flowers to keep myself busy. I used to get my inspiration to work as an artist from my encouraging public school art teacher and several local artists. And now in Lincoln, I used to teach elementary and middle school art, but now teach high school art.
Teaching visual arts in Lincoln Public Schools has brought me a breath of insight about the art of teaching visual arts. Throughout my 25 years, I have gravitated toward 21st century learning philosophy, curriculum development, assessment, and staff development. I attribute these strengths to my outstanding Villisca Community Schools K-12 art education, professors at Northwest Missouri State University, Wayne State College, UN-L, and Nancy Childs of Lincoln Public Schools. I am fortunate to have received several awards including the Nebraska Art Teacher Association Art Teacher of the Year in 2003, Nebraska Art Teacher Association Middle School Art Teacher of the Year in 2000, Award of Merit from the American Architecture Foundation in 2005, and Lincoln Public Schools Gold Star Award in 2002.
In my local community, I have served on the LUX Center for the Arts Education Committee for four years. As a curriculum facilitator at Sheldon Art Gallery’s Statewide Exhibit and the Museum of Nebraska Art Permanent Collection Curriculum Development, I worked with many outstanding art specialists from across Nebraska. I am an associate artist in two art galleries and sell my work online. Besides creating my own artwork, I teach private art lessons to students weekly.
I still love creating in many mediums: jewelry, sculpture, mixed media, painting, and drawing. Teaching and creating are my passion. I am a lifelong learner. I love to attend events where I can be around artists all the time. My days are awesome because I get to ignite thinking like an artist in others.
Bring together the playful attitude of 8 artists and “Artists Playing Around” is the collaborative result. Each of 7 private art lesson students, ages 4-20, created a fun, colorful, and full of energy interpretation of their personality. While all student images were arranged to be interactive and unified; each individual learned to digitally alter images of self, design the figure space, and use acrylic painting techniques throughout this collaborative experience.