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#ArtsEdWeek: An Art Teacher’s Journey From Clueless to Innovative

Jeremy Mallov, Amy Beverland Elementary

“What do you think, you are just going to be sitting there and a milkshake will fall in your lap?   ……Or a mars bar?”, said Professor Bill Itter, with his eyes bulging out with the excitement of a mad scientist. He was teaching us color theory at IU in 1999 and imploring us to work at our craft; to take it as seriously as he does. This was a lesson that took a little longer for me to learn in the craft of art teaching. When I first started out, I was convinced I was going to be a high school teacher. I worked a couple maternity leaves in high school and middle school, but I ended up at an elementary school; which turned out to be the absolute best thing for me. When I first started I was clueless as to what the younger kids were capable of, having the first graders color in coloring sheets and making crafty cut and glue projects for the older grades. The longer I worked with the younger kids, the more I realized they could truly accomplish. I experimented and learned and practiced and documented, and my lessons evolved. I began to start every day with a 5 minute life drawing; I would collect things: one day it would be an old toy, the next day it would be a pinecone or a thistle or an old pair of sunglasses; and the students would draw from life, adding shading and details. I began to treat it with the same seriousness my IU drawing professors did.

In college (and in life) I had a love of art history. I began to teach the 6-year-olds how to analyze works of art. Every day after the life-drawing time, we discussed an “artist in the spotlight.” A famous work of art poster was presented, and the kids spotted clues in the paintings, made connections to what was happening in history at the time, and began to learn to see the elements in the art as metaphors and symbolism. A dark cloud in the sky became a metaphor for how the artist felt worried about the future; a blue mountain became a symbol for the artist’s sadness. I also began to group the students’ projects into in-depth units of study.

#ArtsEdWeek: Art Breaks Down Barriers and Brings People Closer

Margarita Garcia, Forest Glen Elementary School

I always ask myself, “Why did I study art”? I should’ve followed my father’s advice and become a nutritionist…I’d be skinny and have money! However, life has brought me to where I am today, an intermediary position between learning, creativity and the individual. Wow! That’s definitely a handful!

I also won’t pose the question over what is Art, because Art is life itself, and it’s so hard as art educators to get other mortals to understand the magnitude of that word. For arts educators like ourselves, artistic education carries a tremendous amount of weight. It’s teaching our students that art is what perseveres over time, the indispensable parts of our culture, the patrimonies of humanity, the beautiful and the ugly, mediums of experimentation, the mess and the cleanup, balance and aesthetic…and so much more.

I began to teach 32 years ago in my island of Puerto Rico. I’m a mosaic artist and a painter, but I love seeing the look of curiosity on a child’s face when I give them the opportunity to experiment and reflect over what they are about to commence. I don’t have the words to describe that satisfaction. I settled down in Indiana in voluntary exile still loving and missing my homeland, my family, my friends, my fellow artists and my students. What convinced me to make this radical change from the heat of the tropics to the cold winters with a visible changing of the seasons, was a desire for cultural diversity assuming the concept that art is universal and that through art, barriers are dropped and people become closer.

Indy Arts Educators Meet During #ArtsEdWeek

 

Arts in Education Week decorations at Edison School of the Arts.

Principal Nathan Tuttle gives local arts educators a tour of Edison School of the Arts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Indy Arts Educator Network, a group of local arts educators, met during National Arts in Education Week to share updates about their arts organizations’ education efforts. Representatives from Arts for Learning, Butler Arts Center, Indiana Historical Society, Nickel Plate Arts, Paige’s Music, Indianapolis Public Schools, and the Arts Council of Indianapolis were all in attendance. The meeting took place at Edison School of the Arts, one of the nine Any Given Child Indy schools. After a presentation about Edison School of the Arts by principal Nathan Tuttle and updates from each arts educator, the group went on a guided tour of the school. The tour featured the school’s professional dance room and black box theatre; vast visual arts, instrumental music, and vocal music rooms; and even the school’s chickens and learning farm. Seeing the work of the magnet arts school first-hand was a great experience for arts educators during National Arts in Education Week!

First Round of Any Given Child Indy Schools Announced

Students at Ralph Waldo Emerson School #58 during National Arts in Education Week.

To kick off National Arts in Education Week in Indianapolis, we are announcing our nine 2017-18 Any Given Child Indy schools and highlighting their Arts in Education Week events!

The nine schools who will participate in the first year of Any Given Child Indy are: 

  1. Clarence Farrington School #61
  2. Edison School of the Arts #47
  3. Eliza A. Blaker School #55
  4. George S. Buck SChool #94
  5. James Russell Lowell School #51
  6. James Whitcomb Riley School #43
  7. Ralph Waldo Emerson School #58
  8. Tindley Genesis Elementary
  9. Washington Irving School #14

Many of our Any Given Child Indy schools have planned events to celebrate National Arts in Education Week. Read below to see what each school has planned for this week!

2017 Larry Hurt Excellence in Arts Education ARTI Award Winners Announced

In honor of the upcoming National Arts in Education Week, two outstanding educators were honored with the Larry Hurt Excellence in Arts Education ARTI. The awards were presented at the Arts Council of Indianapolis’ 2017 Start With Art Luncheon on September 1. The 2017 Arts Education ARTI Award winners are Jeremy Mallov and Margarita Garcia, elementary school art teachers in Lawrence Township. 

Jeremy Mallov, Amy Beverland Elementary

Jeremy Mallov accepts his ARTI Award at Start With Art 2017.

Jeremy Mallov is an elementary school art educator who utilizes his gifts as both a talented artist and highly effective teacher to make a positive impact on children. He facilitates learning through a detailed and structured art curriculum encompassing creativity, art appreciation, and art history and he creates cross-curricular learning opportunities by collaborating with classroom teachers. Beyond the typical drawing, molding clay, painting, and other art activities, Jeremy encourages students to use non-traditional materials and even junk to create unique art sculptures that decorate the hallways of the school. In the nomination, his principal said, “He is more than an arts educator. He is a valuable member of the culture and climate at Amy Beverland Elementary. He is a creative artist, an empowering educator, and a role model in our learning community.”

Margarita Garcia, Forest Glen Elementary School

Margarita Garcia accepts her ARTI Award at Start With Art 2017.

Margarita Garcia has been an elementary school art teacher at Forest Glen Elementary School for two years. In that short time, she has managed to transform the look of the school through displays of student artwork, making the environment much more child-centered and inviting. She is an advocate for her students and works each and every day to ensure the best success for each of them. She meets students outside of class, runs clubs afterschool, teaches art to staff, spends time educating parents, and much more. The principal of Forest Glen said, “Her positive outlook on life along with her ability to find ways to work harmoniously with administrators and teachers make her an asset to Forest Glen. I can’t really find words to describe her abilities, creativity, and dedication to teaching art to children. She is an exemplar of integrity, service, and leadership and an inspiration to all students.”

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