Wednesday, January 25, 2012

January Refreshment: Feel-Good News from Art Classes Everywhere!

Diffuse winter
"Diffuse winter" by flickr user Malik_Braun. Note: it looks nothing like this in my home of New York City right now.
Hello, Art Advocado readers! I have to confess: January is not my favorite time of year. It's cold (though not as cold as it could be at the moment), the holiday fun is over, it's dark before I leave the office, spring seems forever away, and work has been absolutely bonkers. In need of a pep-up to get me through the month, I turned to my trusty google alerts and news aggregators to find out about some terrific things happening in art classes across our fair nation. Following is a roundup that will lift your spirits no matter how deep you are in the January Doldrums! Read on to find out about do-gooder art classes, Martin Luther King Day celebrations, and much more!

"Sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures": Celebrating MLK Day

Aw, shucks! Art teachers and their students doing good in their community

Art Teacher Positivity Potpourri 
  • Hamilton, Ohio art teacher Abe Harris overcomes an incredible physical challenge to do his job:  he was born without arms. He was inspired to become an art teacher by an instructor he had at Miami University who noted that Harris's experiences could be an asset to a career in education. "He said I had unique perspective on how art was created and was able to help people solve problems in new ways." Fifth-grader Natalie Taveras says her remarkable art teacher "shows us how not to feel bad about yourself and to believe in yourself." Extraordinary and inspiring.
  • Rockford, Illinois art teacher Crystal Swanson also has a unique perspective on teaching art: she didn't start until she was in her fifties. Swanson's passion for art education belies her late start in art education. "Art is where students are encouraged to be creative," she told the Rockford Register Star. "Sometimes a kid will come to art and it’s the only thing that will keep him in school. You don’t ever want to shut a child down.” Swanson also attributes her school's high test scores to the strong art ed program. Sounds like someone the art teachers - and arts advocates - should be glad we have on our side!

I'm always looking for new stories for roundups and for posts, so if you've got something let me know! For every story I get to highlight in a roundup there are probably hundreds that I miss...or that might have missed the paper. You can post a comment here, email me at, or get me on Davis Publications' Twitter page.


  1. just found added you to my list of art & art ed resources!


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