I have been teaching art in urban schools since 2008. I taught at an alternative high school for one year and currently teach at an intermediate center (grades 5-8). Teaching in urban schools was not what I first wanted to do after I achieved my teaching license. I thought I wanted to teach in an “easy” small school like what I grew up in. But, now that I’m in my fourth year teaching, I’ve come to love working with these kids. In my experience, a lot of kids who go to urban schools need an outlet like art. In my class, they are able to communicate through art in a way unlike any other class. They can tell their story through paint, charcoal, etc., and people will listen.
Aside from being an art teacher, I’m also an artist. My work is mainly installation art, which is art that encompasses an entire room or gallery, in which the viewer becomes an active participant of the artwork. For example, one of my installation pieces consisted of several white bed sheets hanging from a gallery ceiling in which the viewer had to walk through to get to the center of my artwork. In the center, the viewer found a broken terra cotta flowerpot base attached to the wall with a soap carving of a spider resting in it. Also in the center of the artwork, was a dream-catcher globe with a live tarantula inside. The idea for this artwork came from a dream. The installation tried to take the viewer into my dream world through the bed sheets.
I received a BFA in General Fine Arts from Herron School of Art, IUPUI in 2006. I then went to St. Mary-of-the-Woods College for the Accelerated Teacher Licensure Program in Secondary Art Education. I finished my coursework and received my teacher’s license in 2008. Currently, I am working on my Master’s Degree in Education with an Emphasis on Technology, through IUPUI online. With this degree, I plan on finding more ways to incorporate technology in the art classroom. I want to help my students see art’s place in our technological society. Using different types of technology in the classroom will make what the students learn in the art room relevant to the real world.
I met my husband while teaching at my first school. He’s now a licensed Special Education teacher at an urban High School. When I married Matt, I also gained four step kids, Matthew, Anna, John, and Heather. Matt and I just welcomed our little baby boy, Seanan, into the world in August, 2011. In my spare time, I enjoy cooking (vegetarian food), sewing, camping, and hanging out with my large, wild family.