SchoolArts Magazine

September 2017

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Page 15 of 58

A D V O C A C Y CONTINUED ON PAGE 42. like. I want to do for my students what Frank did for me—to help them become people who can not only advocate for themselves, but also help others to find their own voice in the world. Advocating for Students My first goal was to create a well- rounded curriculum and establish a classroom culture that allows students to believe in themselves and their ability to pursue art for any purpose they choose. I shaped my lessons to encourage students to become self-reflective. For example, students create self-portraits that focus on how they wish the world to view them. Throughout the process of reflecting on where they came from, where they are, and where they are going, they realize the impor - H ired just days before the start of the 2014 school year, I stood in the doorway of my artroom feeling little more than over - whelmed. I had no curriculum and no resources. Fortunately, I've had many mentors who taught me the importance of promoting and sup - porting the arts, and I quickly real- ized just how important it was going to be to expose my students to the arts and to advocate for them and my art program. Lasting Mentorship One of my mentors, Frank Juarez, invited me to become part of the Midwest Artist Studios project. This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that gave me an intimate glimpse into the lives of practicing artists and educators. During the course of three years, we interviewed twenty- four artists across the Midwest, and I was able to share with my students new and exciting lessons and the unique stories and paths that each of the artists took. My primary focus at school is to lead by example, and Frank showed me exactly what a true leader looks tance of making a conscious decision about how they want to be perceived in society. Beyond School Walls Many of my units are designed to help students build self-confidence. Part of this process is to submit work to various art shows. In 2014, my students were apprehensive about submitting their work and therefore exposing themselves to criticism. They also had yet to expe - rience the feeling of seeing their work displayed outside of school. I want my students to understand that there is an entire world beyond the walls of the school that strongly advocates and supports art. We participated in the Congres - sional Art Show sponsored by Con- gresswoman Gwen Moore. In 2015, Art Expresses Jonathan Fritsch I want m tudents to understand that there is an entire world be ond the walls of the school that strongl advocates and supports art. One of Fritsch's students had her art featured on a Milwaukee Count us. SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 11

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