Fort Worth ISD teachers become students during the art department’s summer workshop.
by Kathryn Hopper
Chris Powell, center, works with Fort Worth ISD teacher Rachel Fox, left, during a ceramics workshop in July. Teachers were assigned to create bobble heads, coil animals, animal heads and coil sculptures.
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Topics: College of Fine Arts
by Kathryn Hopper
Pablo Picasso once said: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
This summer 45 Fort Worth teachers got in touch with their inner Picasso in an art criticism and ceramics workshop sponsored by the Department of Art and Art History.
The week-long experience had participants debating works at the Kimbell Museum and Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art while also creating their own masterpieces in the ceramics studio with Chris Powell, assistant professor of art. The biggest challenge, Powell said, was getting all the participants’ pieces into the school’s kilns during the five-day workshop.
Teachers were assigned to create bobble heads, coil animals, animal heads and coil sculptures. Thanks to the 100-degree plus mid-July weather, smaller pieces could actually be fired on the sidewalk.
Amanda Allison, TCU’s art education coordinator, said subsequent workshops the next two summers will focus on other studio areas such as mixed media and portraiture and art content areas such as aesthetics.
“Our involvement in this project allows us to fulfill our mission of being an integral professional development resource for art teachers in North Texas,” she said.
Marianna Burkard, an art teacher at Dunbar Middle School, said she liked the way the workshop was structured to apply to all ages and abilities.
“One of my classes is an AP [advanced placement] class, so I can take some of these assignments and apply it to the AP curriculum or I can make them less complicated for the other kids. And as teachers, we can all give and share ideas.”
Yolanda Dordan, who teaches at Delores Huerta Elementary, said she enjoyed the art criticism sessions and got ideas to get her students more engaged. “One of the biggest things is looking at a piece and asking the children to name one thing that they see in it, going around the room and letting everyone respond. That’s really cool.”
Isabel Lopez, art teacher at South Hi Mount Elementary, enjoyed reversing her usual role.
“It’s refreshing to be the student instead of the teacher,” she said. “To get new ideas that you can apply to your classroom, to be inspired to want to teach children to see the world differently, just as we do as artists.”
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