WHY I BECAME AN ART EDUCATOR
Ms. Rachel Case
When I was a little girl I fell in love with paintings and my parents took me to museums to see them in person. My favorite painting as a five-year-old was Auguste Renoir's Girl With a Watering Can. Perhaps the painting resinated with me because the little girl and I both had blonde hair, wore dresses and enjoyed the outdoors. One day my mother took me to The National Gallery in DC to see the painting in real life. After the three and a half hours in the car I was more than ready to see my favorite piece of art. Once at the museum, we learned that the wing that held the painting was closed that day. I wept and wept and we turned around and came home. It wasn't until my early twenties that I made it to the National Gallery to see the painting in real life for the first time. I stood in front of it and was completely amazed at it's size. It was bigger than I had ever imagined it to be. As an adult I am not particularly attracted to Girl With the Watering Can, but it will always hold a special place in my heart and mind. I stood in front of it and I wept, not even really understandign why I felt so emotionally connected it to. I love Girl with a Watering Can not for it's appearance, but for it's magical ability to transport me to a moment of my past.
Children are always making connections with colors, shapes, objects, words, senses, people, nature, etc. My job as an art educator is to help make students aware of these connections, foster them in a creative environment and assist students in forming ideas and opinions and reflecting. Art encompasses so much and the possibilities are limitless. If I were to have never seen Renoir's painting, that moment of my childhood would be lost. Art is history. Art is beauty. Art is everywhere around us!
A little bit about myself:
Art was integrated into my life as a young child. I took art classes in school and my parents signed me up for weekend classes as well. I attended Phillipsburg High School, which offered me the opportunity to study at Lafayette College three days a week after school. I was able to experience college-style learning when I was 15-years-old and knew that I wanted to continue studying art after high school. I attended the Delaware College of Art and Design (DCAD) where I was formally trained as a traditional artist (oil painting and charcoal drawing from direct observation only). I transferred to the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) where I became involved in other art forms and took up a minor study in Book Arts. I continued my graduate studies at MICA where I received my Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in 2008. Since graduating I have had a fun and successful art career! My art has been published in books, magazines, and newspapers, heard over the radio, and seen on television shows around the world. Now it is time for me to spread my knowledge and passion of the arts to my students!