Cherie Jenkins teaches art to students in grades K-12 for two home school Co-ops in Dallas, TX. Her student, Aiden Moller, was selected as a Top Ten Winner in our Spring 2013 art contest. The winning art, “Whimsical Bird”, can be viewed here. Cherie has had over 100 students become published artists since she first participated in our national art contest in 2013.
We asked Cherie her thoughts on engaging student artists and what helps her to be successful in the classroom. She responded with the following:
“I find that while engaging art students in the classroom, it is best to keep in mind the need to break down the lesson into several parts. My students flourish with step-by-step instructions from drawing with lines and shapes that are familiar, to painting using color families on the color wheel, as well as a good foundation in art elements and principles of design. I especially enjoy working with my students as they explore the different art mediums and art techniques I’ve introduced to them. During each lesson, I strive to inspire my students to work towards ‘Completion’, rather than perfection. Many students get caught up in trying to produce ‘Perfect’ art, discouragement then sets in and the art piece is left unfinished. While students are focusing on completion, it’s their ‘Creative’ mind that influences their art piece, instead of their ‘Critical’ mind. As an art teacher, I see my calling as one who not only instructs but inspires, and inspiration is just as important as instruction for the creative process.”
To learn more about our national art contest, visit www.CelebratingArt.com.
Barbara Ferreira is a native Texan who received her Bachelor of Arts with a major in Art History from the University of Texas, a Master of Arts in Art History from Texas Woman’s University, and her Education and Teacher Certification in All-Level Art from Texas Christian University. Barbara has been an educator for about 27 years and teaches Advanced Placement art history and middle- and upper-school Visual Arts at Allen Academy in Bryan, TX. Her student, Rees Newman, was selected as a Top Ten Winner in our Spring 2013 national art contest in the 4-6 grade division. To view Rees’ art, click here. “I’m so happy for Rees,” Barbara explains, “She is a hard-working, talented and deserving student to place as a top ten winner. I am honored to be her art instructor and help guide her in her artistic endeavors.”
We asked Barbara to share her philosophy of teaching art and how she is able to motivate and her inspire her students.
“My philosophy of teaching art is simple: set the standards high, make the projects interesting and challenging, and don’t allow the students to stop short of their very best efforts and abilities. Often they will think they are ‘finished’, and give a little sigh or moan when I guide them in seeing what else could be done to make a better, more successful piece. They are amazed at the final product which that little bit of extra effort produces, and it also helps to develop in them a critical eye with which they can analyze their own work and make more informed judgements. I love my profession and find it very rewarding to teach students the skills necessary to produce art and watch them apply those skills and be recognized for their efforts. It is fun to share in their joy!
Thank you for sponsoring this contest! It encourages my students immensely when they become a ‘published artist’ in the 6th-12th grade!”
Congratulations again to Barbara on having a national Top Ten Winner, as well as to all of her students who are now published artists! We have enjoyed seeing great art from her students since she began participating in our contest in 2012. Barbara has had nearly 70 student artists published so far and that number continues to grow each contest.
To learn more about our national art contest, visit http://www.CelebratingArt.com.
We have had the comment that our winners are too good and that there is no way a student could do art that is that good. We disagree. Yes, the winners are good. That is why they are winners. Their work is far above their grade level. When you have thousands of entries, then the “Mozart of Art” (a child prodigy) is often among the entries. For each winner, before giving the awards, we verify with his or her art teacher and parent or guardian. This year we had a kindergartner who was a top ten winner, that could have been entered in a high school contest. I called her teacher and spoke to her, and yes, this student is a child prodigy. Take a look at our winners right here: http://www.celebratingart.com/about-us.php