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Here is a sample of some instructors currently working with Arts2You. To see a full listing of what our instructors can offer, go to our
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Arts2You recruits, carefully screens, and trains visual and applied art instructors from a range of professional backgrounds. We work with both emerging and established art teachers. We also recruit students from renowned institutions such as SMFA, Mass College of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Boston University and Boston Architecture College who are in pursuit of a teaching career. Our instructors provide support and guidance for the student’s artistic, creative, and critical thinking skills. Get to know our teachers by reading a conversation about their art teaching philosophy and interests.

AMY - POTTER, TEACHER, MINISTER

What is your favorite thing about making art and being creative?
Finding creative solutions to things inspires me. When I am given a task or identify a problem or see a need, my mind starts whirling with all the possibilities and I become totally focused on all the ways I might create a solution. Beautiful materials inspire me, too. Papers from around the world, seeing the well-crafted work of others, listening to a new song, even beautifully crafted tools…all these things inspire me to make my own mark.

Who was your favorite art teacher and art mentor, and why?
I had a pottery teacher in college who confirmed something which I already knew deep down, but hadn't fully grasped at that time. One day during a critique of my work, as this teacher was looking at a perfectly fitting lid I had made, he turned to me and said, "You can do whatever you want." Something inside me "clicked" and I knew that though I had already sensed this truth, his saying it to me aloud made it real or allowed me to claim it and move forward with confidence.

What’s the best part about teaching art to children and adults?
I love watching people figure things out: the surprise on their faces, the joy of success, the satisfaction of a new experience, even the frustration of a challenge. It's really what life's all about…trying new things and seeing what we can learn from them. And it's great to see that, even if it's in a small way, in one class with one student.

What special skills or qualities make a great art instructor?
Patience is certainly something that makes teaching a much more enjoyable for everyone involved. It allows for freedom and experimentation without limits. I also find it's important to be creative in helping students find a particular project or an application of the skills they're learning that really gets them engaged in the work.

EKA - PAINTER, UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR, MOTHER

How did you become an artist?
Well, I was always interested in art, as far back as I can remember. I had a marker, pencil, or pen in my hand at all times. At first I took art lessons at a local school. But as soon as my mother realized exactly how serious I was about art, I started taking private lessons and then moved on to the art academy after high school. My parents also had lots of art books in our house and took me to visit art museums and galleries, which also supported my passion in art. I was always surrounded by art, and, despite the obvious hardships of an artistic path, was greatly supported by my mother to pursue what she knew I really loved.

What art mediums do you practice? What is your favorite art medium?
I practice oil, watercolor, acrylic, color pencils, pastel, ink, mixed media, collage, etching, lithography, and monotype.
I enjoy working with all these mediums but my favorites are oil paints and color pencils.

What is your favorite thing about art making and being creative?
Art is the best tool for me to communicate with myself and the world. Art is a continuous dialogue between self, world, and others. Giving birth to a piece of art brings with it a rush of energy and clarity. In that moment I feel strong and light.

What do you wish for all art students?
To explore and enjoy the process of art making. I want them to become museum and art gallery goers, to widen their horizon and allow the light of love and beauty to enter their lives. I want them to remember that knowledge is the source of freedom, and that freedom is an essential part of art.

Who was your favorite art teacher or art mentor and Why?
Art itself is the best teacher. All the art created from the Cave Era up until today is our mentor and teacher.

Of course, outside of art itself, I had several wonderful private instructors and professors at the academy. They taught me that endless practice and training gives one the freedom to express themselves.

ELISABETH - CULINARY INSTRUCTOR, MONTESSORI TEACHER

What is your favorite thing about art?
My favorite thing about the culinary arts, and for that matter art in general, is that it is all about experimenting. You start with fresh ingredients and a variety of things can come out of that, depending on how you prepare it. Some flavors go together, but when experimenting you can bring two ingredients together that you never thought would compliment each other. A great example of this can be found in an account given by Kathleen Flinn in her book The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry, in which she is served an amuse-bouche (appetizer) consisting of beet sorbet and fish flavored of smoked bacon. It might not sound so appetizing, but in the book, it is the French chef’s pride and joy, a dish he has perfected over months of balancing the opposing salty and sweet flavors. L’expérience.

What do you wish for all art students?
Keep creating and love what you do.

What is a funny experience you have with making art?
We were making tomato sauce in one of my first classes at school and I was working with a partner. The recipe called for a spice sachet using cheesecloth. After letting it simmer we were supposed to take it out but in our haste we forgot and ran it through a food mill, hopelessly scattering it all throughout our dish. Chef came over to critique it and as he raised the spoon up to his mouth, there was a rather large piece of cheesecloth hanging from the side. It was at that moment we realized our mistake, and watched in silent horror as Chef sipped some sauce and said, “needs more salt.” He didn’t say anything about the secret cheesecloth ingredient and we didn’t either. I still don’t know if he was on to us.

What has art taught you about yourself?
I have learned that I need some form of art in my life, always. I feel like I am searching for something if I am not creating. I need that creative outlet.

Where have you used your art skills in other jobs?
For the last nine years I have been a Montessori teacher and in that position I’ve had the chance to be creative with the curriculum and lessons I gave. When helping children one on one I used that intuitive side to understand how to meet their needs and to succeed. I also was able to direct student plays and teach small cooking classes.

JACK - DIGITAL ARTIST, ANIMATOR AND MUSICIAN

What is your favorite thing about art making and being creative?
Being creative provides me with the ultimate sense of freedom. Whether working for a client or on my own personal portfolio, no other activity allows me to express my thoughts, emotions, passions and knowledge so clearly. Creating artwork is immensely personal, and as such there is no greater satisfaction than viewing a finished piece which effectively represents a part of myself.

Who was your favorite art teacher and art mentor and why?
In high school, I took a black and white photography class led by Mr. Z, a hilarious, animated man from Italy. His warm personality, passion for taking photos, and technical knowledge of composition, lighting, and exposure inspired me to look at everyday things differently in search of the perfect shot. The lost art of shooting, developing, and enlarging film negatives was exciting in how my snapshots came to life in the dim light of the darkroom. Even though I now shoot with a digital camera, I continually apply the larger lessons about examining life through a creative lens to all of my artwork, be it a photo, 3D animation, graphic design or computer game.

What do you wish for your art students?
I would like my students to realize the amazing power of their imaginations and how to use that power to create digital artwork. The computer is the paintbrush of the digital era, with which they can explore and express their ideas, interests and dreams. Additionally, video game design engages a variety of different skills (such as storytelling, logic and problem solving) that are extremely useful to any discipline that requires critical thinking. I hope that my course will inspire my students to explore the possibilities of digital artwork and expressing themselves through computer design.

What has art taught you about yourself?
Learning about and creating art has helped me see the beauty and wonder in the world both around us and nestled within our own imaginations. The process of creating works of art has helped illuminate my strengths and weaknesses, both as an artist and as a person. As I continually strive to improve my skills and polish my portfolio, I have realized that, in both art and life itself, the process of educating oneself is endless and provides a limitless amount of enjoyment and personal fulfillment.

SUE - FIBER ARTIST, LANDSCAPE QUILTER, RETIRED TEACHER

What is your favorite thing about art?
Art is visual – it’s the images in my head as I design and work on a project, and the images I see of artwork created by others. It’s hands-on and everyone can try it.

What is your favorite piece of artwork?
My most recent work, Boston Public Garden in Springtime, is my current favorite.

Who was your favorite art teacher or art mentor and why?
In high school, the first art course I took was a summer school course in outdoor painting and sketching. It was a small class, and the teacher was allowed to take us piled-up in his station wagon (this was many years ago) to different locations in the city to paint or sketch. The teacher really turned this into an incredible experience. Besides being fun, I felt like I was really learning a lot with all the personalized instruction I could get from being in a small group.

What do you wish for all art students?
I wish that all students would be able to take art. Many schools seem to cut their art departments when funding is low. In addition, many students are unable to take art because they have other electives. Art is one of the few subjects that allow individual creativity while teaching skills.

Where have you used your art skills in other jobs?
I’ve sewn pillow furniture for a shop on Newbury Street, sewn & stenciled aprons for a gift shop in Lexington, fabricated straps and corsets for an orthopedic company, and integrated arts lessons into my classrooms during my years as a public school teacher.

CASEY

What is your favorite thing about art making and being creative?
I feel completely free when I make art. I lose track of time and am completely in the moment. The most exciting thing about making art is going into it without a plan. I feel like I am witnessing myself create, that deliberate thought and planning go out the window. A plan does eventually develop, and I am able to trust my creative process enough to know that I will make something that I like, most of the time.

Who was your favorite art teacher and art mentor and why?
I have had a handful of wonderful teachers throughout high school and college, and therefore it is impossible to pinpoint my favorite out of them all. The most inspiring art mentor to me is Cynthia Curtis, a potter who I have had the pleasure of working with for the past few years. Her accomplishment of opening her own studio and being a successful professional artist amazes me and inspires in me ideas for my future. Her approach to teaching her adult classes is how I developed my initial ideas for how to teach art. She firmly believes that pottery is for fun, learning, and experimenting. She is infinitely encouraging, never reprimanding, of her students. Having witnesses some of her classes I can see her students growing more confident and joyful about their work under her guidance. Cynthia has also inspired me to make my own pottery.

What do you wish for your art students?
I wish unlimited confidence, pride and joy for my art students. I wish for my students to feel that they are the experts of their own creativity, and that there is no wrong way to do art. I want their creativity and inspiration to grow and be encouraged by their family and friends. There is nothing that can replace the complete freedom of making art. I wish that every student can find as much joy in art as I do.

What has art taught you about yourself?
My art reflects my personality. I have learned through making art that I am detail oriented, a perfectionist, and have a hard time loosening up, both in art and in life. When I see my personality come through in my art, it draws awareness to those things about that I want to work on and things about my self that I love. Art has taught me what it feels like to be passionate. I have realized throughout the years that I am the happiest when I am regularly making art, and that it is very important to me to make it a priority in my life.
HALEY

What art mediums do you practice? What is your favorite art medium? Why?
Right now I work in chalk pastels on wood panels, but I also paint (oil and watercolor), print (woodcut and monotype) and make books. Charcoal is my favorite medium. I always feel the most free to experiment and play when I work in charcoal.

What is your favorite thing about art?
That there's no wrong way to make art.

When did you start practicing your art form?
The type of art that I'm currently creating began three years ago. But I've been making art my whole life. My mother is an artist, and has encouraged and taught me since a young age. My formal training began in 2003 when I began my studies in the school of fine arts at BU.

What do you wish for all art students?
To have fun. That's the most important part of creating. Art skills come with time, training and practice. The enjoyment is what keeps us going through the frustrations.

What has art taught you about yourself?
That I'm more of a perfectionist than I thought I was. When it comes to my art, I'm not happy until I've made every line, shape and color the exact way I want it to be.

BETH - ILLUSTRATOR, PUPPET MAKER

What is your favorite thing about making art and being creative?
I can be anything anywhere anytime through art and explore challenges that I set for myself through design, size color theory and more.

Where is your favorite place to create art?
My studio in my home. Also the 9th floor studio in boston as the sun was setting ( and rising) at MassArt. (Massachusetts College of Art). In the early hours at MassArt, I would work alone with all the space and supplies at my sole disposal, at sunset I would regroup with my fellow students and we would critique and offer insight and support to each other in a nurturing and friendly but competitive way. Now, my husband Mark is my best critic. He is a constant and untiring supportive and inspirational force.

Who was your favorite art teacher or art mentor and why?
Easy! Though there have been many, Ethel Heftler. I met her when I was in 7th grade and tell most of my students about her. We still talk to this day! I took every class she ever taught and had her from 7th-12th grade. Her artistic passion, as well as her passion for teaching and helping her students grow, made me realize that art was my life and I wanted to inspire students and watch them discover their skills the way she inspired me.

What do you wish for all art students?
To explore experiment and discover " Oh! I can too!"

What is a funny experience you have with making art?
Most days I am honest with myself in the studio( I talk to myself out loud)... and then I started to take art to the places I am daily, like my job. People think sometimes my art is odd like taking a puppet to work, but then they cannot help to play with it and then they are asking how I make it, can I make them one, or how can they make it, talk better through it etc. Ultimately, if people are honest and open up to what moves them, (usually it is something in their formative years) then they too will be moved by art. Sometimes you need to laugh at yourself to have a true artistic moment. I'm not sure that makes sense till you experience it.

What has art taught you about yourself?
I am so far less perfect than I wish I was... and have it so much easier with the internet for reference and tutorials than Michelangelo who learned only by thinking and first hand reference.

JESSICA

What's the best part about teaching art at your students home?
I really enjoy being able to work one-on- one with the student (s) and create personalized lessons according to their goals and skills. I especially like seeing the students creativity grow and develop into a more highly skilled artist, while learning and having fun at the same time!

Who was your favorite art teacher and art mentor, and why?
I've been fortunate to have so many influences over the years. A memorable one is Jon Imber, my mentor in graduate school. He helped me develop my skills as a painter, and I became much more knowledgeable about various artists from studying art history at his request. In addition, he helped expand my abilities within new techniques in painting.

What special skills or qualities make a great art instructor?
It is very important to know how to connect with a variety of students from diverse backgrounds and to communicate in a manner that is relevant to them. The most important thing is to inspire students to appreciate art and help them grow and become more well-rounded talented artists.

Why is art and being creative important to you?
Art empowers me to be myself, while creating meaning in my life and lets me express my ideas in a way that nothing else can. It is a passion that gives me the will to invent something I have never seen before and inspiration to never stop creating.

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