Article Published in the NAEA Monthly Mentor by Jill LaGrange, Art Educator Summit
We pulled up in front of an old Texaco station, painted white, gas pumps removed, and a cantilevered overhang, much needed in the winter storm tonight. Without being asked we blurted out, chocolate, mint chocolate chip, banana, strawberry, and black cherry, my mom always ordered the same. Through the window and bright, blinking, illuminated business signs we watched as each scoop was perfectly formed, placed perched on an ice cream cone and gently secured to a cardboard tray. My father appeared with a huge grin next to my mother’s window, she swiftly cranked down the window of the 1969 white Pontiac station wagon. First placing her cone on the open glove box door, and then passing each cone to the back. One by one, all of our hands became clenched with napkins, our tongues catching all the drips and bliss.
You can imagine my delight when I realized my memories aligned with artist, Wayne Thiebaud (CBS Sunday Morning). His art depicts the array of food served at picnics of his childhood and his memories as a restaurant employee.
His work brings smiles to my face and smiles to the faces of my students. What better way to get students excited about art and explore how to read images and understand the meanings carried by objects, learn that throughout history experiences are recorded in a variety of visual forms, including fine art, folk art, designed objects, movies, television, and multimedia images, that document their time and heritage, and reflect upon the nature of art and design and meaning in art and culture.
My first grade students were inspired by the work of Wayne Thiebaud and created their own ice cream sundaes. Utilizing drawing skills, oil pastels and their own memories of favorite toppings. Gummy Bears, ice cream flavors, sprinkles, caramel topping, chocolate topping, maraschino cherries were discussed in detail and stories of their own trips to the local ice cream shop. We displayed their work and to create more memories and inform our parents, grandparents and friends of the value of art we celebrated with an Ice Cream Sundae with a Wayne Thiebaud Spirit Exhibit and Ice Cream Social following our first grade holiday program. I wonder (know), when my students are all grown-up too, they will have a story to tell, one filled with joy, art and ice cream. Bliss!
Greenland's New Art News!
My name is Kristin Bunker and I am the art teacher at Meadow View and Ixonia Elementary Schools.
I graduated in 2008 with a BFA in Art Education from UW-Milwaukee. This is my 9th year teaching art; I have experience teaching at all grade levels, but have a passion for working with elementary students!
My husband and I have a 2 year old named Jack (who keeps us running!!!) and a cat named Emmett. In my free-time, I paint abstract watercolor and acrylic ink paintings. I sell my work on Etsy as well as do commissioned work. I also play the piano, enjoy reading, wakeboarding/surfing, traveling and going on adventures with Jack-Jack!!
I feel that every student has the ability to succeed in the art room and to create something beautiful and meaningful. My classroom is a safe-space to let that expression and creativity run. I give my students every opportunity to explore multimedia to aid in their own self-expression. I look forward to my student’s creations this year as we learn more about the history and techniques that art has to offer!
My name is Jennifer Looser and currently teach elementary art to students at Park Lawn and Ixonia. I have lived in the Oconomowoc area for most of my life and everyone in our family is an OHS grad! My husband and I enjoy visiting our two children, Josh in New Orleans and Ayssa in Denver, whenever we get the chance.
I received my art education from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and Carroll University. My Masters Degree is in curriculum and instruction from National Louis University, Chicago.
Cooking is my latest joy and visiting new museums and galleries keeps my creativity alive. I enjoy painting and sculpting in my art studio at home and never run out of ideas, just time.
I believe that creating visual art is an instinctively human form of communication. I feel this should be cherished and children’s skills should be developed to their highest potential. Through the curriculum all art disciplines are explored using a variety of media. Building grade level skills, learning art related terminology, developing personal expression and gaining an appreciation for the arts are the core elements of my philosophy.
Jill La Grange
Jill La Grange has been an art educator for the past 28 years. La Grange is passionate about
nurturing within students a lifelong love of art and learning and encouraging them to find joy
and a personal voice through their art making. Jill LaGrange’s student art experiences, reach
beyond the traditional “four wall” classroom environment. Students are encouraged and
challenged to integrate their art forms and appreciation of art into school, community, state
and national art venues. Her students have created an all-school gallery, known as art(CADE), a
Nature and Fitness Trail, a 35’ by 40’ mosaic labyrinth, community art gallery (Gallery 113), an
interactive map mural and have won various local, state and national awards.
Moreover, she has been recognized as the Wisconsin Art Educator of the Year.
I strive to create a creative space where students feel comfortable taking risks, trying new ideas, and practicing new skills to continue improving as visual communicators. We will be thinking like inventors, designers, and artists in class... and hopefully outside of class! I encourage student to develop skills to problem solve and challenge themselves while learning techniques to create and decode art and design. From our Kindergarten student-artists to our wise, artist mentors in 4th grade - every student will be exploring, expressing and learning about historic and contemporary artists and designers, how colors inuence how you feel, how form inuences function, how to improve our realistic/observational drawing, and, of course, experience the joy of creating.
Visit Summit's on-line gallery here!