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Teaching Artist Podcast

Teaching Artist Podcast

By Rebecca Potts
Teaching Artist Podcast is dedicated to discussions of teaching art, making art, and how those things overlap and feed each other. Rebecca Potts Aguirre, a visual arts teaching artist, interviews practicing artists who are also K-12 educators.
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#62: Kathryn Rodrigues: Reflections, Refractions, and Shadows
Kathryn Rodrigues talked about being a 3rd culture kid, growing up in many countries and returning to the U.S. as a teenager, but not feeling at home. I loved how she talked about the space of transition, that time in motion and trying to capture that feeling in her work. She also shone a light on the world of freelance teaching artists, balancing teaching with art-making and parenting. Kathryn talked about the structure of her teaching time before the pandemic and how she brought the city of Chicago into the classroom through field trips to art venues as well as sharing local artists, working to create equity and improve access to cultural resources. She shared the idea of curriculum development centered around local BIPOC artists, rather than including them as an exception to the white-centered curriculum. That brought up a great question we can all ask ourselves - what is at the center of your teaching? Kathryn Rodrigues is a Chicago based artist and educator. She was born in Georgia and within weeks was on the move to her family's next destination. Her family moved to 10 different locations within the next 13 years, including Brazil, Mozambique, Portugal and Germany, before finally settling in Illinois. Being raised as a “third-culture kid” left her with a deep interest in cultural identity, notions of belonging and longing, domestic life, and the natural world. She often uses both visual and symbolic systems of mapping in her work as a way to express her interior life and navigate the world around her. Her work represents an investigation of and a reflection on the collection of experiences and memories that shape her identity. Kathryn received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from the University of Illinois and a Master of Science in Art Education from the Massachusetts College of Art. She has taught courses for children and adults at the Massachusetts College of Art, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and Marwen. Exhibition highlights include the Chicago Cultural Center, Copley Society of Art, Woman Made Gallery, Midwest Center for Photography, Spilt Milk Gallery, Open House Contemporary and ARC Gallery. Blog post with images and more links: @kathryn.rodrigues . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart @playinspiregallery Check out the featured artists: Teaching The Truth Artist Talks sign up form: Apply to do an IG Takeover @teachingartistpodcast: Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here ( We also offer opportunities for artists!  (
June 13, 2021
#61: Nisa Floyd: Come Back As A Flower
Nisa Floyd talked about honoring her feelings through her internal and personal art practice and how that also allows her to honor her students’ feelings in the classroom. Her gardening and plant metaphors are so beautiful and meaningful and woven throughout our conversation. She shared her experiences feeling the need to be a savior and then checking that need and asking how she could turn that urge to something truly helpful. She talks about art as a solution, as a way to create space for dialogue, and a way to tap into some of the deeply rooted beliefs that we need to change. The way she communes with community and asks “what does support look like for you?” is a model for institutions wanting to change systemically. We talked about shame and the power dynamic within breaking down a culture of white supremacy and how so often the work being done is not breaking down these systems at a skeletal level, but instead adding a pretty dress on top of this deformed skeleton. Nisa talked about her worries that her work at the institution could end with her and how she’s working to institutionalize change and develop systems rooted in community-based planning of programs. This conversation left me thinking deeply, considering how I can come back as a flower, for myself as a human, for my daughter and family, but also for my communities - my students, fellow art educators, and artist mothers. Thank you, Nisa!! Blog post with images and links: @nisaimani on Instagram Stevie Wonder: "Come Back As A Flower" Atlanta Contemporary Art Makes . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart @playinspiregallery Check out the featured artists: Teaching The Truth Artist Talks sign up form: Apply to do an IG Takeover @teachingartistpodcast: Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here ( We also offer opportunities for artists!  (
June 6, 2021
#60: Sarah Pimenta: Conducting Creativity
Sarah talked about her participatory work with a wide variety of groups, from children in schools to community groups to corporate groups. She thinks of herself as a sort of conductor, using questions to pull out imagery and marks reflecting a story or theme. I loved hearing how she’s worked with a psychologist to publish books, but also develop programming, with the power of the arts for reflection and healing in mind. It was also interesting to hear about her own personal work with mosaic. The idea of allowing ourselves to make art that is “just” for us and not meant for sales or exhibition or teaching sometimes feels revolutionary. Blog post with images and links: . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart @playinspiregallery Check out the featured artists: Teaching The Truth Artist Talks sign up form: Apply to do an IG Takeover @teachingartistpodcast: Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here ( We also offer opportunities for artists!  (
May 30, 2021
#59: Jill Forie: Sink or Swim
Jill Forie talked about how she started and runs her custom sneaker business, Sink or Swim Kicks, alongside teaching. She shared tips and encouragement for teaching on a cart and really advocating for yourself. Jill also talked about anti-racist pedagogy and the importance of acknowledging her whiteness and both recognizing and celebrating the cultural differences present in her classroom. I loved the idea of realizing how many micro-decisions we make as artists during the creative process, but also how those begin as more macro-decisions that become intuitive through repetition. Jill is a Los Angeles based artist and teacher and proud native New Yorker. She is the sole (pun slightly intended) owner and operator of her custom footwear business, Sink or Swim Kicks, which she founded as an art ed student in 2009. Sink or Swim has opened many opportunities for Jill including magazine interviews, TV appearances, celebrity clients and more, but she always identifies as an educator first and a working artist second. She has been an art educator for 10 years and has a strong passion for providing equitable art education to her students. Jill finds that the arts can be the great equalizer in schools and aims to challenge traditional approaches to art education. Her aim is to mobilize art both literally and figuratively into all spaces. Through her work not only as an artist but as a business owner and educator, she aims to inspire her students to follow their own path and acknowledges the power of representation and celebrates the story of every student who enters her class. Blog post with images and links: . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart @playinspiregallery Join us at the Art Educators' Lounge: Check out the featured artists: Apply to do an IG Takeover @teachingartistpodcast: Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here ( We also offer opportunities for artists!  (
May 23, 2021
#58: Beth Welch: So What? You Can Draw...
Beth Welch talked about finding her voice and discovering what she wanted to say with her artwork. She shared so many valuable tips for artists about working with museums and improving your chances when submitting to open calls or sending proposals to curators. Be organized! As hard as that may be, it makes such a big difference when you make the curator’s life easier. Her perspective as a museum professional offered insight into not only working as an artist with museums, but also connecting with museums as an educator and the ways museums serve as educational institutions. Beth also spoke eloquently and beautifully about her own work and shared vulnerably about the impact of her mother’s stroke and dementia. I was in tears. You might hear some of my sniffles. I loved how she also shared how scary it is to put deeply personal work out into the world and to share the thoughts behind it. Yet, that is what creates such beautiful connections. Blog post with images and links: @bethwelchstudio . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Teaching The Truth Artist Talks sign up form: Check out the featured artists: Apply to do an IG Takeover @teachingartistpodcast: View our current exhibition: Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here ( We also offer opportunities for artists!  (
May 16, 2021
#57: Kelly Marshall: Invisible Labor
Kelly Marshall shared such helpful tips drawing on her experience as a special education teacher. She also offered advice about starting her own business and working with galleries. I loved hearing about how her work has evolved and the ideas behind her work. Her series of portraits of physician mothers during the pandemic is so moving. What an incredible project to illuminate the collective purpose and sacrifices of these doctors. Kelly Marshall followed her BA in Applied Art and Design with a career as a special education art teacher, helping students of diverse abilities in the classroom and in her children’s art studio, Color Construct Create Studios, which she owned and directed for 10 years. Marshall is in her 2nd year of the Visual Studies MFA program at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. Marshall’s exhibition/publication history includes The Jen Tough Gallery in Santa Fe, NM; The Visionary Projects, NY; Shockboxx Project Gallery, Hermosa Beach, CA; The Ashton Gallery, San Diego, CA; Artist/Mother Podcast Juried Exhibition; Roaring Artist Gallery; Circle Arts Foundation; and The Art Center, Corvallis, OR. She lives with her family, runs a studio classroom, and paints from her studio at Art on 30th in San Diego’s North Park. She is currently engaged in a collaboration with Physician Mom's Group to create a visual history of the role of women in medicine as it intersects with motherhood during the pandemic. Blog post with images and links: @ColorConstructCreate on Facebook @kelly_marshall_fine_art on Instagram @personalprotective_art on Instagram . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast and @pottsart Check out the featured artists: See our current exhibition, "Rise" at Sign up to give a mini artist talk at the next Art Educator's Lounge meeting: Apply to do an IG Takeover @teachingartistpodcast: Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here ( We also offer opportunities for artists!  (
May 2, 2021
#56: Tracy Brown: Being Seen
Tracy shared so vulnerably about body image and the importance of being seen and valued for who you are. She talked about struggling in school, but feeling power as an artist, and how her experiences shape her teaching. She shared so many wonderful resources for teaching and art-making, which I’ve also linked in the blog post, so don’t miss that! Tracy Brown was born and raised outside of Detroit, Michigan, and obtained a BFA with a major in art education from Michigan State University in 2005. She has been an art teacher for the past 14 years and she is dedicated to instilling a passion and appreciation for creation and self-expression into her students. Tracy believes in the ability of art to transform and bridge minds into understanding and unity. She moved to the desert to teach and make art during the great recession without intentions of staying but fell in love with the slower pace lifestyle, culture, and landscape of the desert. Over the last decade, Tracy has had an artist studio in downtown Tucson and has been actively showing her art in feminist exhibitions nationally and internationally. She has an impressive exhibition and publication history and has shown alongside some of the greats including the Guerrilla Girls. Blog post with images and links: @tracybrownart . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart  @playinspiregallery Check out the featured artists: Apply to do an IG Takeover @teachingartistpodcast: Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here ( We also offer opportunities for artists!  (
April 25, 2021
#55: Judy Richardson: Transformation
Judy Richardson is a sculptor living and working in the high desert mountains of Magdalena, New Mexico, recently transplanted from Brooklyn, NY. Her work is assembled and cobbled together with many dissimilar materials, and inspired by many different sources, from the political to the personal. She is a former scenic artist for the San Francisco Opera, which had an enormous effect on her work. Judy’s work was included in the Spring Break Art Fair in New York this past spring. For many years she showed her work with Ivan Karp at OK Harris Works of Art in New York. She is a 2013 recipient of the Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant and has had a number of artist’s residencies, from Roswell, NM to the Vermont Studio Center to the Dune Shack of Cape Cod to Cochabamba, Bolivia, to Mesa Verde, CO. Judy is paying a lot of attention to the wind, the grass, and the bosque these days, and making work that reflects their forces. Judy talked about her work in scenic design before getting into teaching. She shared how teaching began as a necessity - a job that would allow her to bring her daughter and fit in with being a single parent. It was so helpful to hear about her experiences in NYC and how she’s built relationships with curators, gallerists, and fellow artists over many years. We talk on this podcast about building relationships with our students, but the same idea applies to all relationships in our lives. I love seeing how Judy’s work has changed as her location changes and hearing about her process of selecting and handling materials. She talked about the way materials drive her work and the meanings they hold. Blog post with images and links: @judystudio . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Check out the featured artists: Apply to do an IG Takeover @teachingartistpodcast: Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here ( We also offer opportunities for artists!  (
April 18, 2021
#54: Pat Cruz: Teaching Teaching Artists
Pat Cruz speaks about her art form being teaching Teaching Artists and translating between artists and teachers. She has worked in arts integration for over 25 years and recently started TEACH, an organization that strives to address the urgent issues of both climate change and education reform through arts integration. Through TEACH, she offers professional development for teachers, artists, and teaching artists as well as providing a platform for teaching artists to share their own workshops. As a first generation Filipino American, Pat Cruz loves to connect people from different cultures, something she has had to do from a very young age. The arts helped her to bridge her two worlds and better express herself when she struggled with language. She wants to help all students (especially those who struggle) to love school and love learning. She is an Atelierista and Arts Integration Specialist for the International School of Panama and the founder of the Transcontinental Educator Artist Collective for Humanity (TEACH). She is the founding director of The Teaching Artists Institute in Maryland and former Chief Innovation Officer for Young Audiences in Maryland. Pat Cruz has over 25 years of experience in integrating the arts into the curriculum. She taught for 10 years for Public Schools in the US, where she helped lead an arts integration pilot program beginning in 1998. This program significantly raised student achievement in reading and math. The results were so compelling that in 2005, she joined the nonprofit, Young Audiences Arts for Learning of Maryland (YA). As YA’s Education Director/Chief Innovation Officer, she designed PD programs and partnerships with schools and districts around Maryland. She also directed the Teaching Artists Institute, an intensive training program for Teaching Artists who want to integrate their art form into the school curriculum. Now, as atelierista at the International School of Panama, Pat Cruz helps students explore the hundreds of languages of the arts, music, dance, and theatre. Her goal is to help transform teaching practice through integrating the arts and teaching artists throughout the school day so that all students (and teachers) may find their voice and love learning. Blog post with images and links: @teacharts on Linkedin @teachartist on Instagram . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Check out the featured artists: Apply to do an IG Takeover @teachingartistpodcast: Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here ( We also offer opportunities for artists!  (
April 11, 2021
#53: Justin Bursk: Making Time for Looking
Justin Bursk talked about embracing imperfections and wrestling with the work. He shared how his time has shifted over the years from pushing through an MFA program while parenting 2 small children to seeing that time open up as his children become adults. I loved hearing about the metaphors in his work and the idea of “moving mountains” in his small sculptures build precariously onto wind-up toys. He uses shapes, line, and color so intentionally along with his signature 2 circles representing eyes or binoculars and the idea of looking. It was inspiring to hear how he keeps a positive attitude during this challenging time, while teaching hybrid from a cart. Whew! Justin Bursk lives, works, and plays in his hometown with the help of his family and 600 students. He has taught in Neshaminy School District for 25 years at every level most recently at Herbert Hoover Elementary for the last 10 years. Justin has exhibited locally and nationally including Hyde Park art center in Chicago, Seton Hall University in New Jersey, The Fire House in NY, and locally at Vox Populi Philadelphia, and the Institute of Contemporary art at the University of Pennsylvania. He attended Tyler School of Art at Temple university where he received a BFA in painting and an Art Education certificate and University of the Arts for a MFA in painting. Blog post with images and links: @jjbursk on instagram Featured Artist: @fatassmuchacho on Instagram . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Check out the featured artists: Apply to do an IG Takeover @teachingartistpodcast: Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here ( We also offer opportunities for artists!  (
April 4, 2021
#52: Jeremy Blair: Education is Rhizomatic
Jeremy Blair had such helpful advice and encouragement from his perspective as an art education professor, educating future teachers. We kept coming back to the connections and rhizomatic nature of education - how these seeds we’re planting can grow and drop new seeds years down the road. Jeremy shared some exciting projects and ideas he’s exploring both in his own artwork and with his students. I loved hearing about his mobile darkroom, recreating Sol Lewitt’s instructional wall drawings in his STEAM Studio class, and plans for a room sized Rube Goldberg machine! I want to take his class! I’ll link to the artists and apps he mentioned and will share the resources he talked about. Jeremy is an Assistant Professor of Art Education at Tennessee Tech University. Jeremy received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Miami University and his doctorate from the University of North Texas. Before moving to Tennessee, he worked as a K-12 art teacher in Savannah, Georgia, a visiting professor at the University of Georgia, and a curator at the University of Colorado Art Museum. In addition to teaching, Jeremy is also a practicing artist. He participates in creative residencies and regularly exhibits cameraless and alternative process photography. He resides in Cookeville, Tennessee. Blog post with images and links: @tntecharted - TN Tech Art Education Instagram @jeremyblairart - Personal Art Instagram . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Check out the featured artists: Join @addingvoices Patreon (No affiliation, we just love what they do!) Apply to do an IG Takeover @teachingartistpodcast: Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here ( We also offer opportunities for artists!  (
March 28, 2021
#51: Mallory Muya: Rooting In Place
Mallory Muya has such a thoughtful way of being and made some beautiful connections as we talked about land and place, engaging students and families, and claiming your space as an artist. I loved hearing about Bahar Behbahani’s project investigating water at Wave Hill. It connected to so many topics and sounded incredibly rich and meaningful. I’ve also been thinking a lot about water in my own work. Mallory drew connections between decentering ourselves as educators in the classroom and thinking about personal geography, our place, and the spaces we occupy. It was so helpful to hear about rooting these big ideas in our own bodies, asking questions about the physical space you’re existing within. She brought this into practice when I asked about her curiosity. I could feel her scanning her surroundings, getting in touch with her senses, and responding in the moment. It was so resonant how she talked about finding balance in her schedule and struggling with feelings of guilt over time spent deeply and enjoyably researching an artist for curriculum development. She also talked about being an introvert and how the connections with students and families are nourishing, but also require a rest sandwich. Yes! Blog Post with images and more links: @mallorymargaret_ on Instagram . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Submit work to our Spring 2021 Open Call! Join us for an Art Educators' Lounge Studio Share on 3/27: Apply to do an IG Takeover @teachingartistpodcast: Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here ( We also offer opportunities for artists!  (
March 21, 2021
#50: Gregory Quick: Creative Problem Solving
I loved how Greg talked about art being all about solving problems and how that was what excited him about being an artist. He shared how he sets parameters in the classroom and encourages students to solve problems in their own unique ways. It was also so refreshing and helpful to hear how he focuses on the positive in his work and allows himself to step away and take breaks when things aren’t working in the studio. It felt like permission to not push so hard, which is sometimes really needed. We talked a little bit about cryptoart and I couldn’t remember at the time of our conversation, but Candido Crespo was the artist who introduced me to cryptoart. Thanks Candido! Gregory Quick was born in Indianapolis, IN and raised in Greenville, MS. He earned his degree in Art with a minor in Graphic Design at the University of Southern Mississippi. He currently works as an art teacher in Shreveport, LA, teaching Kindergarten, 5th and 7th grade students. Blog post with links and images: @x__juice__ on Instagram @_geeque_ on Twitter . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart View the "Catharsis" exhibit at Submit work to the Spring Open Call at Apply to do an Instagram Takeover (FREE): Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here ( We also offer opportunities for artists!  (
March 14, 2021
#49: Kieren Dutcher: Breaking Through Barriers
Kieren Dutcher had such great advice to share about seasons in your career and writing children’s books and shifting to teaching online. I loved how she talked about not fitting everything in and re-prioritizing as you go. It can be so easy to beat ourselves up for not accomplishing enough, so it’s helpful to hear reinforcement for giving yourself more flexibility. I also always appreciate hearing from parents who are farther along the parenthood journey than I am. The common thread I hear is to give yourself grace and recognize that there will be times when parenting leaves little room for anything else, but that will change. It was wonderful to hear about her artwork and the way she creates texture in a variety of media. Kieren also talked about the shift from teaching children to teaching adult artists at NIAD and how inspiring both are in different ways. A third generation Oakland native, Kieren earned a BFA at California College of Arts and Crafts (CCAC), and later an MA in Art Education at San Francisco State. She worked as a graphic artist, taught art to children for 20+ years, and had children of her own along the way - all of this plays a part in the artwork she creates today. She currently teaches part time at NIAD Art Center, a center for adults with disabilities in Richmond, and offers workshops online and in person. Blog post with links and images @kierendutcher on Instagram . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart View the "Catharsis" exhibit at Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here ( We also offer opportunities for artists!  (
March 7, 2021
#48: Mandi Antonucci: Following Curiosity
Mandi Antonucci creates beautifully detailed and painterly drawings using colored pencils, ball point pens, and sometimes other materials. She shared how drawing was not always easy for her and she had to put in a lot of practice. She talked about dabbling in a variety of media and the rabbit holes she leaps down when a concept strikes her. It was wonderful hearing about her teaching experience and how she’s adapted to the bizarre situation of hybrid teaching. Like some of our other recent guests, Mandi talked about collaborating with her own children and with her students. She talked about how important discussions with her students are to her own art-making. Mandi also shared how a student asked her how often she thought about the fact that she’s white and it was a huge learning moment for her as a teacher. She talked about how she stopped class and gave him space to share his experiences while continuing to ask questions as a way to facilitate dialogue. Mandi Antonucci is a visual artist residing in Geneseo, New York.  After receiving her BFA in Printmaking and BA in Art History from Nazareth College, she continued to Rochester Institute of Technology for her MST in Art Education.  Mandi has worked as a High School Art Teacher at Batavia City Schools since 2005, where she appreciates the ability to foster a love of art with her students while she continues to work on her Pop Surrealist drawings. Blog post with links and images: @mandi_antonucci on Instagram . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart View the "Catharsis" exhibit at Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here ( We also offer opportunities for artists!  (
February 28, 2021
#47: Don Masse: Shine Brite: Illuminating the World
I have been inspired by Don Masse’s blog for years and loved getting to talk with him and pick his brain! He shared some great tips and inspiration for artists and teachers, including exciting ways of using digital tools for art-making with students. We talked about balancing art and teaching and family and all the things - or struggling with that balance. I loved his method of teaching collage as a playful, experimental art form by offering glue only at the end of class. He spoke about seeking and sharing contemporary artists, local artists, and artists that act as windows and mirrors for his students to make art relevant. I loved hearing about how he has made work with his own kids through a back and forth collaborative process. It’s always inspiring for me to talk with other teaching artist parents and hear about how they balance it all and bring art into every aspect of life. Don Masse is an influential art teacher who has been active in the field for over 20 years. He teaches in San Diego at Zamorano Fine Arts Academy, a public arts magnet school. Don has presented at several Art Ed Now conferences put on by the Art of Education and has been a guest on their podcast, Art Ed Radio. He frequently writes for Arts & Activities Magazine, and maintains a blog where I first discovered him: Shine Brite Zamorano. He is well known for incorporating contemporary artists into his curricula and developing collaborative projects with his students. @shinebritezamorano on Instagram and Facebook @dmasse on Instagram @shinebriteproductions on Facebook Don's Etsy Shop: Shinebriteproducts Don's Threadless Shop: @shinebriteproductions . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart View the "Catharsis" exhibit at Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here ( We also offer opportunities for artists!  (
February 21, 2021
#46: Candido Crespo: Origin Story
I have loved connecting with Candido Crespo on social media and it was such a pleasure to chat with him! He spoke about the importance of taking the time to build relationships and get to know your students and offered tips for teachers. I also loved hearing about his work and the projects he has going on. Like me, he’s dreaming up more than he has time for, but is doing incredible work encouraging fathers through his CreativiDad Project, and encouraging artists through One Love Art Sessions, all while teaching and making art and parenting. Candido talked about being seen and also being targeted. He shared how hurtful it is when teachers assume a student knows about a certain culture or history or that a student will love an artist solely based on that student’s cultural background. He talked about engaging students in curriculum redesign by asking them which artists are most engaging and relevant. Candido Crespo is a husband, father, artist, and art educator. He has taught in the Central Islip Union Free School District in Central Islip, New York for 14 years. He received his BS in Visual Arts Education from SUNY New Paltz and his MA from Stony Brook University. He also recently earned his School Building and School District Administrative Certifications. His educational philosophy is truly rooted in relationships over content and is an advocate for art teachers practicing art. He is a firm believer that art teachers are at their best when they not only teach others but create for themselves. He is currently exploring crayons and markers with his son and sticker design, digital drawing, watercolor paintings, and pencil drawing on his own. Blog post with links and images @mrccrespo on Instagram and Twitter @crespoarts on Instagram and Twitter @creatividadproject on Instagram and @creatividadproj on Twitter @oneloveartsessions on Instagram and @oneloveartsess on Twitter Crespo Arts Store . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart View the "Catharsis" exhibit at Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here ( We also offer opportunities for artists!  (
February 14, 2021
#45: Jessica Kitzman: Putting the Pieces Together
Jessica Kitzman and I connected through the Stay Home Gallery where we are both represented for 2021!! It has been such a joy to get to know her and her art practice through the gallery and it was nice to connect about teaching in this conversation.  Jessica talked about her path to teaching through Americorps and how being in a classroom full of kids making art re-ignited her art practice. She shared how discovering TAB and shifting to a choice-based pedagogy felt right and led her to expand her own art career as well. “Opening up freedom for my students did the same for me.” Being intentional about our choices as teachers and holding ourselves accountable for who, what, and how we share with students is so important. I loved hearing about her work and the ideas she’s exploring through materials with so much embedded meaning. She uses thrifted fabrics, National Geographic magazines handed down from her grandparents, and scraps with layers of meaning. The way she has shifted her practice over time was inspiring. Jessica moved from photography to painting to playing with materials inspired by her students. She shared how her concepts and the way she was writing about her work drove her work to shift and pushed her to explore textiles. It felt powerful in vulnerability to hear how her use of scraps is a metaphor for her own life - she said “I was in pieces also” and talked about putting the pieces back together in this textile practice that is connected to her collage work. I’m excited to see how her work evolves! Jessica Kitzman lives in Minneapolis, MN and currently teaches photography at Richfield High School.  Jessica has taught art since earning an MAT at the School of Visual Arts, NYC in 2009, and has taught all grades, K-12.  Jessica is a working artist represented by Stay Home Gallery in Tennessee. She works primarily with collage and textiles, exploring personal/cultural history and the identity tensions of queer single motherhood.  She has been a contributing art educator for 2 publications from the Teachers College Press at Columbia, Studio Thinking from the Start, and Engaging Learners through Artmaking.  Both of these publications frame the classroom as the studio and the child as the artist and advocate for creative agency and power for all kids, a value central to her teaching practice.   Blog post with links and images @jessicakitzman_xylem . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart View the "Catharsis" exhibit at Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here ( We also offer opportunities for artists!  (
February 7, 2021
#44: Flavia Zuñiga-West & Sydney Snyder: Adding Voices
Adding Voices began as a free virtual conference for art educators of color and allies, founded by Flavia Zuñiga-West. Soon after the first conference, one of the presenters, Sydney Snyder, came on board as a co-organizer for future conferences and editor and contributor to the Patreon resources. Their newsletter for patrons is almost a misnomer - it’s more like a beautifully designed virtual magazine with clickable links, curated images, articles and carefully developed lesson plans that include pre-learning resources for art educators and contextual information about the artists they feature. It was such a pleasure talking with Flavia and Sydney and seeing their dynamic. I love how both Flavia and Sydney resisted becoming teachers despite it being sort of in their bones. It was wonderful to hear more about their art practices as well as their paths to teaching and creating Adding Voices. We got into questions of conceptual work versus craft and why they’re often pitted against each other. We talked about identity and the planting and harvesting of self. Flavia talked beautifully about her children and the process of parenting and teaching as akin to sculpture, gently shaping these individuals. So much goodness in this (slightly longer) episode! Blog post with links and images @addingvoices on Instagram @flaviazw_hw on Instagram @blaxicanmama @sydneyteachingart on Instagram . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart View the "Catharsis" exhibit at Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here ( We also offer opportunities for artists!  (
January 31, 2021
#43: Kate Frazer Rego: The Studio Feels Alive
Kate Frazer Rego is an artist and educator living in the South Coast in Massachusetts. She attended the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth College of Visual and Performing Art, where she earned a BFA in Sculpture. She went on to earn her MFA from Boston University’s College of Fine Art. Kate has shown her work nationally and is currently in several private collections. She participated and performed in Art in Odd Places: BODY, an international performance art festival in NYC 2018. And was included in the Cambridge Art Association’s 2019 Emerging Artist Exhibition. Kate has been a Visual Arts instructor at Alma del Mar Charter School, a public charter in New Bedford, Massachusetts for the past nine years. Her pedagogy focuses on process, building strong studio habits within her scholars, and art history through a lens of inclusion and social justice. When she’s not teaching middle school, she’s holed up in her studio with a cup of coffee. It was so wonderful hearing about how much love goes into Kate Frazer Rego’s teaching and her care for her students. The focus on ways that the pandemic is creating opportunities is so helpful when it can be easy to focus on all the hardships and tragedies. Kate talked about taking this time to think about how we work best and what our voice is, both for ourselves and as a focus for students. She also talked about slowing down and how the loosening of this tight “rigor” as many schools increase the focus on social and emotional learning is really beneficial and hopefully sticks around. I also loved hearing about her art practice and the way she moves between materials. The idea of a mind palace was so visual for me. She described her brain as a palace with so many rooms and hallways, all connected, but not linearly. I’m excited to see what’s next as she continues to create mythologies and worlds of her own. Blog Post with images and more links @katefrazerrego @ms.frazer_regos_world . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart View the "Catharsis" exhibit at Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here ( We also offer opportunities for artists!  (
January 24, 2021
#42: Katie Bradford Osborne: Leap and You'll Find Wings
Katie Bradford Osborne is an artist, mother, creative brand consultant, teacher, curator, gallerist, and, more than anything, a woman on a mission to empower other women! She offered so much wonderful advice and great tips for artists. I took notes to implement in my own art practice. It was so helpful to chat with a curator and gallerist who is so giving and cares deeply about supporting artists. I also loved hearing about her artwork and how she balances the more structured, planned out business side of her personality with the intuitive nature of her work. She talked about her sacred studio time and listening to the materials as they speak to her. Do you feel that? Before COVID-19 shut everything down, Katie was a homeschool art teacher in Houston, Texas, a job that started out with filling a niche and quickly became a passion. Although it could be argued that having to quit her art classes was what allowed Katie to follow her big dream in 2020, opening Roaring Artist Gallery, a virtual art gallery supporting and showcasing womxn-identifying artists, as a close friend said, “I just can't imagine Katie doing anything that doesn't involve some kind of sharing of knowledge.” Focus has just shifted from homeschool kids back to emerging women artists! Blog post with more links and images: @theroaringartist @roaringartistgallery . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here ( We also offer opportunities for artists!  (
January 17, 2021
#41: Mahoganëë Amigér: Home is Where the Magic Is
Mahoganëë talked about how she and her husband started Responsible Artistry with a studio in their closet where they helped teens produce music. They have grown the organization tremendously, always working as a team. I also loved how she talked about home and food. Sitting at the feet of the elders and listening and remembering. Her music is so moving. Go listen to it and buy her work! Mahoganëë, a South Carolina native & East Coast based artist blending a style of Southern soul, funk, jazz, blues & hip-hop with African & Caribbean influence (deemed Funky Organik Soul) is a renowned vocalist, recording artist, songwriter and youth educator-mentor with national credits to her name. With over 28 years of experience in her field, she evolves as a consummate personality.  She has amassed a growing fan base and continually earns respect from her peers and audience.  Supporters appreciate the sultry, earthy, authentic, vocal range spanning more than four octaves, and her commanding acapella stage presence. She has performed for audiences of 20,000+ with music heard in over 24 countries. Mahoganëë has completed many residencies and commissions, received grants and awards, and is a member of The National Association of Black Female Executives in Music & Entertainment (NABFEME). As a teaching-artist Mahoganëë conducts music workshops & camps on songwriting, song structure, stage presence, confidence, and vocal production. Blog post with images & more links @mahoganeeamiger on instagram @responsibleartistry on instagram . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here ( We also offer opportunities for artists!  (
January 11, 2021
#40: Reflecting & Recapping 2020
This 40th episode will be the last one of 2020 and I’ll be sharing some of my favorite moments from the episodes released this year. As I reflect on 2020 and plan for 2021, I oscillate between excited & hopeful and overwhelmed. It’s been a YEAR. Whew. Last December, I was just starting to submit my artwork to open calls. I was teaching 4 days per week at 2 elementary schools, getting into the swing of TAB and being on a cart at one school. I had shared the idea of a podcast as a way to force myself to make it a reality. I, like all of us, had NO IDEA how 2020 would change everything. It has been a challenging year to say the least. Those of you who have suffered through illness and loss, my heart goes out to you. All of us have upended our lives to some extent - whether teaching online, on a cart, in a mask, or losing work… Some of you, like me, have also been helping your children through online school… while somehow continuing your own work… it’s a lot. Many of us have also begun to more directly confront racism. I hope this winter break has provided a bit of downtime to de-stress. What was your life like a year ago? How has your art practice changed? What about your teaching practice? While I have no delusions that things will dramatically change when we wake up on January 1st, there are reasons to be hopeful. Vaccines are coming, as is new leadership here in the U.S. which, at the very least, is far more competent and willing to listen to experts than the absolute mess we’ve had. I find it helpful to look back and reflect on successes. What are you proud of? I’ve pulled quotes from several episodes to share bits of all 39 of these conversations. I am so grateful to these artists and honored to share part of their stories. I’ve also been looking back and wanted to share some interesting commonalities I noticed. Many of the teaching artists I spoke to followed TAB or choice-based methodologies in their classrooms. Now, this may just reflect my bias, but I found it interesting in talking with them how many talked about needing to treat students as artists with autonomy as they themselves desired in their art-making. It felt like being active in the studio often goes hand in hand with empowering children to also be active in their classroom studio. We talked about systemic racism, dismantling white supremacy, creating equitable classrooms, and the power of stories. We talked about the struggles to balance time between teaching and art-making, (and often parenting). We talked about money and selling work or not selling work. I also learned that teaching artists love tacos! But really, who doesn’t? Blog post for this episode ( . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here ( We also offer opportunities for artists!  (
December 30, 2020
#39: Hannah Zimmerman: Your Voice is Valid
I loved hearing about the ideas behind Hannah Zimmerman's beautiful work. Lush greenery, the ephemera of an artist's life, and the occasional cat stare out from her paintings. Within the repetition of stripes, careful color choices, and chairs without bodies to hold are comments on feminism and space as Hannah contemplates her place in this world. She talked about how she uses collage as a way to experiment with ideas and aesthetics, a creative playground. Her use of found materials there is a departure from the intentionally personal materials in her still lifes, which she also uses for soft sculpture. The connection between her drawing and painting practice and her work with textiles is so clear. She considers this work translations of objects. What a beautiful way to think about it! We talked about the significance that objects and places have and how they tell stories about people. Hannah also shared some helpful teaching advice and encouragement, especially for those of us not yet back to teaching in person. It was heartening to hear about the safety protocols and the benefits she's experiencing being back to in-person teaching during this pandemic. Hannah Zimmerman is an artist and educator based in Cincinnati, Ohio. She earned her MFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and a BFA and BS in Art Education from Miami University in Ohio. She is in her sixth year of teaching art at a public high school and is currently the artist-in-residence at Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati. Zimmerman’s interdisciplinary practice uses quiet interior spaces as a documentation of time and as a way to explore identity through introspection. Blog post with images: @hrzimmermanart on instagram . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here: We also offer opportunities for artists!
December 20, 2020
#38: Lauren Merceron: Art Feeds Your Soul
Lauren Merceron shared her struggles with dyslexia and how she’s learned to embrace her unique challenges and value her unique strengths. I loved how she talked about making art to feed her soul and thinking of showing and selling it as secondary. It’s easy to get bogged down in the business and admin side of art, so that was a good reminder.  Lauren Merceron is an elementary art teacher and artist based outside Atlanta, Georgia. She celebrates her language processing disorders because this unique wiring helps her visualize information stronger than imaginable. Feeling with lines, touching with color, bring all the shapes together. Her art advocates for people who suffer from dyslexia. She says: “For so long I felt stupid, I tried to overcompensate, suppress my feelings, and pretending that I was ‘normal.’ Children that suffer from language processing disorders should never feel this way. Through my work I communicate the unique messages of the dyslexic brain. My work is a form of meditation that helps to quiet the noise in my mind. The constant push and pull between right and left brain. The battle between conforming and being free.” Blog post with more links and images @laurenmerceronart on instagram . . . Submit to our Open Call! Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here. We also offer opportunities for artists!
December 13, 2020
#37: Corbrae Smith: Forged Through Fire
Corbrae Smith is a middle school art teacher by day, dope afrofuturist illustrator by night. Based in Oakland, CA, he is active in the local art scene and has created and contributed to many murals in the Bay Area. He spoke passionately about teaching and how he makes an impact with his students by continuing to push forward with his art career. We talked about critique, both in the classroom and with our own artwork, the struggles of juggling these two careers, and making your own opportunities while also defeating your ego. I loved his idea of using expert groups in the classroom to encourage students to share work with each other, give more autonomy to students, and offer opportunities for advanced students to showcase and improve their knowledge while helping struggling students. There’s just so much to this method! Corbrae also talked about how anti-racist teaching is different for Black teachers and how exhausting it has been to educate white colleagues and help us along. We NEED to step it up. Keep doing the work of confronting your biases and pushing the other white people in your life to do the same. Keep doing this work even when it’s uncomfortable - lean into your discomfort. Blog post with links and images @hellafutures on instagram . . . Submit to our Open Call! Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here. We also offer opportunities for artists!
December 6, 2020
#36: Emma Freeman: Endless Possibilities
Emma Freeman spoke about studying philosophy and art and how the two continue to mesh in her work. I loved the metaphor she shared about breaking down barriers - this image of softening walls and opening doors. I imagine a space where the walls bend and squish as we reshape a more equitable, welcoming, uplifting world. She talked about the possibilities she sees in art education and how encouraging free creation is such a healing process. Emma also shared her experience with opening a shop, putting her creative work out into the world in many different formats, and leaning on her art practice to get through difficult times. Emma Freeman is a queer mixed media artist and teaching artist. She is a highly sensitive, silly and soulful person. Emma is a tactile, experimental artist who uses many different mediums, tools and techniques in her work including textiles, fibers, collage, printmaking, drawing, stitching, and cyanotype. Art making is healing, meditative, and empowering for Emma and she loves sharing the gifts of the creative process through teaching art classes to kids and adults. She also has a podcast called Reflections From My Art Table, so go listen! Her episodes are full of poetry and gentle wisdom. Blog post with more links and images @emmafreemandesigns on Instagram . . . Featured Artist: Naomi Martinez . . . Submit to our Open Call! Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here. We also offer opportunities for artists!
November 29, 2020
#35: Priyanka Parmanand: Painting At Night
Priyanka Parmanand shifted from seeing art as a hobby to creating both a teaching studio and her own professional art practice. I loved hearing about her background in business and how it does - and does NOT - inform her work. She spoke with such encouragement about resilience. Don’t give up, even when things are hard! What an encouraging and inspiring conversation! Priyanka pushed through self-doubt and continues to do so in her art practice. I especially resonated with how she fits it all in like so many other parent/teacher/artists by painting at night. This resilience and drive also comes up in the content of her work - she spoke about flowers as a metaphor for growth and hope. Priyanka is a self-taught artist and the founder of Crimson Canvas Arts, a company that mentors budding artists. Blog post with images and links @crimsoncanvas on Instagram CrimsonCanvasArts on Facebook . . . Submit to our Open Call! Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here. We also offer opportunities for artists!
November 22, 2020
#34: Alisha Mernick: Critical Multiculturalism
I’m so impressed with Alisha Mernick's ability to so concisely and eloquently share knowledge about anti-racist pedagogy and critical multiculturalism. If you’re not following her on instagram, follow her! She talks about how she’s not only been through an incredible graduate program combining social justice education, critical race theory, and contemporary art, but has also been in the classroom putting that education to practical use for 10 years. This semester, she’s freelancing while mothering her toddler and using her teaching skills to share her knowledge with other educators. Alisha creates incredibly detailed miniature paintings inspired by ancient Persian miniatures and illuminated manuscripts. She spoke about her process and using a magnifying glass while painting and the precision required for this type of work. We also talked about sharing work with students and walking in their shoes. Alisha shared how being vulnerable in the classroom builds relationships and breaks down walls. She gave some great author recommendations and an incredible resource list that are all linked in the blog post. Alisha Mernick is a Visual Art and Social Justice Educator based in Los Angeles, CA. She holds her MA in Art Education from NYU, and has been implementing liberatory, critical arts pedagogy in the k-12 classroom for over a decade. Mernick is a queer, muslim, mixed race woman who’s commitment to equity work is both personal, and political. She says "I believe in art making as an intellectual activity - which reflects, as well as shapes, our world. I specialize in using contemporary art and inquiry based instruction to teach students about identity, social justice, anti-racism, and civic engagement. I believe strongly in cultural pluralism and liberatory pedagogies, and am committed to de-centering whiteness in visual art education." Blog post with links and images @msmernickart on Instagram . . . Submit to our Open Call! Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here. We also offer opportunities for artists!
November 15, 2020
#33: Natasha Rivett-Carnac: Words & Pictures
Natasha Rivett-Carnac is a curator and writer with a focus on arts & culture, and education. She runs a blog that supports writers and other creatives to find practical and artistic resources about motherhood. She is a home educator. Until COVID, her family split their school year between Costa Rica and the UK. Her family also participated in The Greenhouse, an outdoor education project The Daily Mail called “Britain’s most hipster school”. I loved how Natasha talked about how words and pictures split for her and for most people, but how she’s bringing them back together. She thinks of drawing as language and uses words as drawing, combining them in her visual artwork and bouncing between visual art-making and writing as creative pursuits. Her focus on personalized education as a primary reason for homeschooling really resonated. We talked about the overlap in theory of TAB (Teaching for Artistic Behavior) and this method of letting children initiate their own questions as a way of learning. She articulated so well the idea of curating the learning experience - creating the environment for learning to happen and occasionally adding new and exciting materials or ideas into it. I’m excited to see how the workshops she’s thinking about and nurturing come into being. She is published in The International Journal of the Arts in Society, Edinburgh University’s Dangerous Woman Project, Resurgence magazine, and elsewhere. Her project Doing Nothing, a collaboration with London-based photographer Grace Gelder, documents Natasha’s experience of early motherhood in Bonn, Germany. It was presented at Carlyle University’s Visualising the Home conference, and is archived at Goldsmith University’s Women’s Library. Natasha supported Chief Curator Jane Trowell at Platform London on the exhibition C Words: Climate, Capital, Culture at Arnolfini in Bristol (UK), one of the leading contemporary art centres in Europe. The exhibition also included a programme of over 80 events and workshops. She has an MA in Arts & Cultural Management from Dartington College of Arts in the UK, and a BA in Interdisciplinary Art: Violin Performance, Visual Art, and Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota. Natasha is originally from Minneapolis and currently lives in Somerset in the UK with her husband and two children. Blog post with images and links @natasharivettcarnac on Instagram . . . Featured Artist: @lauraanncolussi . . . Submit to our Open Call! Register for Call to Art 2: Un-Conference for Art Educators! Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here. We also offer opportunities for artists!
November 8, 2020
#32: Megan Driving Hawk: Creating Ceremony
It was so wonderful connecting with Megan Driving Hawk. We spoke about teaching and art-making, being white mothers of Indigenous and Latinx kids, and early motherhood. I find her work so beautiful and deeply meaningful. The way she talked about her interest in the meeting place of science and faith, how truth lives in the overlap between seemingly contradicting things felt so connected to her series of double exposures. Megan Driving Hawk is an Artist/Mother & Educator living in Phoenix, Arizona. She is in her 8th year of teaching and 3rd year of teaching Traditional Darkroom Photography which includes Beginning, Advanced, Commercial, and Advanced Placement 2D Photography. She has taught pre-kindergarten through adult classes in drawing & painting, sculpture, film studies, digital photography and art journaling. Driving Hawk also serves as the campus Indigenous Student Advisor. She received her BFA in Fine Art Photography and M.Ed in Secondary Education with a K-12 art certification from Arizona State University. She also earned her MFA in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Hartford. Driving Hawk asks questions and seeks connections to the Divine, her ancestors, her husband’s ancestors, her family, her communities, and her environments through the practices of photography, poetry, and various forms of traditional needlework. She challenges historical, cultural, familial, and personal expectations of herself as she continuously navigates her journey as a white wife and mother to Lakȟóta men. Additionally, she contemplates the delicate weavings of life, death, decay, hope and what gets left behind in the transition into motherhood and postpartum. Driving Hawk is curious about how one person's expression of life and self-discovery connect to another and how different basic human life experiences are from one another. After spending a childhood of blocking out life, she now wants to be present to feel and savor where she is in the world as she heals generational and childhood wounds. Blog post with images and links @MDrivingHawk00 on Instagram @PerrysFinestPhotos on Instagram . . . Featured Teaching Artist: Amanda Nadig . . . Submit to our Open Call! Register for Call to Art 2: Un-Conference for Art Educators! Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here. We also offer opportunities for artists!
October 25, 2020
#31: Adrienne Brown-David: Do What Works for You!
Adrienne Brown-David creates gorgeous paintings, drawings, and paper dolls! It was so helpful for me to hear that she doesn’t actually have it all together all the time despite seeming very put together and successful from the outside. She talked about how she allows herself to not be good at everything all the time - to have times where she is excelling at teaching and motherhood, but not painting; and times where she is making incredible artwork, but her home is a mess and her kids are eating cereal. Hearing this felt like permission to give myself more grace, to stop trying to do it all. Adrienne paints her daughters and places them in settings in the American South. She talked about how she captures the varied aspects of her children and validates all sides of them as Black girls who will become Black women in a society that tries to invalidate their complexities. Adrienne Brown-David is a freelance artist living in a small, rural town in northern Mississippi.  Though she is originally from St. Louis, Adrienne has lived in both Chicago (where she briefly attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago) and the Virgin Islands before settling in the south.  Adrienne is a wife and mother of four daughters and the experience of motherhood greatly influences her work. Blog post with images and links @adriennemeschelle on Instagram Book: The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here. We also offer opportunities for artists!
October 18, 2020
#30: Eileen Powers: Can You Make Hair For Me?
Eileen Powers talks about looking at an issue from all sides and how artists are problem solvers. I love how she applies this both physically to the engineering feat of creating hair out of all kinds of materials and metaphorically to the challenge of adjusting to big changes and getting through and talking about hard things like illness and death. She also talks about embracing differences and finding joy in even the most difficult situations. There is so much in her project and in this conversation that is super applicable to the many challenges facing us here in the U.S. and across the world today. I really appreciate how vulnerable she was in sharing her continued struggles with her adjusting identity. That message to accept ourselves is so powerful, but also very difficult to embody. My tiny bit of advice is to start wherever you can, just like we try to do with our students: meet them where they are. Meet yourself where you are. Maybe that means just taking a deep breath every time you catch yourself in negative internal self talk. The more strides we can make on both embracing ourselves and embracing the differences we see in others, the better we can model this for students. Eileen Powers is an artist, photographer, graphic designer, and cancer survivor. She was living on Cape Cod and working as a freelance graphic designer when she received her lymphoma diagnosis. From that moment on her life changed and would never be the same. In January 2019 she began a rigorous chemotherapy regimen. After the second treatment, her hair began to fall out and she just decided to shave the rest off. The change was frightening. It took six weeks before she could look in the mirror. But when she did, she became oddly fascinated. She saw a blank slate, a clean sheet of paper, and the potential for an art project. In the past she’d run after people who looked different and asked to take their picture. Now, she was that person. When people started to drop off casseroles and pot roasts (which she couldn’t eat), she had an idea. Why not take all of that energy and funnel it into something positive. She invited friends and family to make hair for her out of surprising materials which she then styles and photographs into a series of humorous and colorful self-portraits. At the time of this writing, Eileen has nearly one-hundred heads. She has been interviewed and asked to show her work in galleries and exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad. Eileen currently lives on Cape Cod and returned to the Lesley University MFA program in June 2020, after a 2-year cancer hiatus. Blog post with images & links @canyoumakehair on instagram Can You Make Hair for Me? video Project Fundraiser Exhibitions & Talks @CanYouMakeHairForMe on Facebook . . . Register for Call to Art 2: Un-Conference for Art Educators! Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here. We also offer opportunities for artists!
October 11, 2020
#29: Michael Millam: Finding Your Voice
I enjoyed hearing how Michael Millam took a leap to pursue adventure in China and has built these dual careers of artist and teacher alongside and intertwined with each other. He talked about finding his own voice in his artwork and helping students to find theirs. We also dug into failing, making mistakes, and developing resilience. It was such a great conversation and I especially loved hearing about his process combining photography and ceramics! Michael Millam has been an art educator for 13 years, 10 of those years in Southern California, teaching Photography, 3D Design, and Ceramics. He currently lives and works in Qingdao, China teaching in an international school. He is starting his third year teaching ceramics and photography at Pegasus International School. He loves to share his passion for the art-making process with his students. Through his classes, he hopes students gain a lifelong appreciation for the arts and develop their creativity, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills.  Michael’s artwork reflects his love for pop culture, punk rock, and the gritty textures he finds around him. He is exploring making ceramics that incorporate textures found around his school site - from pothole covers, asphalt, and dirt. He definitely lives the artist-teacher life both teaching and pursuing an art career. I especially liked Michael’s idea of the wall of rejection letters displayed in his classroom! What a way to show students that journey and start a conversation about overcoming fear. Go apply to something! Blog post with images and more links Instagram: @mikenightmare Book: Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles & Ted Orland Book: Steal Like An Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here. We also offer opportunities for artists!
October 4, 2020
#28: Victoria Fry: Bringing Contemporary Art Into the Classroom
In this episode, I connected with an incredible artist and educator who is working to promote artists and share resources for art educators. Victoria Fry is the founder of Visionary Art Collective, an amazing platform for contemporary art. She has taught in a variety of settings, including as a teaching artist traveling between many schools and as a classroom teacher working art into all subjects. It felt empowering to hear how Victoria has shifted her mindset and approach to teaching. It’s helpful to hear about others making those changes. It’s so important for us as educators to continue to re-evaluate what we think we know and to adjust our methods and curricula as we learn to do better. Whether you’re just starting teaching or you’ve been teaching for decades (or somewhere in between), you can always improve - it is never too late to shift towards more inclusive and intentionally anti-biased anti-racist methods and curricula. I loved hearing about Victoria’s intuitive and experimental process of art-making using wax and oil paint. That sense of when something is finished that’s so hard to articulate, but you just know. Do you feel that? Victoria is a NY based painter, educator and founder of Visionary Art Collective. She was born in England and lived in Singapore as a child before moving to the United States. Victoria received her BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 2012 with a concentration in painting. After graduation she was selected to be part of the Guggenheim Museum's Learning Through Art program, where she taught elementary students within the museum, as well as at PS.9 in Brooklyn, NY. In 2014, Victoria received her Masters of Arts in Teaching degree from Maine College of Art. Victoria has taught in San Francisco, Oakland, and Los Angeles. She returned to New York in 2019 to continue her career as a painter and educator. Victoria has exhibited her work in Manhattan, Brooklyn, New Jersey, and California. When she’s not in the classroom, she can be found creating beeswax & oil paintings in her studio. Blog post with links and images @visionaryartcollective on instagram @victoriajfry on instagram . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast  @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here. We also offer opportunities for artists!
September 27, 2020
#27: Matt MacFarland: The Power of a Story
Matt Macfarland shared so many amazing books and artists! We teach for the same organization, P.S. Arts, and had met a few times at PD, but it was nice to hear more about his background and his work. I love how he weaves stories together combining truth and fiction. His “teaching chronicles” are hilariously accurate to the life of an art teacher. I especially liked hearing how Matt uses books in his teaching to help discuss weighty topics. He talked about the power of stories to change minds and to empower those who tell them. Matt is a contemporary artist, cartoonist, and teacher whose ongoing graphic narrative Dark Pants follows a mysterious pair of pants through Los Angeles as they impact the lives of whomever wears them. MacFarland has also compiled his 15+ years of teaching experience into a self-published comic, The Teaching Chronicles Volume 1 and 2. His book series, My Troubles with Crumb (parts 1 and 2), documents his conflicted feelings toward his one-time artistic hero, underground cartoonist R. Crumb. Matt's current project, 4 Seasons of Gary, collects several four-panel comic strips about his father into a makeshift memoir that documents their loving but sometimes complicated relationship. His work has been written up in The Los Angeles Times, Comics Bulletin, Comics Grinder, Artillery, and X-tra Online. His artwork has been featured at such venues as 356 Mission Road, the Vincent Price Museum, Armory Center for the Arts, and Torrance Museum of Art, and his comics have been published in a variety of Comic anthologies, including Sliced Quarterly and Milk & Honey Comics. He received his MFA from Otis College of Art and Design in 2003 and currently serves as co-director of Elephant, an artist-run space in Glassell Park. Blog post with images and links @macfarlandart on Instagram MacFarlandArt on Patreon Dahlia Lithwick's article: "What Ruth Bader Ginsburg Would Want America to Do Now" . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here. We also offer opportunities for artists! . . .
September 20, 2020
#26: Melanie Anderson: Painting Happiness
Melanie Anderson has been teaching for 18 years, but had a 15 year career in advertising before going into teaching. She talks about the difficult decision to leave her first career in order to devote herself to motherhood and then her path to teaching. Melanie shared so much encouraging advice and experience. It felt so hopeful and helpful to hear her perspective as a parent. I definitely need that reminder to soak up this time with my daughter and give myself some grace with all the other things. This life is a marathon, not a sprint. There will be time when I won’t be juggling quite so much and maybe now I need to set down a few things momentarily. Do you feel that way? This conversation was recorded the week that George Floyd was murdered and I awkwardly asked Melanie about addressing racism as a white teacher. It’s something that has been a part of my teaching practice for years, but I’m still (and will always be) figuring out how to do anti-racism and anti-bias work as a teacher and now as a podcaster. I appreciated Melanie’s willingness to share her thoughts and how she sees her role as amplifying student voices. Scroll down for a short video about the student project she talked about, which looks at stereotypes. Melanie also talked about the book she has been working on, which sounds so exciting! Keep an eye out for Melanie’s book! Melanie earned her BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Memphis and her Masters of Art Education from Memphis College of Art.  She began her career as a graphic designer and served as the Director of Advertising for Catherine's Stores Corporation for fifteen years before becoming an art educator.  She is a working artist, high school art teacher, and dog advocate living in Arlington, TN, a suburb of Memphis. She was recently named the West TN Art Educator of the Year, and she serves on the board of the TN Art Education Association. Melanie is most recognized for her large scale paintings of colorful, happy dogs. Her personal artwork was featured in 2014 and 2016 in the Incite: Mixed Media Series published by North Light Books, and was featured in August 2020 in the a special edition of acrylic works from Artists Magazine.  Her work and teaching practices are featured inthe college textbook Teaching and Learning in Art Education by Deborah Sickler-Voigt.  Melanie is in the process of writing a book entitled You Can Be A Maker: How to Find the Time and Space to Create. Her work can be found in personal art collections around the country. Blog post with links, images, and videos Instagram: @melanietanderson Facebook: Melanie Trout Anderson . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here. We also offer opportunities for artists!
September 13, 2020
Mini Episode #2: Moments of Time
Blog post with images and links I’ve been thinking a lot about how to share the incredible work of more teaching artists and also share some of the amazing resources I’m seeing as well as my own tips and experiences. That’s where these mini-episodes come in. I plan to include a few segments here. First, I’ll share a bit about a featured teaching artist. Then I’ll share tips and resources. Then some challenges, and finally shout-outs. Featured Artist I’m so excited to share Maria Coit’s work! She makes beautiful dreamy landscape paintings in oil as well as prints. Maria is a middle school art teacher and founder of Curated for Kids. I’ll be sharing her work on our instagram this week as well as on our blog. Want to be a featured artist? Apply here! Maria Coit is a painter and printmaker based in the desert of Southern California. She is a mother of three feisty kids and an art educator in addition to being a practicing artist. She says “Engaging in my own creative practice is vital to my ability to teach art, as well as be an effective parent.” Maria’s work is intuitive in nature, guided by feelings and memories that are eternally linked in her mind by imagery. She documents moments infused with emotion and memory through photography, translating these through the physical & tactile processes of painting and printmaking. Through the physical act of layering colors and textures, she explores the effects of Time on the memories and emotions captured in her photographs. This work continually confronts the question, “how does Time, as an unrelenting force of change, affect our innermost thoughts and deepest memories?” The intuitive & exploratory processes she engages in highlight the change that Time affects within and outside of herself. Resource: Printmaking at Home! I will be sharing 6 Printmaking techniques for at home learning on Be Fun Be Kind later today!! If you miss the live workshop, there will be a replay available. Challenge of the week Time! Ah! Where does the time go? Are you feeling an intense lack of time? Shout Out! I was beyond excited when I saw Megan Driving Hawk post a photo of herself wearing the Teaching Artist mask and T-Shirt! I have been loving the work she shares and her advocacy. When Megan shares one of her stunning double-exposures, she also shares the indigenous land on which it was created using the Native Land App. Grab the Native Land app in the app store or google play and get a Teaching Artist shirt or mask at our shop. . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here. We also offer opportunities for artists!
September 9, 2020
#25: Reuben King: Letting Go Of Control
It was so great to reconnect with Reuben King! I worked with him 10 years ago when I managed art education programs at the Bronx River Art Center. He was an incredible teaching artist there, teaching workshops in the center and in schools. I loved hearing more of his background and how he’s worked his way into his dream of having his own teaching studio. Reuben now owns Brooklyn Clay Industries where he offers his own classes, manages other teaching artists, offers production services, and creates his own artwork. He shared some of the business side of this venture, which is so helpful to hear. I’m always grateful when artists open up about their struggles and share more details of their successes. I also loved hearing how teaching helps Reuben refine his process and how students inspire him. He spoke about working with students who needed art and how moving it was to see them process some of the challenges they were dealing with in life, express their emotions, and find moments of joy. I saw a connection to his current work where he’s using images on the clay to process and express what’s going on in the world right now - the protests, the brutality against Black people, and the pandemic. I’m excited to see this work that’s been incubating! Keep an eye on his site and instagram for updates. Reuben King has been a ceramic artist and art teacher for over 25 years. He was born and raised on the Caribbean island of Dominica, where his art education began at Marigot Arts and Crafts Institute. He studied at the Jamaica School of Art, the Caribbean’s only formal arts institution. His fine work and command of the material won him a scholarship to study design at the State Institute of Art in Naples and Florence, Italy. He has also taken several professional development courses at New York University, Lincoln Center, and several museums. Reuben has maintained a personal pottery and ceramic studio at the historic Brooklyn Navy Yard for a decade and a half and founded Brooklyn Clay Industries there. The mission of Brooklyn Clay industries is to encourage people of all ages to develop their full creative potential mostly through pottery, ceramics and sculpture. BCI strives to create a unique environment in which people with varying abilities, ages, and experience can feel free to imagine, learn, create, and welcome a variety of art concepts into their lives, all under one roof. We are raising the profile of the ceramic arts, supporting the development of ceramic artists, and bringing the joy of the arts to our most underserved communities. We provide a professional work environment that is rewarding, creative, and respectful of ideas and individuals. BCI is dedicated to providing an affordable, fully equipped and functioning artist studio and gallery that can be shared and appreciated by all. Blog post with images and links @brooklynclayindustries on instagram Brooklyn Clay Industries on Facebook (RTK Ceramics) . . . Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here. We also offer opportunities for artists!
September 6, 2020
Mini Episode #1: What's In A Name?
Blog Post These mini-episodes are a way to share more art by amazing teaching artists as well as some resources and tips, challenges, shout outs, and wisdom from my 5 year old. The goal is to make these weekly, but we'll see how that goes! FEATURED ARTIST I’ve been working on more ways to support and highlight teaching artists and one idea that I’m starting right away is a weekly featured artist opportunity. Featured artists will have their work shared on our social media and website as well as mentioned here on these mini-episodes of the podcast! Yay! You can apply here. RESOURCE / TIP OF THE WEEK: NAMES! Paula Liz shared an incredible lesson to start the year! Whether you're just starting or are a little way into your school year, this is a great way to learn your students' names and help them get to know each other. I talk about the lesson and the importance of names and pronunciation and my daughter shares her name. Paula Liz recommends the book Teach Us Your Name: Empowering Children to Teach Others to Pronounce their Names Correctly by Huda Essa. She created a fantastic bilingual Spanish/English video for this lesson and you can get the lesson on TpT. Follow her @ms.paulaliz and subscribe to her YouTube channel for more amazing lessons. Here's another great book to use for this lesson: Your Name Is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow. Here are a few articles and books on translanguaging: Translanguaging vs. Code-switching The Translanguaging Classroom: Leveraging Student Bilingualism for Learning Codemeshing in Academic Writing: Identifying Teachable Strategies of Translanguaging Translanguaging for Emergent Bilinguals: Inclusive Teaching in the Linguistically Diverse Classroom The Translanguaging Classroom: Leveraging Student Bilingualism for Learning CHALLENGE OF THE WEEK Online school... My daughter started online kindergarten last week. Whew! Beyond the technology, working through the emotions she's going through right now has been quite a challenge. If you also have a kindergartener, I would love to connect! In this episode, I talk about it a bit and she chimes in.  SHOUT OUTS Here, I read a review and give a shout out to an amazing listener. I always mention how reviews help get the podcast seen by more people. This is because of the way Apple Podcasts ranks and recommends podcasts… and that’s about all I know about it. I also just love to hear your thoughts! What do you like about this show? What should I do more of? Leave a review and let me know! Thanks! . . . Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here.
September 2, 2020
#24: Blade Wynne: Teaching As Improv
Blade shared how he teaches with a focus on process over product and bringing his ways of looking and making into his classrooms. He shifted from teaching at the university level through a summer career shift program and just dove into teaching at the elementary level, primarily 2nd grade, this year. What a wild first year! Blade is constantly inspired by the work his early elementary students create and talks about the inventiveness of this age level. He also shares some of his favorite lessons so far and how teaching is akin to improv in some ways. Blade Wynne was born in 1980, in Providence, Rhode Island. He received his BFA in Painting from Pratt Institute in 2002 and his MFA in Painting from Rhode Island School of Design in 2008. His work has recently been exhibited at Shockoe Artspace of Richmond, and The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art. His work has appeared in publications such as “Journal of the Print World" and "New American Paintings." He is a recipient of the VMFA Visual Arts Fellowship, (Professional Award) as well as the Virginia Commission for the Arts Fellowship in Painting. As an educator he taught 2D design, Painting, and Drawing for several years in the Foundation Art Department at Virginia Commonwealth University and The Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk, Virginia. He is currently entering his second year of teaching elementary art in the public school system of Chesapeake, Virginia. I love how Blade has adjusted his own art practice to fit into his life as a busy first year teacher and parent of 3 young kids. He’s growing trees in pots as an art form, as objects to draw or paint from, as sculpture, as a practice that feeds creativity. I can’t help but relate his plants to his students. He spoke about how he gives a little water and helps shape the plants and the plants continue to grow for years. It makes him think about longevity and a brighter future. Children bring me to those hopeful thoughts. Blog post with images and links @bladewynne on Instagram . . . . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here. We also offer opportunities for artists!
August 30, 2020
#23: Karina Esperanza Yánez: Representation Matters
I loved hearing Karina Esperanza Yánez share some of her story. She offers insight to the challenges facing our Black and Brown students as well as ways to begin addressing them as a teacher.  She gave me so much food for thought. As I continue the internal work of becoming anti-racist, while adjusting my curricula and seeking ways of using this platform for anti-racist work, it’s so helpful to hear from art educators who have been doing this work much longer, especially art educators of color. I deeply appreciate the time Karina has taken not only here on the podcast, but also on her instagram feed to help educate and share resources. Go follow her! Support her work! Karina Esperanza Yánez is an artist + arts educator from South-Central Los Angeles, Ca. As an experienced art educator, with a demonstrated history of working in arts education and arts management, her goal is to provide students with the necessary tools to not only become creative in their own right as young artists but positively engage with their community. Karina is committed to cultivating welcoming and inclusive art experiences for the youth of South Los Angeles. Her art ranges from photography, printmaking, sewing, drawing, and everything else in between. Fascinated by history, sociology, politics, and literature, Karina incorporates all of these interests in her work as much as possible. She is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Art Administration from Claremont Graduate University, holds a Graduate Degree in Community Arts Education from the Rhode Island School of Design, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts. Karina founded the organization Greetings from South LA, an arts-focused community resource for the youth, educators, and families of South Los Angeles. They do wonderful work in South Central LA, and have also created online resources, including ideas for parents, tutorials for students, and some amazing educator resources. Blog post with images and links @karinaesperanza on Instagram @greetingsfromscla on Instagram . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here. We also offer opportunities for artists!
August 23, 2020
#22: Yvonne Kunz: Affirmations
I had such a great conversation with Yvonne Kunz! We covered so many topics from using art to teach English as a second language to what’s working well with online teaching to finding and creating opportunities as an artist. Her work is beautifully layered and meaningful. I loved hearing how teaching kids helped her move towards a more nuanced style, away from shouting and towards a conversation around the issues of the female experience, domesticity, fertility, and the many issues women face. We also connected over being from Montana and claiming that place as one of the many places that feel like home. Yvonne Kunz is a working artist and educator working in drawing, painting, and encaustic. She is from "nowhere" or "everywhere", depending how you look at it, after a nomadic childhood as a “military brat", although now considers Montana and the Pacific Northwest home. Yvonne holds a B.A in Visual Art from the University of Washington, a M.A in TESOL from the University of Delaware, and a M.Ed from Montana State University. She has shown nationally in cities such as Seattle and Chicago and internationally in Tokyo. She is currently represented by Gallery 110 in Seattle. In companion with being an artist, Yvonne is a K-12 certificated art educator. She is married, has two sons, and lives in Olympia, WA. Thank you, Yvonne!! We kept coming back to affirmations to tell ourselves: it’s ok. I also loved what she said about being an artist and how she’s working to break down that patriarchal view of the artist as someone who sacrifices everything for their art and is solely an artist. Yvonne said that this view is unfair and unrealistic and leaves out so many people. Simply make time to make art and you are an Artist. Period. Whether you’re also a teacher or a parent or working in another field does not make you any less of an artist. Ok. Rant over. The way she has advocated for the arts in her community and pulled her own art career back after her hiatus (in which she got 2 master’s degrees) is inspiring. Let’s keep fighting for the arts in our schools, especially now where they’re so very needed yet so easily cut from budgets. Blog post with images and links @ykunzartisteducator on Instagram Gallery 110 NYFA Classifieds . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here. We also offer opportunities for artists!
August 16, 2020
#21: Anti-Racist Art Teachers: A Panel Discussion: Anti-Racist Teaching During A Pandemic
I had the pleasure of talking with 5 of the 7 amazing women who make up the Anti-Racist Art Teachers. A few months ago, Paula Liz, an art teacher based just outside of Washington DC, started compiling resources on anti-racism to aid her in sharing with fellow art teachers. This grew into a google site and now lives at! As the project grew in scope, Paula Liz also began collaborating with like-minded art teachers. The Anti-Racist Art Teachers are currently Paula Liz, Nylah Khan, Francesca Levy, Khadesia Latimer, Tamara Slade, Dr. Lori Santos, and Abby Birhanu. They represent an incredible range of backgrounds in terms of race and ethnicity, teaching styles, grade levels, experience, and location. Their bios as well as individual contact info can be found on their contact page. Nylah and Francesca weren’t able to join us for this conversation, but they were there in spirit. I am in awe and very grateful to these teachers for sharing so much actionable advice! They have created and are continuing to add to an incredible resource for art teachers and really any teachers or even parents seeking information and lesson plans around anti-racist education. Visit to check it out! You can find lesson plans, curated lists of resources and artists, and now artist interviews. If you have lessons to share, you can also submit them there. Below is a statement from the Anti-Racist Art Teachers. What does fighting racism have to do with art education? Everything. As art educators, we have the power to see COLOR, to VALUE all students, to create a safe SPACE, to FORM a more fair and just future, we recognize the TEXTURE of human life, to step beyond the LINE and learn to SHAPE new perspectives through art education. A future without racism can begin in the art classroom. We can be part of the change. Join us. We are anti-racist art teachers. Blog post with more links and images Art Teachers for Antiracist Curriculum on Facebook Anti-Racist Art Educators on Facebook . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here.
August 8, 2020
#20: Danielle Nilsen: Offering Hope
It was so nice talking with Danielle Nilsen! We’ve been instagram friends since we were matched up in the Artist/Parent/Academic peer support groups and I’ve loved following along with the evolution of her work. Danielle talked about making the shift from more representational landscape painting to abstract collage and textile pieces. She shared her teaching philosophy and how she dove into teaching for artistic behavior and has adjusted the structure of her curricula over the years. She was so encouraging and inspiring! It made me want to work on a simpler daily art practice. Danielle Nilsen is a painter, collage artist, and textile-maker interested in structure, fragmentation, and wholeness. Often giving new life to found materials, she follows an impulse to preserve, transform, and create moments of joy. Her vibrantly colored work is an offering of hope and a celebration of beauty in the overlooked. Danielle is an artist and educator living and working in Saint Louis, Missouri. She holds a BA in Fine Arts from Drury University and a M.Ed from University of Missouri-St. Louis. She teaches elementary art by day and paints in her home studio by night. She is married to a fellow teacher and is mother to Genevieve and dog-mom to Bart. Thank you Danielle! I especially loved how she gathers inspiration from her students and the materials of an elementary art classroom. And how she thinks of everything as a painting - from photos to collage to scraps of fabric sewn together. Her work is beautifully composed and even more impressive within the brief time periods available between teaching and parenting and the parameters she sets for herself of not cutting the pieces again once the blocks of color or pattern are removed from a magazine. Go look at her work! Blog Post with more links and images @daniellenilsenart on instagram Book: Make Ink: A Forager's Guide to Natural Inkmaking Book: Studio Thinking From the Start: The K-8 Art Educator's Handbook  . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here. We also offer opportunities for artists!
August 2, 2020
#19: David T Miller: In Dialogue With The Work
I was excited to talk with David T Miller, whose work is so full of color and texture. He talked about having a dialogue with his work and encouraging his students to do the same - to listen to the work and what it tells you.  I also love how David talked about his lack of confidence and not necessarily overcoming it, but realizing that all artists deal with that and just accepting it. He said he settled in to what he does and who he is. David T Miller has been active in art education since 1980 when he began teaching art at a High School in San Antonio Texas. After a period of seven years in the classroom, he became an Admissions Counselor for the Kansas City Art Institute. Art school admissions travel provided a first hand, national perspective of high school and community college art classrooms and their students. This was augmented by regular attendance at national and regional portfolio day events with insight obtained from countless student interviews and portfolio reviews. Miller’s initial goal was to return to the classroom energized and informed by the experience of two or three years of admissions travel. In 1998, eleven years and four art colleges later (Kansas City Art Institute, School of the Museum of Fine Art Boston, San Francisco Art Institute and School of Visual Arts in NYC) he returned to the high school classroom at Wissahickon High School in Ambler, Pennsylvania. He currently teaches courses titled Honors Art, Portfolio Art, AP Art and Ceramics 1. He received the Secondary Art Teacher of the Year Award from the Pennsylvania Art Education Association in 2015. Miller’s teaching methodology has been referred to in various publications. He believes in student discovery as the primary path to learning. He believes all students are artists and everything can be considered art. One of his primary goals in the classroom is to stay out of students’ way. Miller is an active art maker. His work is of a non-representational nature that strives for spontaneity and undirected playfulness. He has exhibited nationally and internationally. He has degrees from Southwest Texas State University and University of the Arts. Check the blog post for more links and images Art Site: Teaching site @davidtmiller on Instagram Padlet: The 'Isms: Watch & Create Padlet: Resources & Activities . . . Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here.
July 26, 2020
#18: Adjoa Burrowes: Telling Your Own Story
Adjoa Burrowes has had several successful careers and it was such an honor to talk with her about her art practice, teaching, and children’s books. She spoke about narrative and the importance of telling your own story and ensuring that students have opportunities to tell their own stories. I was so moved and inspired by this conversation. I hope you feel the same as you listen. Her discussion of the empowerment telling your own story provides reminded me of this talk by the acclaimed author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, "The Danger of a Single Story." Adjoa’s words at the end about standing in the footprints of great artists are so powerful. Her story and her grit provide such motivation. To hear how she kept pushing to become a children’s book illustrator and then author by continuing despite hearing “no” again and again. “Keep pushing at it until the door opens.” She said. Yes!! Force those doors to open for you! I also loved her response to creative block - just sitting in that stuckness and letting it be time for incubation of an idea. She talked about how that pause, that slowing down is part of the creative process. Soak up her wisdom! Adjoa Burrowes is a mixed media artist and educator. Her multifaceted career includes decades as a graphic designer for major corporations, and illustrating over a dozen picture books - including Grandma’s Purple Flowers which she also authored. Her journey as a teaching artist includes years teaching in the National Museum of Women in the Art’s Bridging Communities and Arts, Books, and Communities (ABC) program in 12 schools, and 11 years developing art residencies as a teaching artist with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in dozens of schools in the DC metropolitan area. Burrowes has a BFA from Howard University in printmaking and an MA in art education from the Corcoran School of Art at The George Washington University. In her current art practice she creates abstract mixed media prints,  collages, and sculpture from reclaimed cardboard that address issues of consumerism, decay, and rebirth. She lives and maintains a studio in northern Virginia and is an elementary art teacher at The Flint Hill School in Oakton, Virginia. Blog post with more links and images Adjoa Burrowes' fine art blog Adjoa Burrowes on Fine Art America @burrowesadjoa on instagram Interview on The Studio Visit Book: Grandma's Purple Flowers Book: Everybody Wears Braids Book: My Steps Book: Destiny's Gift South Side Community Art Center The Kennedy Center Africobra . . .  Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here.
July 19, 2020
#17: Jennifer Love Gironda: Everything is Everything
Jennifer Love Gironda is such an accomplished art teacher and artist. She shared really helpful tips on grant writing, teaching, and getting your art out there. I love how she approaches art and teaching and life with such a can-do attitude. She is so encouraging of other artists and teachers and committed to her art-making. She has been making a piece every day since January, 2012. Jennifer Love Gironda is a teaching artist in every sense of the phrase. She studied art at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC where she obtained BFA and MAEd degrees.  She has participated in numerous art shows and exhibits. She says “My goal is to put some whimsy and light out into the world, a little of my heART. “ Jennifer has taught art in various grade levels from K-12 for over fifteen years and is a National Board Certified Teacher.  She has written many successful grants for her schools and classrooms over the years. This year, she was recognized as making significant contributions to art and culture with the Liman Excellence in Arts Education Award from the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County. I love her commitment to both teaching and art-making and how she builds connections. Everything is everything. Thank you, Jennifer! Go check out her work and the work of the artists she mentioned! Blog Post with images and links @artbyjlg artist instagram @studiogironda teacher instagram Kianga Jinaki - textile artist (@kianga_art) Jason Fleurant, aka JaFleu (@trealtoonz and @jafleu) Anthony Burks - (@ampburks) Edel Rodriguez John Parra - illustrator of several children's books, including Hey Wall: A Story of Art & Community and Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos Adam Hillman (@witenry) . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here. We also offer opportunities for artists!
July 12, 2020
Exhibit! "See Where It Takes You" opens July 10
So, I said I wasn’t going to release an episode this week…and I’m not really. This is a mini-episode to share more about our upcoming exhibit. I am so excited to be working with Maria Coit of Curated for Kids on this project. Contemporary Art For Young Audiences is what we’re calling this collaboration between Teaching Artist Podcast and Curated for Kids. Our first exhibit is titled See Where It Takes You. This is an online group exhibition opening July 10, 2020. During this Great Pause while we are spending more time at home connected through devices, this exhibit brings contemporary artwork and inspiration to children in their homes. This is more than an exhibit - it is also a resource for parents and art teachers. This exhibit showcases for young audiences the work of nine artists, many of whom are also teachers. The show includes video interviews with artists sharing their creative process, the meanings behind their work, and their advice for aspiring artists. The title comes from The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. “Just make a mark and see where it takes you.” says Vashti’s teacher in The Dot. This book is a favorite of elementary art teachers and has even inspired International Dot Day celebrations around the world. That first dot Vashti makes leads her on a journey of creating all sorts of dots, exploring color and scale, positive and negative space. Like many contemporary artists, she discovers an interest and digs into it, pushing her work in new directions. Participating Artists: Pamella Allen Stephanie Barenz Aaron Bos-Wahl Deane V. Bowers Nikki Brugnoli Denise Gasser Heather Lowe Deborah Reilly Alice Stone Collins While our focus is on sharing artwork in an accessible way, the work will be for sale. 70% of sales will directly support the artists, while 20% will be donated to an incredible organization. We are thrilled to support Amplifier through this exhibit. They offer free programming for educators and have also developed at-home learning toolkits. “The Education Amplifier program is committed to amplifying the voices of social change movements through art and community engagement by creating meaningful ways for educators and their students to join the conversation. We achieve this by collaborating with social change movements to create and distribute teaching tools such as artwork, lesson plans, art builds, and storytelling opportunities to registered Amplifier educators for their classrooms. We are bridging the gap between education and social change movements to inspire youth around the country to lead social change.” Join us for our opening online event on Friday, July 10th in instagram live! We’re also planning to do an artist talk event series, so be sure to follow us @teachingartistpodcast and @curatedforkids. I can’t wait!! You can support this exhibition and podcast in many ways! Find out how at
July 5, 2020
#16: Mark Rode: Advocating for Arts Education
It was so much fun talking with Mark Rode! Our chat brought me down memory lane a bit as my path was similar in many ways to his. Living in New York in our 20’s, engaged in the art world there, with dreams of becoming an art professor. I loved hearing how Mark’s dreams shifted and how his art practice is also shifting to better align with other values in life - like family and stability! It’s also been helpful doing follow-up chats about racism with the artists I’ve interviewed. I realize that these questions were shockingly lacking from my initial thoughts about what to discuss, so my attempt to rectify that is going back to those that have been recorded, but not yet released. Mark talked about several Black artists that he likes to share with students, including one I didn’t know. I’ll link to them in the blog post, so go check that out. Building community and advocating for ourselves and our profession is so important. I love what Mark has done to highlight other art teachers with his interview website, ask the art teacher. Go check it out! He has some great interviews with incredible art teachers including Don Masse, Nic Hahn, Cassie Stephens, Julie Voigt and many more. I also really like his paintings and how he pushes space and depth using hard lines, opacity, value, color, and texture. I’m excited to see what’s next as his practice ebbs and flows. It was nice to talk about the reality of trying to maintain an art practice while teaching and parenting young children. And Mark is still in the thick of it with a 4 year old and 8 month old! I love his idea of shifting to drawing or watercolor on paper for a while. Mark Rode is an artist and educator based in Minneapolis.  He paints within the realm of geometric abstraction, exploring the spatial possibilities and contradictions in the picture plane. Mark also teaches visual art to students in grades 1-5 at an elementary school in the Twin Cities.  His students are a continual source of inspiration. Blog post with more links and images Ask the Art Teacher @artwithmr.rode (Teaching Instagram) @mark_rode (Personal Instagram) . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here. We also offer opportunities for artists!
June 28, 2020
#15: Chris Brandt: Letting the Process Lead
It was so great talking with Chris Brandt about her winding path to teaching, her art-making, and TAB. I’ve mentioned before how I started attempting to shift to teaching for artistic behavior (or TAB) this year, so it was so helpful to hear about how Chris structures her curricula and sets up her classroom. Chris was generous with her time in recording a second time to talk about racism very honestly and with vulnerability. I really appreciate her openness and desire to continue improving how she works towards eliminating racism in her classroom and teaching. With this addendum, the episode got quite long, but I decided to keep it all together in one long episode... listen in chunks if needed.  :)  Christina (Chris) Brandt is a teaching artist at The Hockaday School in Dallas, Texas.  She graduated with a BFA in drawing and painting from The Ohio State University, and recently completed her master’s degree in Art Education from Texas Tech University. Chris still paints but has expanded her work into clay and metals as well.  Her recent sculptures are based on Aesop’s fables, depicting the animals as they learn human moral lessons. Chris teaches Pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, primer and fourth grade art as well as eighth grade ceramics and sculpture.  The Hockaday School is a PK-12 girls’ school that values the fine art.  Chris uses the Teaching for Artistic Behavior method in her early childhood art classroom.  The girls learn new art skills and methods while enjoying the freedom to create what they desire with the mediums they choose. Living in a suburb of Dallas, Chris is married and has three grown children and three rambunctious long-haired dachshunds. Blog post with more links and images @christbrandt1212 on Instagram Teaching for Artistic Behavior (TAB) Art Workshop for Children by Barbara Rucci Engaging Learners Through Artmaking by Katherine M. Douglas and Diane B. Jaquith Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold My Painted House, My Friendly Chicken, and Me by Maya Angelou Throw Your Tooth on the Roof: Tooth Traditions from Around the World by Selby Beeler Alison Saar's Mirror Mirror; Mulatta Seeking Inner Negress II, 2015 A brief article about Alison Saar Toko Shinoda's work that "blends traditional calligraphy with Modern abstraction" Kimmy Cantrell's Masks . . . Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here.
June 22, 2020
#14: Liz Brent: Making Art Accessible
Speaking with Liz Brent was so refreshing! Her passion for art and for her students came through so strongly. I loved hearing how she balances it all and how she has adjusted during this time of social distancing. Liz also had such great messages of encouragement to share! It was so evident in talking with her that she cares deeply for all her students - whether kids she’s working with in school, or adults she’s teaching through her membership program. I’m also so impressed with her business sense - something I’m struggling with - and how she continues to find new ways of reaching people with her art and teaching practices. Liz keeps love, patience, and kindness at the heart of what she does. She’s cultivating peace through painting. Liz Brent is an art teacher, artist, and owner of BrentArt, where she and her family create custom art for people all over the country. She has taught hundreds of students how to paint - From K to Adult, beginners to advanced. She recently opened her online painting membership, the Painter's Retreat, to combine her experience as an artist and art teacher to share her love for painting with others. She earned her BFA in Art Education and Masters in Special Education and is currently a high school special education teacher and case manager. With her experience working with diverse learners, she makes sure to break down painting into a simple, step-by step process. From art camps and nursing homes, to high schools and community centers, she’s pretty much taught everywhere. She says “My goal is to make art accessible for all, one lesson at a time.” Thank you, Liz! Blog post with links and images Teachable @lizbrentart on instagram Liz Brent Art on Facebook Patreon Brent Art (the Brent family business) . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here. We also offer opportunities for artists!
June 14, 2020
#13: Aaron Bos-Wahl: Awe at the World
I weighed skipping some time between episodes as we stand together for justice, freedom from oppression, and an end to police brutality. While I won't be and haven't been promoting podcast episodes nearly as much as usual, I decided to go ahead with this scheduled episode with Aaron Bos-Wahl, a talented artist and caring educator. I thought it might be helpful in some way to hear us (2 white artists) grapple with race and representation in the classroom. We talk about a lot of other things as well of course, but back in April when we recorded, representation was on our minds. I also added a longer than usual intro speaking about racism and teaching from an anti-racist platform. It was great to reconnect with Aaron Bos-Wahl, who got his MFA at Washington University in St. Louis with me. He’s been teaching elementary art at a charter school in Philadelphia for the past 5 years while also maintaining his studio practice. I loved hearing about how his career has shifted since grad school and what he loves about teaching at the elementary level. Aaron Bos-Wahl was born in 1982 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 2007, he earned his BFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Iowa and in 2010 his MFA from Washington University in St. Louis. He currently lives in Philadelphia where he teaches elementary art at Inquiry Charter School. I love the idea Aaron brought up of looking with awe at the world, capturing the childlike vision of our students in our own art practice. It was also encouraging to hear how he continues to make art and keep a studio through the challenges of time, budgeting, and self doubt. Realizing that there’s a natural ebb and flow to creativity just as there is to most things in life is soooo helpful. I’ll try to remember his words about keeping faith in the process and having the courage to continue making next time I’m in the ebb stage. Thank you, Aaron!! Blog post with links and images @boswahl Some of Aaron's students' artwork made at the beginning of distance learning Some artists Aaron's been loving lately: Hilary Pecis Jordan Casteel Giordanne Salley Louis Fratino . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here. We also offer opportunities for artists!
June 7, 2020
#12: Cassie Stephens: Being Fully Yourself
In March, I spoke with Cassie Stephens! Yes, THE Cassie Stephens, art teacher extraordinaire. If you don’t know her, just google her name. I have to admit, I was suuuuper nervous during this interview. Cassie is such an incredible art teacher and has been so generous in how she shares her knowledge and experience with the world via youtube, her podcast, her books, and now her instagram live series. I tried to ask her about things she hadn't shared elsewhere and loved hearing about her own creative process and practice, including hesitation to just dive into new materials and techniques, learning to be ok with shifting passions, and the benefits of being a hoarder. Haha. She talked about scratching your creative itch and working your passions into your teaching to bring enthusiasm to the classroom. It was also so refreshing to hear that despite seeming to magically produce an insane amount of content and fashion while teaching full-time, she is as human as us all and just has lots of projects going all the time, many of which take months or even years to complete. Thank you so much, Cassie!! I loved hearing such encouragement from her, from art-making to teaching to just hitting record right now. The more I think about it, the more I feel that her superpower is encouragement. Every time I watch her videos, I feel it - whether intended for kids or other art teachers, she beams enthusiasm and getting things done. She talked about allowing her passions and interests to change over the course of her life - going from oil painting to fashion - and being open to continued change. Blog post with more links and images Cassie's Blog Cassie's Youtube @cassie_stephenz on Instagram Cassie Stephens Art on Facebook @cassiestephens on Twitter Cassie's podcast (or search her name in your favorite podcast app) Favorite Lessons for Home Based Art Ed Chris Uphues Lesson we talked about as a way for kids to process and share emotions. This lesson focused on happiness, but as we mentioned in the podcast, allowing for any emotion to surface and come out can be cathartic. Book: Clay Lab for Kids Book: Stitch & String Lab for Kids . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here. We also offer opportunities for artists!
May 31, 2020
#11: Chloe Alexander: Presence & Persistence
Speaking with Chloe Alexander was such a joy. She brings such positivity while keeping things very real and honest. She shared great advice for continuing to create art and push yourself forward. I also loved hearing about her work - both the physical processes with layers of drawing, print, and collage and the content with layers of meaning. I’ve probably mentioned here before that my background is in printmaking, so I just love talking with other printmakers! Chloe Alexander is a printmaker from Atlanta, Georgia. Her most recent work focuses on creating visual narratives by layering various printmaking techniques to create one-of-a-kind, mixed media drawings. Chloe obtained her BFA in Printmaking in 2010 and M.Ed in 2014, both from Georgia State University. In addition to her personal art practice, she works as a high school Drawing and Fashion Illustration & Design instructor. Chloe has exhibited work across Atlanta, the Southeast, and internationally, including Georgia State University, the Prism Art Fair during Miami Art Week, Print Austin, and Etch Ink Gallery at the Athens Printmaking Center in Athens, Greece. Most recently, Chloe was awarded a 2020-2022 residency with the Creative Project in Atlanta, Georgia. Chloe’s drive and persistence really struck me. She kept at it, adjusted and re-applied when she got rejected, sought out resources and made career shifts to support her art practice. That bit of encouragement she shared towards the end was also wonderful. Artists and art educators out there, keep making if it helps keep you sane and helps you process emotions. Take a break if that helps. We’re nearing the end of the school year here (I teach until mid-June) and I know next fall is very uncertain, but hang in there. Chloe’s work is also so beautiful and full of meaning. The idea of engaging in the same thing while being disengaged with each other - ugh. So apt. The imagery of the carrier pigeon sending a message out into the world really struck me as we all send our messages through the air right now. Go look at her work! And speaking of sending messages, I would love to hear from you! Send me an email at, tag me or DM me on Instagram @teachingartistpodcast , or send a voice message to that same email that I can share on the podcast! Blog Post with more links and images @thehaplessprintmaker The Creatives Project . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here. We also offer opportunities for artists!
May 24, 2020
#10: Rachel Petrucelli: Making Time for the Artist in You
Rachel Petrucelli had some great wisdom to share around technology and fundraising. We recorded this episode in February, before we were even aware of the pandemic that has now made technology such a vital part of teaching and learning. Rachel recently finished her masters in Instructional technology and has been Incorporating augmented reality into her lessons as well as teaching students to photograph their own work for their online portfolios. Did you know class dojo now has a portfolio option? So cool! Rachel also shares her favorite fundraiser options for art teachers and what she loves about them. Rachel Petrucelli is a teaching artist at an elementary school in Georgia and has been teaching grades PreK-5th for five years. Her passion is to teach art because it is a part of her whole being, and she wants to instill a love and appreciation for it in all people. She graduated from the University of Georgia with a BFA in Art Education and recently graduated with her M.Ed. for Instructional Technology at Kennesaw State University. Rachel likes to incorporate technology into her art lessons by having students use iPads to upload their artwork to their digital portfolios, create animations, and videos. In college her favorite mediums were ceramics and jewelry and metal work, but now she enjoys painting after work or on the weekends. Art has always been her inspiration and motivation in life, and she wants to continue to share this inspiration. She aspires to be a teacher who is exciting, inspirational, and expands opportunities for students. It was great talking with Rachel! I found it so inspiring how she’s been making time for her own art practice little by little after realizing that not making that time really impacted her. I love the idea of the subscription that gives you a little outside push to make art - knowing you paid for this and the next one is coming! My version of that was to start a little local critique/support group with another teaching artist and it has been soooo helpful. Maybe your version of carving out that creative time is doing a challenge and sharing on social media like Austin Fabinski’s 31 day challenge or Deborah Reilly’s portrait project. Whatever it looks like for you, if you feel yourself longing for more personal art-making, find a way to make a little time for art! Blog post with links and images Instagram: @ArtwithMrs.P  and @rachpetrucelli Rachel's Blog/Portfolio Facebook: Mrs. Petrucelli's Art Class Twitter: @EvansdaleArt . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here. We also offer opportunities for artists!
May 17, 2020
#9: Austin Fabinski: Pursuing A Dream
It was fun getting to know Austin Fabinski! He was so honest and open about the challenges he’s faced as an art teacher and an artist - never enough time or money, a learning disability that made school difficult, and lack of business knowledge. Austin faced those head-on and took a leap to pursue his dream of being an artist. Austin Fabinski is an artist from the Detroit Metropolitan Area in Michigan. He earned his BA from Oakland University with a K-12 Art Education certification. He has been teaching art to all ages for the past 5 years. In 2019 he quit full-time teaching to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a full-time artist. He currently teaches private and small group art lessons and spends most days in the studio painting. His work is focused on animals. They are where he finds the most joy. Austin works primarily in acrylic and watercolor, as these media allow him to paint quickly. He offers his original work along with prints and commissions. When Austin is not teaching or painting, he spends time at the gym, walking his dogs, on the lake, or just hanging with friends and family. I love how open he was about working multiple jobs just to stay afloat and the frustration of earning more as a part time server than a full-time teacher. Ugh. I also keep hearing from artists I speak to and from other podcasts I listen to, how helpful mentors and coaches can be. I’m so glad Austin’s mentor in business has helped him with the shift to full-time artist and I hope he hangs in there through this pandemic. If you’re in the market for layered animal paintings, pet portraits, or fun color theory shirts, go support Austin! Blog post with images @austinfabinskiart on Instagram @austinfabinskiart on TikTok AustinFabinksi_ART on Facebook @artists.supportartists on Instagram Artist Academy run by Andrea Ehrhardt 99% Invisible Podcast by Roman Mars . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here. We also offer opportunities for artists!
May 9, 2020
#8: Nikki Brugnoli: Daily Ritual as Art Practice
I loved talking with Nikki! We discussed how and why she made the shift from teaching at the university level to teaching high school and the value allowing her career dream to change brought to her life. She talked about how she balances teaching and family and art-making and how her art practice is connected to every part of her life. She uses daily rituals to continue making throughout the busy times. She talked about embracing failure as an opportunity to learn. Nikki has such an incredible way with words and I found myself wanting to write down so many of her phrases! I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did! I especially liked the idea of teaching on a platform of failure, helping high-achieving students learn to embrace failure and learn from it, both in artwork and in life. I also love the lists she shared of her current inspiration. Check out the blog post to see photos and links to the books she’s reading, podcasts and music she’s listening to, and art she loves. Thank you, Nikki!! Nikki Brugnoli received her BFA from Seton Hill University (2004) and her MFA from The Ohio State University (2007). She currently teaches studio art at Flint Hill School, in Oakton, VA and serves on the Artist Advisory Committee for the IA&A at Hillyer, Washington D.C. Previously, she served on the faculty at George Mason University and was the Assistant Graduate Programs Coordinator and Graduate Advisor in the School of Art. She also was the Coordinator of the Art Lab at the Lorton Workhouse, Lorton, VA and served as a Hamiltonian Mentor. Nikki has taught at The Ohio State University, the Northern Virginia Community Colleges, and The Renaissance School in Charlottesville, VA. Nikki’s work is included in many private collections across the United States, and is featured in national academic and public institutions. Nikki is married to Artist/Maker, Josh Whipkey and they have one son, Finnegan, a crazy tabby kitty boy, Augustus Ravioli, and one-year old golden retriever, Joon. They started SILO PRESS, a small artist residency in their farm house in Warrenton, VA in 2017. In her recent 2-person show with her husband, Josh Whipkey, at Riverviews Artspace, both artists aim to share their experiences of loss, transformation, re-evaluation and memory, after being displaced from their home in 2015. Check out her site for more images and poetic writing accompanying each body of work. Blog post with images and some of Nikki's writing @nikki_brugnoli Silo Press - the residency program Nikki and her husband run out of their home . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here. We also offer opportunities for artists!
May 3, 2020
#7: Christy L Culp: Dedication to a Studio Practice
I laughed so much talking with Christy Culp! It was a joy to hear her insights on teaching while building an art career. She talked about becoming a master questioner and learning to say yes to student ideas. She shared her road to gallery representation and how she seeks opportunities and creates community connections. We dig into how she balances all the things (hint: you have to say NO to some of them!). Christy Culp is a studio potter and art educator making functional pottery. Her work is created to bring beauty and pleasure to objects of daily use-- coffee and tea cups, bowls, plates, platters and more. Christy Culp teaches high school art, but started her teaching career in middle school art. She is also a lifelong student and often takes workshops to continue building skills and stretching outside her comfort zone. I especially loved what she said about saying NO to things that are not serving you and reframing that as opening up an opportunity for someone else to step into that role. That requires prioritizing as well - deciding what you really want to say YES to - is it pulling off an amazing student art show? Perfecting lessons? Contributing to the school community? Or Studio time? Working on the business side of your art career? Or family time? Christy shared her weekly schedule with me after our interview, which includes about 2 hours of studio time every day and more on weekends. That is dedication! She also includes time with her husband, dogs, and friends, and time for pilates and exercise. Christy also sent me a GORGEOUS mug, which she’ll be happy to hear I’ve been using for coffee each morning. The painted and carved details are beautiful! I love how the carving adds a bit of texture. The form of it is also perfect for warming my hands, which always seem to be freezing. Thank you, Christy!! Blog post with links and images @christylculp Christy Culp Ceramics on Facebook Christy Culp's Etsy Shop Charlie Cummings Gallery Arts Education Collaborative - the organization that has supported several of Christy's projects Craftsmen's Guild of Pittsburgh . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here. We also offer opportunities for artists!
April 26, 2020
#6: Deborah Reilly: Encouraging the Artist Within
Deborah Reilly’s home is full of her beautiful artwork, but also beautifully decorated with calming colors, textures, and light. It was so nice to talk with her there over delicious snacks and mimosas! We chatted in a meandering way about teaching and art-making, yet kept coming back to encouraging artists - both our students and ourselves. Deborah and I met through the organization we both work for, P.S. Arts. I was leading an art activity booth at a fundraiser and she arrived to help, wearing almost the same army-green hoodie as me, over our matching event tee-shirts and jeans. We got to chatting and discovered that we both grew up in Montana, which feels rare here in Los Angeles. Our work reflected that background - we had both been drawing and painting lots of pine trees and thinking about the fires across the Western U.S. I loved getting to visit her space and talk more about art and teaching! Thank you Deborah!!  Whether abstract paint on canvas, watercolor portraits of people or pets, marker work, kids books, or hand stitched forms with needle, burlap and thread, Deborah Reilly’s common thread is her love of line. In her work, line, shape, and color take form to represent that which is visual and that which is unseen. Art has a unique ability to connect us to one another. Courage and compassion are required to tackle a blank canvas in whatever the context. Deborah’s role as teacher is to guide the collective and the individual to their goal. Having a sense of humor also helps..and word play...and rhyme. Deborah takes her Montana roots with her wherever she goes and is continually drawn to the sunshine, warm tropical waters, and nature’s beauty. She travels the country with her dogs, taking the scenic route and hiking along the way. Small Art Camps hosted in her home studio in Venice provide a great introduction to a variety of art practices in a fun and exploratory environment. Teaching is a give and take. You’ve got to listen with your ears, your eyes, and your heart to guide each individual to their own expressive and creative curiosity. Deborah holds a BFA from Montana State University, Bozeman. She shows and sells work through local venues, including Mart Bar LA, and online. She has written and illustrated 4 children’s books. The latest one is The Collected Writings of A. Morkus Dog, inspired by her beloved dog, Mork. She teaches elementary art and has taught workshops and private lessons for both kids and adults. Her dogs, Mork and Cleo, make their appearance in the podcast - keep an ear out for their protective barks, squeaky toys, and adorable little footsteps. We do also swear a little bit, so this one might not be for young ears. Blog post with links and images deborahreillyart on Facebook - Art @amorkusdog - Mork - Teaching Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain Mart Bar LA June Edmonds . . . Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here.
April 19, 2020
#5: Stephanie Barenz: Re-Imagining Home
Stephanie Barenz teaches early childhood art at an international school in Shanghai. She shifted from teaching at the university level a few years ago, so we dig into how that change impacted her art making and her teaching. Stephanie also shares great advice for moving forward with your art career during this time while giving yourself grace.  I went to grad school with Stephanie, but had lost touch a bit, so it was amazing to hear about her travels, how her career has shifted, and how her artwork is evolving. As an art teacher slash artist based in China, Stephanie has some insight on our current COVID-19 situation. Her school began social distancing and online teaching back in January. She shares how that shift affected her and some tips and encouragement for art teachers still in the beginning stages of distance learning. Shanghai-based artist Stephanie Barenz, creates mixed media works inspired by the layered experience of moving between point A and point B. Her work merges photography, printmaking, painting and collage. Barenz received her MFA from Washington University in St. Louis. Before living in China, she taught at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and ran her own studio + gallery in Milwaukee, WI. She completed residencies at the Art Students League of New York, Chicago Printmakers’ Collaborative and the Pfister Hotel in Wisconsin. Selected exhibitions include the Art Canton Contemporary Art Fair in Guangzhou, Solonia Art Center in Suzhou, Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin Artist Biennial at the Museum of Wisconsin Art, John Michael Kohler Art Center, and the Walker’s Point Center for the Arts in Milwaukee. Barenz has taught art internationally and has presented on the topic of “Collaboration in Art Education” at conferences in Hong Kong and Taipei. Her process is soooo interesting to me! She puts her work through an incredible push and pull between digital and physical processes involving layering painting, prints, photos, and collage.  I know I will be getting organized to follow Stephanie’s lead in applying to the directories and art advisors she mentioned. Links to these are below. I also love her drawing prompts project with her students, using Seesaw’s built-in drawing option with the intention of printing the drawings for a collaborative mural later on. Blog post with images and Stephanie's Generous List of Directories & Art Advisors @stephaniebarenz Artwork Archive: and Art of Education (AOE) The Year of Less - A book by Cait Flanders . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here. We also offer opportunities for artists!
April 12, 2020
#4: Pamella Allen: Creating Space
I loved re-connecting with Pamella Allen! She has always been an artist. Her love for teaching came when she was managing a bush camp in Malawi and decided to volunteer at the local school. From there, she went on to teach in India after an artist residency there moved her to get involved in the community, and then in NYC where I met her. She has taught all ages and continues to teach as a teaching artist for several non-profit organizations working in schools and senior centers. We met when I helped manage art education programs for the Brooklyn Arts Council and got to visit her classrooms to see her in action. It was such a pleasure hearing more about her background and her artwork! Pamella Allen is a Jamaica born, Brooklyn based artist who uses artifacts from her own life experiences pulled out of the chaos of memory and observation. Pamella’s work is layered in process. Mixed media paintings, printmaking, sculpture, paper making, installation, photography, video, essay, and prose combine to create her own archetype, a universal language of images found and remembered that speaks to the diversity of her Jamaican/African heritage and lived experiences traveling the world over land and sea. Pamella has been traveling the world and producing art for over 25 years. She has participated in traditional studio residencies, created commissions for corporate and private collectors, curated art exhibitions, and shared her arts process in underserved communities in Africa, India, and New York. I loved what Pamella said about creating space - space for making art, for looking at art, for sharing ideas. Space for healing, for connecting with nature and with each other. That is soooo needed right now! She also mentioned teaching art with no supplies - zero! Nothing! She drew in the dirt with her students. How apt is that? as art teachers everywhere try to figure out how to teach online to students who may have no supplies. Go follow Pamella, send her a note, and buy her work if you can! Now is the time to support artists and small businesses! Blog post with images @allen.pamella Pamella's work on Saatchi . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here. We also offer opportunities for artists!
April 5, 2020
#3: Kate Hessin: Papier Mache and Motherhood While Teaching
I’ve followed Kate’s work on Instagram for a while and it was so nice to talk with her! Kate Hessin is an emerging multimedia artist, who lives and works in Port Hope, Ontario, Canada. Kate’s work moves fluidly from sculpture to works on paper. She is interested in exploring the ways in which society’s deeply held expectations for mothers manifests themselves into the lives of modern parents. Kate playfully uses a folkloric whimsy and humour to create an inviting space for unpacking the darker aspects of motherhood, such as: postpartum depression, breastfeeding struggles, shame, exhaustion and guilt. Kate is also a middle school art teacher. We talk about teaching this age level and choosing which personal artwork to share with them. She shares some paper mache tips that are super helpful. We also dig into motherhood as it relates both conceptually and practically to Kate’s work. I could talk about these things all day! We strayed quite a bit from teaching and art-making, but it’s all connected and it was so interesting hearing about how she’s been creating work around these topics for basically her entire artistic career. I hope you enjoy this conversation! I also really like the idea Kate had of artistic bias as something to be aware of as an art teacher, especially a teacher who is also deeply engaged in your own art-making. I do think a lot about kid aesthetic vs. adult aesthetic, but it’s nice to add another layer to that of my own personal aesthetic and preferences and how those impact my teaching. View images on the Blog Post for the Episode. Go check out Kate’s work and follow her! @katehessin on instagram @hessinkate on twitter Teaching For Artistic Behavior (TAB) Studio Thinking From the Start (book) TAB Facebook Group Artist / Mother Podcast and Community . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here. We also offer opportunities for artists!
March 29, 2020
#2: Morgan Auten Smith: The Hustle and Experimentation
I had such a meaningful talk with Morgan Auten Smith! I felt like we were sort of peeling back an onion and just kept finding more little commonalities and points of connection. Yet so many of her super personal struggles and pieces of advice resonate widely. I hope listeners feel that connection, too.  Morgan’s openness in sharing her motherhood experience made such an impact on me. I was floored and wanted to just soak in her strength. I, like her, don’t share a lot of pictures or info about my kid, but I related deeply to her experience of giving birth abroad and going through a tricky pregnancy in a foreign language.  I also loved how she talked about the hustle and not being afraid to just ask for what you want. But then shifting to give yourself time to experiment and explore in your work. Such valuable advice! Thank you, Morgan!!  Morgan is an abstract painter living in northeast Georgia. Her work is an exploration of the intersection of individuality and motherhood. She is also an elementary art teacher, a wife, and a mother to twin three year olds. In addition to Georgia, Morgan has also lived in Germany, an experience that greatly shaped her as an artist. If you’re in the Gainesville, Georgia area, check out her solo show at Inman Perk.   Blog Post with photos and links @morgan_auten_smith Morgan-Auten-Smith-Art on Facebook Book: Studio Thinking From the Start Book: Teach Like A Pirate Book: Classroom Management for Art, Music, and PE Teachers Teaching For Artistic Behavior . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here. We also offer opportunities for artists!
March 28, 2020
#1: Hilary L Hahn: Carving Out the Career You Want
Hilary L Hahn has worked as a teaching artist for over 15 years. She shares how she began teaching and how she has shifted her career over the years. While continuing to teach at elementary schools, Hilary has been hosting workshops and private lessons, collaborating with stores and companies, and creating a niche for herself in Los Angeles. She is now offering an online course for creatives to share what she has learned about creating and promoting workshops. We dig into time management and just how she does it all while also mothering and making time for her own creative practice. Hilary also talks about her experience with set design, mural painting, watercolor, and how her practice has evolved. She now focuses primarily on fiber arts and natural dyes. Hilary L Hahn is a California textile artist and educator. She serves a community of creatives, craftsmen, and artists, who wish to deepen their knowledge of various fine crafts emphasizing textiles through writing, workshops, and e-courses. She creates modern textile designs inspired by natural dye processes, indigo, and interior design. Blog post with images and links @hilarylhahn The band I couldn't remember: - check them out!  Hilary's restaurant recommendation: P.S. Arts . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here. We also offer opportunities for artists!
March 15, 2020
Introduction to A Podcast About Making and Teaching Art
Join teaching artist Rebecca Potts as she talks with artists who teach kids about teaching art, making art, and all things in between. This podcast was born out of a desire to highlight artists who teach at the pre-K-12 level while maintaining their own studio practice. It dives into how making and looking inform teaching and how teaching informs making. We discuss the nitty gritty details of time management, classroom management, and studio management. What does a day or a week look like for a teaching artist? How does a full-time art teacher fit in their own art-making? How did that one student change your art practice? How do you share your life as an artist with students? Each episode will feature an interview with an artist who teaches kids. Some are certified public school art teachers, others are teaching artists working in schools, some work in museum education, others run their own classes and studios. Some are well known artists with gallery representation, others are just carving out time for art.  Is there an artist who teaches kids that you’d love to hear more about? Please send them our way! Tag them on our Instagram posts @teachingartistpodcast or email us at Or if you’d like to be interviewed on the podcast, reach out! Thank you for listening! If you loved this episode, please subscribe, leave a review wherever you listen to podcasts, and follow us. Thank you! . . . Follow: @teachingartistpodcast @pottsart Support this podcast. Subscribe, leave a review, or see more ways to support here. We also offer opportunities for artists!
January 27, 2020