Library Gallery: Honoring Educators who Mentor Artists

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(Courtesy David Morritt)
David Morritt, sculptor instructor at Orinda Intermediate School, built a curriculum by creating a series of projects around hand-building with clay to promote expressiveness and creativity.

    Currently, the Lamorinda Arts Council is celebrating art teachers who have mentored student artists to participate in Arts Ambassadors (AA) programs. AA artwork fills the entire Art Gallery at the Orinda Library every spring.
    Because all Council art exhibits will continue as virtual until COVID-19 restrictions change, an actual or virtual art exhibit in 2021 seemed impractical. Instead, the Council has taken the opportunity to celebrate the art educators who in other years make the student artwork happen.
    This article features one art teacher from Lafayette, Moraga and Orinda. On the Council’s website, information about many educators who nurture young artists of all ages and abilities is accessible from Feb. 1 – 28.
    Educational organizations such as Lafayette Partners in Education (LPIE) and Orinda Network for Education (ONE, formerly Education Foundation of Orinda) also have an important role in AA exhibits. Volunteers from each organization work with teachers, students and parents to provide an enjoyable experience for young art exhibitors.
    Kirsten Jensen-Horne is a kindergarten art instructor in Lafayette schools through Lafayette Partners in Education. Jensen-Horne said, “At its best, art teaches everyone practicing it to be creative problem solvers in the moment, turning their frustration into something positive by thinking outside the box.”
    David Morritt teaches sculpture at Orinda Intermediate School. “The most valuable lesson I try to teach my students at OIS is how to think like artists,” said Morritt. Learn more about his work at 
www.davidmorritt.com.
    Moose Wesler has been teaching art classes in Moraga schools for 11 years, both at the elementary and middle school levels. A practicing artist, she specializes in drawing and printmaking. “What I love most about teaching is seeing what students come up with – a single assignment for 25 students brings 25 individual responses. That’s so exciting to me,” said Wesler.
    To learn more about Lamorinda’s talented educators and artists, visit the Lamorinda Arts Council’s virtual gallery page at www.lamorindaarts.org/online-galleries.

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