Sunday, March 12, 2017

Art Educator Spotlight - Christy Berry - March 13, 2017

I'd like to introduce you to Christy Berry!

Christy is a middle school art teacher at Jonesville Schools. She has been teaching art for fourteen years. Her favorite thing about teaching art is introducing an opportunity for students to use their creativity. One of Christy's highlights of her teaching career occurred last year when four of her students were in the top 100 and one of them was in the top 15 for student artwork at the middle school level. She also had 5 students have their artwork sent to China as part of the Michigan 4H China Art Exchange.

Christy's favorite quote:

Christy's Most Memorable Teaching Moment:

There have been many memorable teaching moments but one of the more recent ones was from this past month. It also happened to be some of my student's favorite art projects this trimester and their final. Every year I coordinate with the band teacher to work on a spring theme. This year it happens to be Tinga Tinga art. This came about with a chance video call with a  representative  Matinga Raztiga, from CBD (Communications By Design). As we were discussing ideas she showed the band teacher and me some art and music from Tanzania and she spoke about the Flood Garden Farm School in Arusha Tanzania, Africa. They are raising funds to move the school to be self-sufficient. We decided that we would make this year's Spring Band theme about Tinga Tinga art and connect with the students at staff at their school. My students had the chance to speak with Matinga and learn about the school and African artifacts from her home in Lansing, MI. During one of these classes were able to speak with the principal of the school in Tanzania and meet some of the students from there. They are eight hours ahead of us and it was nice when they were speaking with us. My students asked him questions and he invited everyone to visit. What was most shocking was that he was in a jacket and hat when it was 70 degrees outside. At that same time it was 50 degrees outside for our school and we had the classroom windows open because we were too warm. After speaking with Matinga my students started researching ideas for their inspired Tinga Tinga artwork. They needed to find characteristics of Tinga Tinga art and start a plan. After they had their plan they started working. Some students worked in oil pastels, others in acrylic paint, watercolor paint, pencil, color pencil, markers, and weavings. Their ideas were as varied as the materials. Afterwards, students presented their work and included information on materials used, how they connected it to a global society, and what they liked about it. Finally, their classmates could ask questions about their art. This past week students also finished up their postcards that will be sent over to the Flood Garden Farm School. Their final projects will be on display this spring at the band concert.

Here are two links to check out:
Go Fund Me Page:
YouTube video of the project:

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