Hello! My name is Amy and I have been teaching visual arts classes in schools and within the community since I was a freshman in college. I started taking art classes when I was 5-years-old because my mom gave me the choice to take art or ballet at our local YWCA. Art it was and I’ve never looked back.
I have experience teaching classes, workshops, camps, and private lessons to all ages – toddlers to 80-year-olds. I mostly concentrate on drawing, painting, ceramics, and printmaking, but I don’t like to constantly stick to one medium, rather explore new things and build upon skills to show how you can take that drawing or print to the next level.
I believe art and creativity can be taught, you don’t have to start out with innate talent, but a desire to create and practice. So many of my students expect to be an expert after one drawing and are disappointed if they struggle at all during the process. Once they realize that other activities or sports that they participate in require a tremendous amount of practice before they play the first game or get up on a stage to perform, they understand that they don’t have to put that kind of pressure on themselves and are then able to enjoy every step of the learning curve.
My most recent career change was leaving a public school teaching position to become a visiting artist with our local museum’s artist-in-residence program. I enjoy team teaching, meeting new students, working with different age groups and incorporating art into other subject matter. See this video of one of the residencies I had the privilege of participating in: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Ujp188Tp6btCzihswg01Kougg3vpfdOU/view
Another well respected teaching artist, Rita Haldeman, and myself have began to develop Creative Retreats for women looking for a no pressure zone to explore their artistic and creative side. Finished works of art are created without needing prior experience in the art media being used. What’s more is this entire experience is meant to be relaxing, recharging, allowing you to be creative all while taking in the natural beauty of the inspirational locations chosen especially for their charm.
In addition to teaching, I love taking art classes myself. Sometimes to improve on a specific skill I already teach and other times to learn something new and have fun doing something I don’t have the equipment for on my own. I live in the beautiful Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania surrounded by woods, a pond and a stream. There is never a shortage of inspiration to take from this natural setting. My family and I like to spend time outdoors, tend to our flock of ducks, and read in hammocks swinging from the trees.