Starting the year with sketchbooks seems like a good way to start!




Germantown Schools, here I come!


I am glad to announce that I accepted a job as an Itinerant Art Teacher for the Germantown School District near Memphis, TN! I will be working at Farmington Elementary and Dogwood Elementary Schools. My new email will be

I loved working at Liberty Point, and I really miss my coworkers and the students there.

What do my students remember about our time together? As for me, I remember hugs. I remember Christopher asking “what color is a shark’s eye?” and Chaz asking “when is Simon coming?”.  I remember when Brandon smiled because he had made his first reduction print, which was just like the smile on Marquisia’s face when she blew into her trumpet for the first time and sounded like Miles Davis. I remember “fainting” on the floor of the artroom when Joshua carefully drew the eyes on his self-portrait, listening to music with Jacob and Joseph while they helped in the art room, and discussing with them how our anger is like little flame (we all have one). Our flame can light up a room, but can also destroy a house if out of control.

I remember girls and boys who are not necessarily the loudest students, but they are leaders. I remember “Be nice, be kind, be a friend” and talking about the lion and the mouse. There are years of great moments I remember, and I hope you do too.

Next year there will be more great moments to share on this blog.

Peace and love

Amazing Atlanta Art

I saw this graffitti in Atlanta and thought it might be interesting to my students, especially any of my fifth graders who saw the art of Radcliffe Bailey at the High Museum two years ago. Do you recognize the man … Continue reading

A Visit to the High Museum- 4th Grade April 30, 2014

Our 4th grade students were treated to a trip to the Art Museum- all expenses paid! Docents in the museum guided each group from artwork to artwork, touring the Black History show. They looked specifically at artworks by African American artists and/or pieces about Black History.Image

After viewing the above marble sculpture by female African American sculptor Edmonia Lewis, Dr. Billingslea’s students noticed a bust of Abraham Lincoln (It was not actually part of the show) and named his famous Emancipation Proclamation. In Columbus from 1865-67 by Edmonia Lewis, a Native person kneels at the feet of Columbus. To act out the metaphor of how natives were treated by Columbus, our docent had two students get into this pose to see how it feels to be “above” and “below”. Edmonia Lewis herself was part African- American and part Native-American.columbus

They also viewed the 1955 sculpture Target by female African American sculptor Elizabeth Catlett. target


Mr. Pettway’s 4th grade class agreed that overall this was the students’ favorite arwork. Students saw themselves broken apart as if seeing themselves in a kaleidascope.

In a recent press release from the High Museum, they said the artist was trying something new. “…Now fragmented by a repeating triangular pattern, the surface of the dish distorts its viewer in a multiplicity of fragmented images, reflecting Kapoor’s interest in fractals.”

The students below saw a metallic artwork that looked torn and ragged with a picture of a buffalo discernible through punched out holes. Buffalo were the main food and shelter source for many native people and they are an endangered species that used to own America’s praries; their absence is significant. Deborah Butterworth’s giant metal horse is behind the kids in the picture.


They were very distracted. One student learned that it is not allowed to touch the artwork in the museum.


The group below is looking up, viewing the beautiful architecture that is the building of the High Museum. Renzo Piano designed it using basic shapes like triangles, rectangles, and large basic shaped open areas of light. Everyone was impressed, but personally I wish he had installed an escalator, because the curling ramp he designed makes me and anyone else who is afraid of heights a little bit dizzy.

The class below got a compliment from their docent. She said they were really good especially for such a big class. Ms. Daniels group was a large group of over 20 students.Image

Once again thank you to our teachers and parents who went along and made the trip so much fun! Thank you to the wonderful students who experienced art together. I hope something of this experience stays with you!

Hamaya Hiroshi Tadashi

(original Japanese link:
One of our students has a family member, his grandfather, who is an amazing artist. He lives near Tokyo, Japan. Seeing his prints is an honor. First graders are currently making fish kites like the one in the print above.

Mr. Tadashi has a distinctive style and I especially enjoy how he depicts children in nature. Japan looks like a very lovely place!

All grade levels K-5 do different types of printmaking in art class including stamping, creating stamps, styrofoam printing, and reduction prints. As a middle school and high school student in Fulton County Schools, all students practice even more advanced printmaking techniques like speedycut (making stamps and prints carved into rubber/plastic sheets), woodcuts, screenprinting, lithography, and etching. Printmakers have to be very neat and careful so their artworks looke nice and are perfectly lined up or “registered” when they are finished.
If you are interested in an artistic career, printmakers can also earn a hefty bit of money doing their craft. One of the most lucrative types of printing is screenprinting, which often uses computer graphics and special chemicals. Screenprinters make t-shirt designs as well as printing on things like keyboards, car interiors, signs, and many other things.

Stitching with 5th Grade

                                        There’s alot to be said for Ms. Armstrong’s 5th grade class. They prove that a positive attitude plus skills equals awesome artwork! Here are two students from this class who really have skills!

Collage Project

Kayla is working hard on her collaged portrait in Mrs. Cook-King’s 5th grade class. The students studied artists Romare Bearden, Hannah, Hoch, and Frida Kahlo too.