This is why I blog. Mary Jo sent me her photos and description of her art space this morning and I was immediately drawn to the sense of calm, creative spirit that seems to fill her art space. I've just spent the last 2 HOURS being incredibly motivated and inspired be the blog that she pens, SunPorch Studio. Take a look at her art space below and then head over to her blog to continue to be inspired.
Mary Jo Allegra received a BFA in Art Education with a minor in Painting from Pratt Institute and an MA in Arts and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and holds a NY State certification in K-12 Visual Arts. She has studied at the world-renowned preschools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, and experienced first-hand how language, environment and access to tools can empower children to become life-long learners. Mary Jo has taught Visual Art at Friends Academy, Ross School and The School at Columbia University where she developed an integrated curriculum and mentored teachers to be effective educators in an interdisciplinary classroom setting. She is the creator of SunPorchStudio, an online blog that is home to creative art making tutorials and articles about successful ways to nurture creativity in the classroom and at home.
Mary Jo says:
Upon entering the creative spaces that I have cared for throughout my teaching career, you are greeted by a sign that states “Welcome to the art studio; where EVERYONE is an artist”. The art studio is a welcoming, safe and inspiring work environment where students are encouraged to take risks and develop an aesthetic awareness. Personal views are respected, differences are celebrated and all students are considered working artists. It is a place where students hear “practice makes better” and come to understand that perfection is an illusion. A dozen times a day I share with my children, “there is no such thing as a mistake, just marks we wish to change” because I truly believe in the power of mindful language and that a positive tone will help center students of every age.
Read Mary Jo's blog post at SunPorchStudio about organizing with color. An idea I will be repeating in my own art space!
Heather Klausa from thebeeskneescousin.com
K-5th grade Art Room in the Chicago Suburbs, US
The room needed some updating when I inherited it. It took some paint and weekends to bring back some of its charm. I ended up painting the supply tables with chalkboard paint, which turned out great. It's fun to write out directions, label supplies, and just draw on them.
Expansive Space for the Arts
1-5th grade Art Room in the western burbs of Chicago