Monthly Mentor

Natalie C. Jones (February)
Each month, a different member is the guest writer for the NAEA Monthly Mentor Blog. Natalie C. Jones is an artist, small business owner, and the director of education at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture. She has 10 years of experience working as an art teacher and teaching artist throughout the east coast and the Midwest. Click "GO" to read her full bio.



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February 09, 2016

The Artist Lecture Series

From: Frank Juarez

This week I will be sharing with you three programs that I have implemented into my art curriculum at Sheboygan North High School. These programs have broadened my students’ perspective on contemporary art at the local, regional, and national level. The first program is called The Artist Lecture Series, which was started in 2010.


A program must fit a need inside the classroom and it starts with what you think is important for your students’ personal and artistic growth. I believe that an art classroom is more than producing art. It is about being exposed, educated, and engaged in various art practices, processes, and studio culture. The best way to get students excited about art is through the interaction with artists. Artists come from all walks of life and the experiences that these artists have are endless. I am fortunate to have met a lot of artists from my gallery days in Milwaukee (2006). 



The Artist Lecture Series is an in-school program that brings in local and regional artists into my classroom. The format is based on whatever the artist would like to share with my students and their comfort level. I also would like to point out that these visits are open to any North student, faculty, and administrator that wish to join. I have had artists present about their work using a PowerPoint to bringing their work to doing a hands-on demonstration/workshop.




I enjoy seeing my students interact with the artists through discussion, Q & A, and participating in an activity. I do try to maintain a balance between artists from the Sheboygan community and outside of Sheboygan. It is important for my students to see that artists can be successful in our own community and that the art world is not as big as what people seem to think.




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