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CONNECTIONS — TEACHERS AS ARTISTS

Maryhill Museum of Art, working in partnership with the Washington Art Education Association, showcases teacher talent by inviting educators to participate in Teachers as Artists, an annual juried exhibition in the museum’s MJ Murdock Charitable Trust Education Center.

In 2021 we invited regional arts educators to submit work around the theme Connections. The theme brings a focus to people, places, or things that have connected our lives during the past year, inviting arts educators to explore their vision of “connections” through multiple media. Presented in partnership with Washington Art Education Association and Tacoma Museum of Art. You can view Connections — Teachers as Artists online here, and also see the show in person at Maryhill Museum of Art from March 15 – April 25, 2021.

About Our Juror:
Our juror for 2021 is Dylan McManus. McManus is currently the Dean of Library and Learning Commons at the Columbia Gorge Community College and is a nationally recognized printmaker. He is also co-founder of Little Bear Hill where he is artistic director of the post-digital new media artists residency, printing press, and organic farm located in the Columbia Gorge. In 2019, McManus was the Artistic Director for Maryhill Museum of Art’s first Exquisite Gorge Project resulting in a 66-foot-long woodblock print, printed via a 13-ton steamroller.

Juror’s Statement:
It is often difficult for me to be a juror for exhibitions because as an artist myself I understand the passion, drive, and connection we all hold for our life’s work. All of the pieces in this exhibition show a dedication to the creative process that deserves both recognition and praise. The students of Washington state are lucky to have such talented mentors, and the art communities of both Washington and Oregon are equally lucky to have Maryhill in our backyard.  The following winners were picked based on the content of their imagery, the artist’s mastery of their process/medium and their artist’s statement.

It is with great honor that I am happy to announce that Laura Wise’s “Breaking the Storm” was selected as this year’s Best in Show. This piece rang true as a worthy and universal portrait of our COVID world. The absence of the figure presents a haunting reminder of our collective loss, while the scenes contained within are both beautiful and mournful. While suggestions of the storm linger, images of hope dance throughout the composition reminding us that good things, like the coming seasons, are on the horizon.

In closing I would like to extend my thanks to Maryhill for this opportunity to be a juror for this exhibition, and to all of the artist participants for your submissions.

AWARDS:
Best in Show: Breaking the Storm by Laura Wise
First Place:
Memories Reimagined by Cyndi Noyd
Second Place: Heroes I (Claudia & Agnes) by Linda St Clair
Third Place and also Curator of Education’s Choice: 2021 Covid Candle Goddess by Lisa Crubaugh
Honorable Mention: Three Musicians by Regan Boysen
Honorable Mention: BLM Shield by Ed Crossan

Christina Bertucchi

Rhody
Acrylic on canvas
9” x 12” 

Charles Wright Academy
Susan Rice, Principal
Tacoma, WA 

Artist Statement: Memories are one of the strongest elements keeping one another connected. A memory allows us to relive important and meaningful moments while also giving us hope for when we can be reunited with friends and family in the future. “Rhody” captures a memory of the afternoon light passing through a Rhododendron Garden on Bainbridge Island while I was with a dear friend. 

Regan Boysen - Honorable Mention

My Three Musicians 
Acrylic on canvas
30” x 40” 

Twin Falls Middle School
Jeff D’Ambrosio, Principal
North Bend, WA 

Juror’s Award: Honorable Mention

Artist Statement: This painting is of my husband and two sons. During this covid winter, we’ve relied on the arts to get us through this hard time. These guys are tight in real life and tight in the painting. They enjoy playing together, and I enjoy the beautiful music they create! 

Jenny Davidson Brammer

Road Trip 2020
Photograph

5” x 20” 

Enatai Elementary
Amy MacDonald, Principal
Seattle, WA  

Artist Statement: My husband and I had been wanting to take our teen and pre-teen boys on a road trip out West for a long time. When the pandemic hit, and we were in lock down – the yearning to witness the natural beauty of this country grew stronger and the concept of a road trip became to signify that human life and mother nature is precious and fleeting. 

The Northwest has had disastrous fires over the past years and the traditional camping trip or swim at the lake had been replaced by flames, smoke, and dangerous air quality. Realizing the fragility of nature and humanity we piled our boys in a camper and headed out on the road to connect with our family, ourselves, and to the earth. 

We covered 2,500 miles in 15 days and visited 3 national parks, and many National forests. Being with my children for hours in an RV – I could almost witness each leg growing inch by inch and each hair budding one by one. 

Becky Broyles

The Path
Giclee print
20.5” x 24.5” 

Matt Kesler, Principal
River HomeLink School
Battle Ground, WA 

Artist Statement: Connections.  This last year has been fragmented.  The blinding light of life streams in through the cracks, providing contrast to the shadows as they began to set hold in the intricate patterns of life. Not knowing which way to go, only forward. Feeling uneasy and off-balanced the whole year.  

I like to think of the strong pillars of the torii gates as my thoughts and beats undulating around my heart. The light and the shadows are the connections keeping it all together and making sense of it all. The light guides me forward to walk on. Unsure of the path. Unsure of the direction. Unsure of what is around the bend. Although this path is difficult to follow right now, I feel comforted by the shelter the red gates provide. Many come to this shrine to photograph the beauty of the repeating tori gates… I found the beauty in the path.  

I learned through this digital photo taken at Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto, Japan (2018) that there is beauty in the darkness (and there are no tourists at night). Beginning in the Edo period, patrons donated torii gates to have a wish come true or in gratitude for a wish that came true. There are many wishes that have blessed my past year. Strong, loving, meaningful connections with others, and self, is a wish that came true for me. Bless your path and may the light guide you through the darkness. 

Linda Sue Martin Chitturi

Chinook Sunset
Mixed media, paper on board, 2021
14” x 14” 

James Peterson, Principal
Tillicum Middle School
Bellevue, WA 

Artist Statement: Deconstructed rings and circles reflecting the sunset are blown about and land together, making fractal patterns reminiscent of pebbles on a beach. 

Linda Sue Martin Chitturi

Empty Nest Train
Photo collage
12” x 18” print 

James Peterson, Principal
Tillicum Middle School
Bellevue, WA 

Artist Statement: Various moving images and colors blending together from the three-day passenger train journey from Seattle to Chicago. We made this trip as a family when moving our son to begin his freshman year at university. 

Edward J. Crossan - Honorable Mention

BLM PPE-Black Lives Matter Shield
Plywood, glue, paint, iron, brass
30” diameter 

Adrienne Chacon, Principal
Thomas Jefferson High School
Auburn, WA 

Juror’s Award: Honorable Mention

Artist Statement: During the protests in Seattle last summer I watched the Police Department form their Shield Wall, in duplicate uniforms and plexiglass shields, looking much like a modern day Saxon Army. I wanted to create art to make a connection to the concerns of the protesters. I began to think “what would the shields of the protesters look like?” I purposely chose Viking style shields because the variety and individuality depicted by Norse shields lend themselves to the the wide range of individual groups being oppressed, and the issues being voiced by the protesters. I also wanted to reclaim Norse symbolism that has been hijacked by hate groups. My series of completed works thus far include: Black Lives Matter (BLM PPE, depicted here) First People, LGBTQ+, Gender Equality, and Angry Snowflake. 

Edward J. Crossan

LGBTQ+PPE
Plywood, glue, paint, iron, metal banding tape, jeweled plastic hearts
30” diameter 

Adrienne Chacon, Principal
Thomas Jefferson High School
Auburn, WA 

Artist Statement: During the protests in Seattle last summer I watched the Police Department form their Shield Wall, in duplicate uniforms and plexiglass shields, looking much like a modern day Saxon Army. I wanted to create art to make a connection to the concerns of the protesters. I began to think “what would the shields of the protesters look like?” I purposely chose Viking style shields because the variety and individuality depicted by Norse shields lend themselves to the the wide range of individual groups being oppressed, and the issues being voiced by the protesters. I also wanted to reclaim Norse symbolism that has been hijacked by hate groups. My series of completed works thus far include: (LGBTQ+ PPE, depicted here) First People, Black Lives Matter, Gender Equality, and Angry Snowflake. 

Lisa Crubaugh - Third Place & Curator of Education’s Choice

2021 COVID Candle Goddess
Ceramic
12” x 6” x 5.5” 

David Staight, Principal
Bennett Elementary
Bellevue, WA 

Juror’s Award: Third Place and also Curator of Education’s Choice

Artist Statement: This goddess has lived in my head for a long time with obvious connections to the Minoan Snake Goddess from Knossos. This version bears light instead of snakes. My grandfather was a tailor, and the textures on my clay work reflects my own fascination with impressing the fabric of clay with textural details of everyday life.

Jennifer de Mello e Souza

Speak to Me of Gold
Ceramic
8” x 4” x 2” 

Jill Vanderveer, Principal
Redmond High School
Redmond, WA 

Artist Statement: My ceramic work is an exploration translating 2-D ideas to 3-D objects. Each piece is an attempt to pull what is inside of us to the outside, and to portray life and living with empathy. 

Tracy Fortune

Eva’s Teapot
Marker and watercolor
9” x 12” 

Karen Mauer-Smith, Principal
Lakes High School
Lakewood, WA 

Artist Statement: As a genealogist, I love discovering new connections in my family tree. As an artist, I love finding creative ways to artistically express aspects of my family connections. This artwork features the teapot that belonged to my great grandmother Eva. The flowing lines represent the connections I have to her from our shared DNA and history, as well as the known and unknown traits I have inherited from her. I never met my great grandmother but, I would love to share a cup of tea, hear her stories and get to know her. 

Tracy Fortune

Window of Memories
Graphite on paper, felted watercolor
12” x 16” 

Karen Mauer-Smith, Principal
Lakes High School
Lakewood, WA 

Artist Statement: Windows allow us to look out and look in. Metaphorically they are a symbol of connections we have to our memories and to seeing ourselves. I love historical buildings and have a fascination with the windows of churches and other landmarks. While I would love to go back in time to see and experience the original grandeur and craftsmanship of these buildings, I am grateful for my memories and travel experiences. I appreciate the beauty of aging and the experiences that connect me to the past. 

Jessica Chickadel Garrick

Seed Pods
Shellac plate, chine collé
7 3/8” x 5” 

Paula Smith, Principal
University Child Development School
Seattle, WA 

Artist Statement: I have always been attracted to seed pods; I am not sure why. I collect all different kinds when out walking and bring them home to my studio. In this print I wanted to capture the wildness of these pods. Their fragility and delicate shape and lines. The lines reach beyond the frame, connecting to what is out there. Connecting with other artists provides moments of serendipity that plant the seeds for me to extend my own work. These particular seed pods were gifted to me by an artist I met in a weekend class. After talking about my interest and attraction to natural objects, she collected these from her garden and gave them to me to add to my collection which became the subject of a print series. 

Tamara Hoodenpyl

Winged
Ceramic
12” x 12” x 4” 

Christen Palmer, Principal
Ridgefield High School
Ridgefield, WA 

Artist Statement: This year has been a time of pause. Pause to reflect. Pause to feel deeply and pause to connect. I have spent much of this year in a state of quiet. I look out the window at the trees. I walk down the drive for breath and I try to imagine connections that have paused. Imagine. Reflect. Connect. Connecting to nature in quiet isolation. 

Laura King

Wire Dresses 1
Wire on Paper
9” x 12.5” 

Lisa Gonzalez, Principal
Shorecrest High School
Shorecrest, WA 

Artist Statement:  My wire dresses remind me of the special bonds I have with my six sisters. I have not been able to see any of my sisters in real life since the start of COVID, as they are all on the east coast. Our daily messages and virtual visits keep me hopeful of seeing them (and my three brothers) for our tentative trip to the Jersey shore this summer. 

Laura King

Poppy Wishes
42” x 72”  

Lisa Gonzalez, Principal
Shorecrest High School
Shorecrest, WA 

Artist Statement:  I made Poppy Wishes in the early months of the pandemic. The surface of the paper is made up of layers and layers of heavy, frustrated, marks and messages. The layers have been drawn, erased, redrawn and erased several times. The process of making this piece has helped me stay anchored as an individual and an artist, while giving me an avenue to trade my frustrations for hope. 

Yvonne Kunz

Show Empathy
Pencil and graphite on paper
14” x 17” 

Heather Mc Carthy, Principal
Mountain View Elementary
Lacey, WA 

Artist Statement: Accepting oneself is often easier to read in self-help books than to live. Yvonne Kunz’s role as an artist and an educator has her grappling with questions of what it means to accept oneself and others: to be American, a woman, and a person in this modern age. Ever surrounded by children as a mother and a teacher, she finds herself wondering, “When adults are struggling themselves how to communicate and self regulate, how do we teach children to do so?” The drawings of this exhibit arrive out of Yvonne’s weekly practice of figure drawing, part of her path towards self acceptance as an artist. This piece is from the Series called “Socio-Emotional Learning”, which pairs the figure with phrases from the SEL curriculum taught in elementary schools: Show Empathy, Use self-talk, Play together, and Bystander Power, to name a few. The phrases hint at interpersonal challenges we face as members of a community and offers solutions with how to deal with the challenges. The juxtaposition of the words and images infuse a glimpse of personality to the anonymity of the figure while offering word play between image and phrase.The result is a physical exhibit of vulnerability and acceptance. 

Yvonne Kunz

I’m Fine
Pencil and colored pencil on paper
14” x 17” 

Heather Mc Carthy, Principal
Mountain View Elementary
Lacey, WA 

Artist Statement: Accepting oneself is often easier to read in self-help books than to live. Yvonne Kunz’s role as an artist and an educator has her grappling with questions of what it means to accept oneself and others: to be American, a woman, and a person in this modern age. Ever surrounded by children as a mother and a teacher, she finds herself wondering, “When adults are struggling themselves how to communicate and self regulate, how do we teach children to do so?” The drawings of this exhibit arrive out of Yvonne’s weekly practice of figure drawing, part of her path towards self acceptance as an artist. This body of work pairs the figure with phrases from the socio-emotional curriculum taught in elementary schools: Use Self-Talk, Play Together, and Bystander Power, to name a few. The phrases hint at interpersonal challenges we face as members of a community and offers solutions with how to deal with the challenges. The juxtaposition of the two offers a glimpse of personality to the anonymity of the figure while offering word play between image and phrase.The result is a physical exhibit of vulnerability and acceptance. 

Charlotte Mann

Life and Renewal
Ceramic, wire, acrylic paint
10.5” x 10.5” 

Keith Hennig, Principal
Skyline High School
Sammamish, WA 

Artist Statement: The pomegranate is a symbol of life and renewal in Armenia; where my mother’s side of the family is from. During the pandemic I have not been able to visit or see my family due to my parents health conditions. Though we do not see each other in the flesh, we have connected in other ways and been able to stay whole. The wire in the work binds the family of pomegranates together. The twists, bumps and gnarls of the wire represent a norm in my family dynamic of six and yet my family stays strong. Each pomegranate is unique and placed in a circular form to mimic that of the fruit itself and the circle in which life and a family comes together. 

Megan McDermott

Il Duomo
Woodcut print
11.5” x 16” 

Gil Picciotto, Principal
Eastside Catholic School
Sammamish, WA 

 Artist Statement: I dream of Italy, of Florence. Of being able to walk the streets, navigating my way by the direction of the dome. A constant reassurance that I will find my way home. 

Cynthia E. Noyd - First Place

Memories Reimagined
Sumi ink, acrylic on rice paper
48” x 48” 

Eric DeVries, Principal
The River Academy
Wenatchee, WA

Juror’s Award: First Place 

Artist Statement: ‘Memories Reimagined’ is a large work full of vibrant line work and set in seemingly familiar place. At first glance, it may ‘remind YOU’ of a hike into the falls… The black lines seem to expose a rocky cliff and a pair of waterfalls. Wander in closer, zoom in to see details of small harbors, vineyards and tiny European beach towns. Wander to the upper left, zoom in to find a road, a row of trees leading to a small village. My family traveled this road, the village is Whistler and look to see the village and ski resort. As my brush worked it’s way around this painting, it pulled memories in from our travels, suddenly the landscape reminded me of a beach in Greece, or a vineyard near Melbourne, there we are having a light lunch with the locals. Each line led itself to far-off places, memories brought forward in a dream-like way. This work was part of a collection, a solo show at Cafe Mela, Wenatchee. The August exhibition gave me something to work for during this strange time of living in unpredictable times. The lines record hints of places traveled, experiences remembered, a record of pockets of time. Zoom back out and take in the work. It reminds us of a set of waterfalls, it’s hard to remember the name, it’s familiar and not. 

Cynthia E. Noyd

What is and What Will Be
Digital Media

8” x 8” 

Eric DeVries, Principal
The River Academy
Wenatchee, WA 

Artist Statement: ‘What is and What Will be’ is part of a collection; ‘Hello Chukar, Walk Rather than Fly’. The work simply shows a Chukar bird skeleton arranged in the contours of its whole form. The skeleton was hand drawn with ink on board and then uploaded into Adobe Fresco. The digital water color helps to encase the bones in a form representing a live bird. ‘What is’… refers the bird of this moment, the ‘will be’ reminds us of it will someday return to bone and dust. The pandemic is a stark reminder of our basic humanity. We too will return to bone and dust. In the mean-time, we are encased in an absolutely beautiful and amazing form. 

Ashley Presnar

Coincidence 
Block print
24” x 18” 

Steve Barnes, Principal
Lidgerwood Elementary
Lidgerwood, WA 

Artist Statement: I am an Elementary art teacher in Spokane, Wa. I have been teaching art for over four years.  Being able to explore new mediums, artists and the history of art with my students is always exciting and one of the reasons I love teaching the arts. 

My goal for my artwork is to show the importance of having a relationship between humans and nature. In my work this relationship is seen through various mediums. My artwork always includes endangered animals or how humans overlook the beauty of the simplest things.
 
With coincidence you see the relationship between an endangered predator and a common prey. They are living side by side peacefully. This is a coincidence due to having two different species seen as living in unison. How did they get there? What was their journey? 
James Michael Rees

In This Together 2020
Oil and acrylic on fabric (faux relief print)
92” x 55” 

Boyd McAfee, Principal
Provo High School
Provo, UT 

 Artist Statement: Interestingly enough the series I’ve been working on for the last couple years, The Weight We Carry, seemed particularly relevant under the weight of the pandemic. Originally this series was a way to confront and deal with personal struggles and trials I felt I had to bear and ultimately find a way to gain strength from them . It also was about finding equilibrium in the struggle which I think we can all relate to in these times. This image conveys the increased need for community in the face of a world-wide pandemic. 

Mary Rowland

Generations, connecting through FaceTime
Casein on wood
24.5” x 16.5” 

Kristen Haslip, Principal
Bainbridge High School
Bainbridge, WA 

Artist Statement: Connections in 2020 were provided though technology; teaching through zoom and talking to grandchildren on facetime. We celebrated birthdays, holidays, sang songs, laughed and made funny faces. It was facetime giggles with grandchildren that got me though the very hard times such as saying goodbye to my Mother on zoom as she passed from covid. It is technology that connected us across miles and generations. It provided us a means by which we could look into each other’s eyes and see faces light up with smiles. It is through this technology that our images of joy, have been captured and share. 

Mary Rowland

Saying Goodbye 
Cardboard on cardboard, sewing, casein paint, mark making 

Kristen Haslip, Principal
Bainbridge High School
Bainbridge, WA 

Artist Statement: Connections in 2020 were provided though technology; teaching through zoom and talking to grandchildren on facetime. We celebrated birthdays, holidays, sang songs, laughed and made funny faces. It was facetime giggles with grandchildren that got me though the very hard times such as saying goodbye to my Mother on zoom as she passed from covid. It is technology that connected us across miles and generations. It provided us a means by which we could look into each other’s eyes and see faces light up with smiles. It is through this technology that our images of joy, have been captured and share. 

Ken Spiering

Ruth 
Graphite pencil 
21” x 33” 

Freeman High School 
Renee Bailey, Principal
Rockford, WA 

This lovely, widowed, grandmotherly neighbor was such a great stand-in for my children when they were growing up, whose own grandparents lived too far away to be seen very often. With this drawing as the beginning, she became the model for a life-size wood carving I did as part of a 10′ X 35′ installation for the Spokane City Hall in 1984. 

Linda St. Clair - Second Place

Heroes (Claudia and Agnes)
Charcoal on paper
11” x 15” 

Jeff Naslund, Principal
Mead High School
Spokane, WA 

Juror’s Award: Second Place

Artist Statement: Beginning in 2011, I started to spend some, and then all, of my summers as a volunteer working in the schools in the bush of Sierra Leone, in Malawi, and in northern Uganda, Africa. When I am not teaching kids here in Washington, I am coaching national teachers and teaching kids in Africa as a part-time Education Specialist with the Christian wholistic care non-profit, Children of the Nations (COTN). I serve some of the most vulnerable and destitute populations in the world.   

I have learned many things about what can impact and save lives. I have learned that education is the critical key to freedom in places where education is a privilege-not a right. I understand the vital role that the arts play as natural, intuitive elements of people’s lives globally. In the African cultures that I know, the beautiful rhythms of life are reflected in their dance, music, fabric patterns, jewelry, wood works, baskets and paintings. The arts continue to be sparks of light in dark spaces. Because of the impact of war, poverty, and societal violence, the children I work with in Africa are children of trauma. I have experienced the power of art as a lifeline for so many of these children.  

Heroes I celebrate the lives of two Northern Ugandan women who are important to me. To reflect the depth of their strength and beauty, I rendered the double portrait as realistically as I could in the dramatic darks tones of charcoal. Claudia (L) is a lawyer for restoration and women’s empowerment. Agnes (R) is a pastor, businesswoman and former math teacher. Agnes can be found preaching to very large groups. Claudia can be found addressing Parliament. They both have teenage daughters. They both stand up with integrity for their convictions. They stand up in love and courage in a patriarchal, sometimes violent land. In their own ways, these lovely sisters-in-law are especially difference makers for the children and women they serve. Claudia and Agnes are helping change the lives of the traditional East African girl-child. Agnes’ compassion and Claudia’s willingness to take action is the stuff of heroes. I dream of being reunited to Claudia and Agnes when it is again safe to travel. I miss working side by side towards a common mission. They inspire me. I miss their friendship, humor, wisdom, and perspectives on live. They enrich me. This drawing is part of series of drawings in-progress that present some of the fierce, grace-filled, extraordinary women of Northern Uganda that I know. 

Laura Wise - Best in Show

Breaking the Storm
Oil on canvas
36” x 40” 

Bonnie Smith, Principal
Toppenish High School
Toppenish, WA 

Juror’s Award: Best in Show

Artist Statement: Breaking the Storm relates to the family connection, support and sheltering of a family member. As a mother, dealing with a crisis meant an overwhelming sense of helplessness, and a search for hope. 

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