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TEACHER TUESDAY: BETH HEISEY

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Beth Heisey has taught at WC since 1992. She currently serves as the Visual Arts Department Chair and teaches many art classes, ranging from Drawing I to Advanced Placement Art.

How would you describe your teaching style? “I teach traditional styles of working such as the correct way to use watercolor because it is part of our American heritage. But I also encourage students’ experimentation. Students also need to learn that legitimate art can come from play. They need to envision their own ideas, and learn to engage and persist in their own pursuits. I teach from traditional art history but I also teach the art of the students’ generation, which is, of course, contemporary art. They need to be prepared for what they will see in college or at the local museum, and be able to grapple with it. They need to know what is happening in the world and why contemporary art seems so confrontational.”

What is the most challenging aspect of your work? “I present art lessons to my classes– but that part is easy. The real challenge is coming alongside each art student in an empathetic way, trying to understand the student’s response to the lesson, their goals and interpretations, and help them with their own idea. On some level, all my teaching is differentiated all the time.”

What is the most rewarding aspect of your role? “I feel surrounded by love at WC. It is so inspiring to be around so many fun and creative students.”

How do you incorporate teaching and learning in your art classroom? “On the one hand, it is simple: We just simply continue the creation God has already set in motion. Yet on the other–what a privilege! What an honor to be in loving relationship with the Father. What a great God we serve. It is the living and thriving relationships between the Trinity that support all creative thought.”

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