Today for Youth Arts Month we are highlighting the 2019 Viola Award Winner for Excellence in Arts Education Kathy Marron! Thank you for the hard work you invest every day to ensure that your students receive a quality arts education. Thank you for using art to connect students to each other and their community in meaningful ways.
Kathy Marron teaches art to all grades at Thomas Elementary. Her inspiration and energy is reflected in the work of her students. Marron began a school-wide mural and self portrait project at the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year. She had each grade create self portraits in assigned colors and then hung them separated by each grade. They now hang on the hallways of Thomas elementary portraying a rainbow of the faces of all students. This project was an important lesson on collaboration through art and a lesson in unity.
In October of 2018, the students at Thomas took part in another school-wide installation called, “Only One You” based off of the original book by local author Linda Kranz. It is a story of a rockfish Adri, learning about the sea floor through her parent’s wisdom. Marron ensured every student read the book and understood some of the main lessons: “If you make a wrong turn, circle back”; “Look for beauty wherever you are, and keep the memory of it with you”; “Blend in when you need to, stand out when you have the chance”.
Marron had each student in all five grades paint a rock to look like their unique fish, which was then placed in a river shape through the school’s courtyard. Engaging creative young minds and a large amount of community support, Marron and other teachers were able to transform their courtyard into a fun and intriguing learning environment.
This past November, Marron and her 2nd and 3rd graders created “Helping Houses”, colorful mixed media magnets, to sell with proceeds going to the victims of the California wildfires. Raising over $1100, Marron has instilled how art can inspire and support a community.
Having just completed the Only One You Art Installation and the Helping Houses Art Fundraiser, Kathy is now embarking upon another student and community centered art project- a mural for our school.
Marron is an academic and artistic role model for both her elementary students and the community. All of the projects described are only the accomplishments of this school year. Magnify these accomplishments by 25 years of work as an educator.
Have a great youth arts story to share in your school or community? Email us at [email protected] or tag us on social media with the hashtag #AZYouthArts