Welcome to The Helpful Art Teacher, an interdisciplinary website linking visual arts to math, social studies, science and language arts.

Learning how to draw means learning to see. A good art lesson teaches us not only to create but to look at, think about and understand our world through art.

Please click on my page to see my personal artwork and artist statement: http://thehelpfulartteacher.blogspot.com/p/the-art-of-rachel-wintembe.html

Please contact me at thehelpfulartteacher@gmail.com. I would love to hear from you.

Student Art Exhibits and Community Events

Giving students opportunities to exhibit and publish their creations and showing them how their art can make a difference is an important part of my job. 

Participating in public service projects and seeing their work in print are empowering experiences for a child.

I recently organized a K-12 student art exhibit to raise money for the 'Friends of the Perth Amboy Public Library' a non profit organization that promotes literacy and the love of reading in the local community. Here are some highlights from the event:

















































Talented students from Samuel E. Shull School, James J. Flynn School, William C. McGinnis School, Perth Amboy Adult Education Center and Perth Amboy High School participated in this event at the Barnes & Noble at Menlo Park Mall in Edison NJ. We are so proud of our talented kids and dedicated art teachers! We are grateful to the Friends of the public library and Barnes & Noble for providing us with this wonderful opportunity to showcase our talented students artwork.

In December of 2016 five of my 8th grade students had the opportunity to be published in the national publication, School Arts Magazine. Here is a link to my article (page 36): 


Playing Catch by Natalia Rodriguez

Our Minds Dance by Eliana Beauchamps

Olympic Gold by Jonathan Valentin

Foot Race by Ashley Ricks

Gymnasts by Leslie Corporan


 A watercolor painting by bilingual 6th grader Johan Pena was also published in this issue:
Here is the link to my clip card lesson featuring Johan Pena's artwork (page 9): http://www.schoolartsdigital.com/i/746025-december-2016

In November of 2016 a collaborative sculpture by my art club students was published in School Arts Magazine. Here is the link to their artwork on page 9: http://www.schoolartsdigital.com/i/735630-november-2016


In September of 2016 I wrote an article for School Arts Magazine, 'How to Write an Art Room Blog'. That issue also featured a clip card with my students' giant lollipop sculptures. Here is a link to my article and the clip card on pages 10 and 11: http://www.schoolartsdigital.com/i/706659-september-2016


In June of 2016 School Arts Magazine published my clip card lesson on how to design marble roller coasters, page 11:http://www.schoolartsdigital.com/i/673330-sum-2016 


My students artwork was published in the October 2015 issue of School Arts Magazine. Here is the link to my article, imaginary worlds (page 28)
In the spring of 2016 Mrs. Wendy Guerra and I transformed this art lesson into an interdisciplinary bilingual language arts and visual art lesson. We presented our work both at Rutgers University's Graduate School of Education and at Education Closet's Summer Conference. Here is a video tape of our presentation, which showcases the artwork and writing of Samuel E. Shull School's level 1 bilingual 6th grade students:


In 2016 I organized a city wide student art show at Perth Amboy Gallery Center for the Arts.
Every school in the city, public, private and charter, was invited to participate. Parents, teachers, administrators and community members came together to celebrate their students's accomplishments.






























In June of 2016 the Samuel E. Shull School community came together to help save the monarch butterfly. After learning about how we can help to save this endangered animal, families were given free seed packets to start butterfly gardens. Everyone had fun creating beautiful unique watercolor paintings.


An important aspect of professional development is sharing what we know and advancing the field of art education. As art educators, our 'community' is broader than the children we serve and their families. Our 'community' includes arts educators and core content teachers from all over the world who can benefit from our creativity and knowledge. Here are some ways that I have recently shared my expertise and experience as a veteran art teacher with the education community:

I have been involved with the Rutgers Graduate School of Education Institute for Improving Student Achievement, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation STEAM and arts integration grant since 2013. The objective of this grant is to provide quality lessons that integrate the arts with other core academic subjects and help raise the academic achievements of at risk students. Here is the link to the white paper published by the Institute including a lesson I helped to develop: http://gse.rutgers.edu/content/steam-consortium-white-paper and here is a link to a description of the grant project: http://riisa.gse.rutgers.edu/init/dodge-foundation-grant

Below are some videos showing the STEAM lessons I have developed in cooperation with Rutgers University:

Art and science integration, 2014, in cooperation with a technology teacher and a grade 6 science teacher:

Language Arts and Visual Arts Integration with level one bilingual students in collaboration with their language arts teacher. This lesson also incorporates technology:


Bloom's Taxonomy in the art room. I presented this lesson as a webinar for the National Art Education Association in October of 2015,  at Education Closet's Winter Conference is February of 2016 and at Rutgers Graduate School of Education's Institute for Improving Student Achievement in November 2016. 


At Rutgers, I designed a hands on workshop for mathematics education graduate students. They had the opportunity to work collaboratively to create their own sculptures and explore an open ended creative problem solving challenge. Here are some photographs from the workshop:


  






It would be impossible to discuss Student Art Exhibits and Community Events without mentioning the Perth Amboy Gallery Center for the Arts. 
I teach ceramics classes at the art gallery, for both children and adults. My students have included four Perth Amboy Public School art teachers in the past year, all seeking to revitalize the ceramics programs in their schools, as well as local artists and students.

 Ceramic Mask by Perth Amboy Artist Christopher Ramirez
 Local artist Christopher Ramirez learning how to use the pottery wheel in my class


 McGinnis Art Teacher Dorothy Ostermann, learning how to use the pottery wheel in my ceramics class
 Pottery by adult beginning wheel students
Pottery by middle school beginning students 


Ceramic Day of the Dead sugar skulls by middle school students
Ceramic Flowers by elementary school students

Last summer I joined the staff of the art gallery summer camp, which serves area children. This low cost camp provides high quality art experiences and museum trips to urban youth with an interest in the arts. Here are some highlights from our summer:



In 2015 I joined the board of trustees of the non profit organization, Perth Amboy Artworks.

Perth Amboy Artworks mission is to stimulate economic and community development using Arts & Culture to help revitalize Perth Amboy.  Founded in 2015, we are a nonprofit corporation with 501 c3 tax-exemption status.  We believe Arts & Culture make communities stronger and more enjoyable places to live and we have experienced first hand the positive impact of community based arts efforts. To learn more about the community events and art exhibits that Perth Amboy Artworks has made possible, please click here.

In 2015 the William C. McGinnis Community came together to save the monarch butterfly and celebrate the beautiful artwork created by students that year. Every student in all of my classes had at least two pieces of artwork in the exhibit. Their families had a wonderful evening painting butterflies, learning about wildlife conservation and enjoying their children's artwork.






All my students in grades 5-8 contributed at least one bird to this giant mural. By the time we were done the mural extended down the entire ground floor corridor and into the cafeteria. You can read a more detailed account of this interdisciplinary lesson by clicking here.

In 2015 the theme of the McGinnis School graduation dance was 'Black and White'. My art club responded by creating this whimsical cityscape. These murals were entirely drawn and painted by volunteer students after school hours. 







In the Spring of 2015 I designed an interdisciplinary lesson in collaboration with 6th grade language arts teacher Jessica Beerman, teaching students how to write and illustrate their own stories. That summer I presented the project at Education Closet's Summer Online Conference. Here is a video tape of the workshop:


Not only was I able to share the collaborative lesson, but I was able to showcase the creative talents of my 6th grade students with other teachers throughout the country.

Publishing and exhibiting is an important part of being a working artist. It's never too early to start.

In 2014 one of my 5th grade students, Karyme Estevez, entered The College of New Jersey's Juried K-12 Student Art Show. 


Her artwork was selected by the juror, famous New Jersey artist Faith Ringgold




We were so excited to travel down to The College of New Jersey to see the art exhibit and meet Faith Ringgold





In 2014 my 8th grade student Natalia Dunyak submitted a short story and three illustrations in Stone Soup Magazine. She worked on her illustrations in class and I photographed her work for her. I was very proud to see her artwork published in this nationally distributed magazine the following winter. To read her beautiful story click here. 
Below are her illustrations.





In 2014 the theme of the McGinnis School graduation dance was 'Candyland'. My art club responded by creating these elaborate murals and props:




I shared my instructions for creating these lovely giant lollipops in the September, 2016 issue of School Arts Magazine. Find out how to create your own by clicking here.






















In 2013 my students created a public service animation for the school community. Our message was that without failure there can be no success. Students created inspiring messages illustrating why it's important to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep trying.




In 2013 the McGinnis graduation dance theme was 'Moonlight in Paris'. Students eagerly brought me their ideas and sketches. We stayed after school several days a week for several months and made their dreams a reality.






In 2012 the graduation dance theme was 'A Night at the Oscars'. Many students volunteered to stay after school with me to create these beautiful murals and props.


In 2012 every single one of my students created anti bullying animations to help everyone understand the effect that bullying has on children. Each child had something to share in the hope that their important message would be heard.






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