An instructional curriculum cannot be complete without art. As Pablo Picasso once said: “There are painters who transform the sun into a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun.” The importance of art in today’s classroom is critical for the personal growth of today’s students. No one understands that more than Veeder Elementary School Art Teacher Betsy Ryan.
“I did not have an art teacher until I reached high school. It was not until I was introduced to the world of art, that I realized I loved anything that had to do with the creative process and its power to enhance people’s lives,” said Mrs. Ryan. “I was always looking for opportunities to incorporate art into my life.” It turns out she has created a way to incorporate that enthusiasm into a positive energy with her students and building staff.
Mrs. Ryan has taught in the South Colonie Central School District for nearly 15 years. During that time, she has worked passionately to share her past art experiences with her students inside the classroom. “I want them to feel excited and inspired by what they see,” she said. “I want them to learn techniques that enable them to express themselves, to enjoy the creative process and to connect with others.”
As part of that process, she continues to open up areas of art to engage and inspire her students. Classes featuring painting, sculpture and drawing keep students up-to-date on specific areas of art that can provide inspiration. In addition, art history becomes an added feature and allows students to understand the importance of art and the role that it has played in world history and its impact on today’s society.
As the old adage says: Art imitates life. Mrs. Ryan clearly is a perfect example of this philosophical mindset and South Colonie has her passion and skill sets to keep young students motivated and focused on being creative in today’s classroom.