Exhale

 "Art Room Family Tree" photo by Melody Weintraub

"Art Room Family Tree" photo by Melody Weintraub

I recently heard a song by the recording artist, Plumb titled, “Exhale.” The first few lines say, It’s okay not to be okay. This is a safe place. I thought about how very much we need to communicate to our students and to ourselves that our art space is a “safe place.” Even if you never taught them anything else, let them feel that your art room is the place they can come to be themselves. If they feel that kind of security in the art room, you will probably begin to see it evidenced in their artwork. Create lessons that leave room for self-expression. Build time into your lesson for students to think about universal themes. Show them art that you didn’t learn about growing up from artists whose names are still not widely known. Maybe they’ll find a connection. Then watch them thinking and creating. Soak it in. Take a deep breath and exhale. Well done, art teacher.