Farragut Intermediate School art teacher Lily Allen says she has never met a student that isn’t excited to be in art class. She works with third, fourth, and fifth graders—while keeping up with her own art as well.
Allen says her inspiration for becoming an art teacher began as a high schooler in Nashville. “I got to see how art reached a lot of students that otherwise weren’t being reached. They might be turned off to traditional ways of learning, but they were excited about getting creative, using problem-solving, and working with their hands.”
With a new set of school district standards, Allen has been able to cover the necessary topics while emphasizing the students’ choice and ownership in their creations. “They get so excited and are bursting at the seams when they come up with their own ideas.” During art class students are not only working with different materials and techniques, but also using skills that they have developed in math or language arts classes. The cross-curricular lessons give them space to express what they have learned.
Each of her students works hard to get a piece in the end-of-year art show, but Allen photographs every student’s work and posts it to Artsonia, an online gallery, for family members to view throughout the year.
In addition to teaching her students new styles, Allen has applied new concepts to art of her own. She primarily started in painting and printmaking but has incorporated weaving and macramé, which she also teaches to her students. To view and purchase Lily Allen’s art, you can visit her website lewastudio.com.