Art Teachers Who Wear Their Students’ Creations: Part 3
These two art educators were inspired to put their own twist on wearable art projects—creating an eye-catching cardigan and a colorful t-shirt, jeans & tennis shoes ensemble, respectively. Dr. Wynita Harmon has worked for many years as an elementary art teacher in Texas and is currently the lead instructor for the Art of Education University. Amanda Rector teaches in Papillion, Nebraska and has been an art educator for 15 years. Read their stories below to learn how they used their wearable art projects to spark their students’ creativity!
Dr. Wynita Harmon
“My students were thrilled to draw on a piece of clothing. They were especially excited that I was going to wear it to our Fine Arts Night. I did not give them any parameters except to draw something creative that made them happy.
I was inspired by another art teacher named Jenna Beyersdoerfer on the Art Teachers page on Facebook. She let her students color a variety of flowers on her white dress. I decided to change it up a bit and do a white cardigan and let them draw anything they wanted! I wore the cardigan to my art show and have worn it to school on a few other occasions. I once wore it out to the store and people just kind of looked at me and smiled.
My favorite thing about being an art educator is empowering my students to express themselves and their own original ideas through their artwork as well as give them skills to help them; not only in art but in the real world and their future careers.”
“I was inspired to create this artwork when a classroom teacher in the building told me about an outfit she had seen another art teacher do on Pinterest. I loved the idea and decided to make one of my own.
The students LOVE it! Each student had a chance to create a small drawing and I had each grade level stick to a specific section of the outfit. For example, First Grade did the shoes, Kindergarten did the back of the shirt, Fifth Grade did the front of the shirt, and so on. They were allowed to draw whatever they wanted as long as it was appropriate.
I wore the entire outfit on the last day of school to announce my art award winners for the year. I also wore it for the open house night at the beginning of the year. I was easy to spot as the art teacher and received lots of wonderful compliments. Throughout the year I wear the pieces separately on casual Fridays. My students always love when I wear it and like to point out what they made.
I absolutely love being an art teacher. Every day I have the opportunity to watch students discover new media, work through tough problems, increase social skills through teamwork in collaborative art, improve their creativity, explore and improve on art techniques, and become more confident and independent art makers. I facilitate a choice classroom, so I have the chance to really get to know my students personally through their artistic expression. I have been fortunate to be at the same building for six years and have had the opportunity to build comfortable relationships with my students and watch them grow as artists and as young people.”
Many thanks to Wynita and Amanda for sharing their stories with us! If you or anyone you know has created wearable art in their classroom, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you.