Alison Belolan, Pound Ridge Visual Arts Teacher
Pound Ridge Elementary Art K-5
CARES Committee, Curriculum Council, Grade Team Enrichment, WCALA Workshop, Mentor, Host classroom for visiting districts
I started out as a jewelry designer in my first career but teaching was my true calling and I truly love it. I began teaching elementary school after graduating SVA in 2009. Slowly I moved to a choice based art curriculum and made the full leap just prior to Joining the Bedford Central School District.I was overjoyed to learn that choice based art is implemented here. I focus on the studio habits of mind as the cornerstone for my curriculum. It helps students not only understand the artistic processes and how they make art but is also connects their thinking to greater education and to life. If you are able to step back and reflect on how you are working you are able to take those skills everywhere. Students learn to be creative even if they choose not to be working artists, they are creative thinkers. I love seeing how students grow as artists. Kindergarteners are always willing to jump in and try something and willing to take risks and experiment. Later on, it is great to see the 4 and 5 graders using skills and techniques and developing those skills and techniques from previous years in their own artwork. Talking about art with the students in another way that validates choice art. Hearing students talk about ideas, and meaning behind their art and what they are trying to express, makes the art more powerful. I want students to leave here knowing that they are creative thinkers and creativity is something we all have. There is always a place inside them that is artistic. Part of the appeal of choice art and focusing on the studio habits is that it allows the students to be aware of their process and puts the emphasis on process over product.
Art at PRES is a choice based art program where students work in centers to create authentic, student driven work. Students determine what their artwork is about, what it looks like, and what materials or media to use. In Choice art the learning focus is on developing student creativity, creative process, composition, communication, craftsmanship, and community. It is my role as their Art teacher to guide students through their artistic processes, determining what skills and instruction is needed to help carry out their individual visions. In addition to creating their own artwork, students complete Skill Builders which help develop artistic skills and understanding as artists.
Schools attended: Rhode Island School of Design, FIT, SVA
Classroom Wishlist: New printing press, Sculpture items (trash to treasure)