• The Blue Umbrella

The Classrooms of the Blue Umbrella

Whether your art comes from a community-based developmental service provider, or one of the five Human Development Centers across the state, behind every Blue Umbrella artist is a classroom. And behind every great classroom is an even better teacher.

We all know how amazing and special the Blue Umbrella artists are. But let’s take a look into their classrooms and peek into how they are supported and encouraged by their teachers to create the lovely pieces located in the Blue Umbrella.

Unique artists require unique teachers. But even more than that, these artists require unique approaches to how they create their art.

Clients and residents are referred to the classrooms and their teachers learn their individual needs, talents, and skill sets. From there, these individuals spend time in the classrooms working on different mediums, or styles of artwork. These mediums can vary from painting to beading and sewing. Some even make pottery!

Some of the artists’ favorite projects have been making clothespin wreaths, creating, and publishing a book with hand-painted art, and getting creative reign over paper and canvases.

Most of the teachers collaborate collectively when trying to come up with projects for the artists, but they also pull ideas from social media, books, and even their own school projects from their childhood.

They like keeping certain clients and residents in mind as they come up with projects. They want the artists to enjoy what they’re doing and want them to be able to fully participate in their projects as well.

Fine motor skills can be hard for many of the artists, so they use many adaptations for them. Some of those adaptations may look like an artist using a washcloth or sponge instead of a paintbrush, because it’s easier for them to grasp. The technique isn’t nearly as important as the experience and the creative process!

As fun as these projects can be for artists, art isn’t the only thing they’re learning about in their classrooms. Many of the classrooms are also teaching these residents life skills that they will be able to use in every aspect of life. These skills include time management, communication with others, patience, and respect for themselves and others.

Our artists contribute both inside and out of the classroom thanks to the help of all the amazing teachers.

From our Human Development Centers to our community partners, not one of our artists is like the next, and the same goes for the teachers that help, support, and encourage them every day.

As we all head back to school this month, remember to thank your teachers. They sacrifice so much of themselves for our students and our Blue Umbrella artists. And we wouldn’t be who we are and where we are today without them!

Thank you to all our teachers and best of luck on the new school year!

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