One of the misconceptions that art teachers face from students is that we are just teachers and not professional artists, which is far from the truth. A huge percentage of art teachers are active artists outside of their education career. Many teachers display work in galleries, shows, create murals, commissions, and community work, plus many are active participants in artist guilds and online communities.
My students are surprized when I tell them I am a working artist and I know professional working artists. They are used to learning about artists in history and they know there are famous artists today, but the idea of their own art teacher displaying artwork in galleries and personally knowing working artists sparks their interest.
For January's Stepping Stones in Arts & Activities Magazine, I wanted to focus on how to bring working artists to the art class. Since I create artworks outside of the classroom and actively participate in online artist communities, I've met many great artists in the field, and they are always willing to share their work with the students.
More more highlights on bringing artist to the classroom, please visit a previous post of mine, Bringing Artists to the Classroom.