Have you ever been inspired by something you have seen at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery or another art museum? How old were you? Have your thoughts about that artwork changed since then? Have you shared your experience with a family member or friend? Without dedicated teachers, some students would never get the chance to be inspired by these types of experiences.
For the last five years, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery have teamed up to offer Art’scool, a program that provides resources for K–12 school groups to visit the Albright-Knox for guided tours and participate in an art-based curriculum. We have heard countless “ooohs” and “ahhhs”; eavesdropped on many thoughtful conversations between students and our volunteer docents in front of works of art; have heard from teachers, students, and administrators how much this opportunity has benefitted participants’ lives and communities; and have seen great things happening in classrooms all over the region.
This year, we wanted to offer teachers and students the opportunity to show—in this era of cuts to the arts in schools—just how they are using these experiences to engage each other, deepen learning, inspire love of art and life, and drive community involvement. Each participating class visited the Gallery through the Art’scool program in the past year. Teachers then submitted the artwork students made in response to their visit, as well as related lessons with connections to other curriculum areas that they taught in their classrooms.
The K–12 teachers from throughout Western New York whose students’ work is on view in this exhibition represent a handful of those who deserve our support and admiration for all they do for their students—and, ultimately, for us. Although this exhibition was geared toward the work of the educator, when contacted about their work being selected to be on view here for this special event, every teacher, to a person, said, “My students will be so excited! I can’t wait to tell them.” Make sure you let your students, administrators, and communities know how important these teachers are: they inspire us.