Barry McNamara  |  Published March 21, 2023

Art By Art Teachers

Closing reception for Monmouth College exhibit will be held March 25, with nearly two dozen artists in attendance, including several alumni.

ON DISPLAY: This painting by Macomb-area teacher Janice Rockwell is one of the nearly 50 artworks... ON DISPLAY: This painting by Macomb-area teacher Janice Rockwell is one of the nearly 50 artworks on display through March 25 in the College's Len G. Everett Gallery in Hewes Library.MONMOUTH, Ill. – More than three dozen artists – including several Monmouth College alumni – are featured in an exhibition currently on display in the Len G. Everett Gallery on the upper level of the College’s Hewes Library.

Titled “Artist-Teachers/Teacher-Artists,” the exhibition will be on display through March 25, when there will be a gallery reception from 2-3:30 p.m. Approximately two dozen of the artists will be in attendance, and several of them will speak about their work.

“I am thrilled that so many of the artist-teachers will be present,” said Monmouth art professor Stephanie Baugh. “They will be able to see their amazing artworks in the context of the full exhibition and will be present to talk to viewers about their work, and to talk with the other artists about their work. The community-building and community-celebrating components of this event reinforce one another through, what I expect will be, excellent attendance by the artists and the community.”

The exhibit includes 48 artworks created by 37 artists, including 11 Monmouth alumni. Represented are PK-12 art teachers, museum educators, retired art teachers, and those who teach art in higher ed.

Those with Monmouth College connections who plan to attend the reception include Cherry Simmons ’80, Laura Cavanaugh ’86, Kristyne Gilbert ’90, Kurt Fowler ’90, Tony Johnson ’00, Jack Clifford ’10, Lindsay Johnson Colquit ’10, Alex Nall ’12 and Kendall Thompson ’17, as well as current faculty Brian Baugh, Stephanie Baugh and Stacy Lotz and former faculty Harlow Blum and Carla Markwart.

Baugh said the intention behind the exhibition is to celebrate the work of art educators of all kinds from the surrounding region.

“I celebrate what they do as teachers. But I also wanted to celebrate them as artists. Too often that side of the artist-teacher/teacher-artist identity is put on the back burner and is not acknowledged.” Stephanie Baugh

“I have tremendous respect for art teachers, in part, because so many of them are skilled at ‘doing,’ not just ‘teaching,’” she said. “Art educators often find reward and satisfaction through the work they do with their students. Sometimes that is the most visible component of their work, and I celebrate what they do as teachers. But I also wanted to celebrate them as artists. Too often that side of the artist-teacher/teacher-artist identity is put on the back burner and is not acknowledged.”

Baugh said the show developed from an open call.

“We reached out, via mailings, emails and social media, to art educators in surrounding counties, neighboring states and beyond,” she said. “Every artist who responded was invited to include one or two artworks in the exhibition. The result is an exciting and eclectic display of work that you can’t help but enjoy. The art educators in this region, as exemplified by those participating in this exhibition, are highly skilled, creative and innovative artists. I could not be more proud to showcase them and their work in this exhibition.”

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