The The University of Memphis Department of Art Education is helping students stay creative at home with a new “Art Education from a Box” program.
“I wanted to make sure that all of my students had an opportunity to participate in hands-on art education projects in addition to the written work they were doing,” said Dr. Bryna Bobick, associate professor of Art Education with The University of Memphis Department of Art.
Toward the end of March, Bobick raided her closet to fill an array of shipping boxes with strips of felt, paints, different kinds of paper and vintage National Geographic magazines.
“Art teachers never throw anything away and everything is reusable,” said Bobick. “Think of the TV show Chopped, where you’re given a box of random ingredients and challenged with creating something. I got them to divide the materials into weekly assignments so they can easily replicate them when they’re teachers.”
To get these boxes in the hands of students, Bobick sought permission and assistance from Richard Lou, professor and chair of the Department of Art, and Virginia Huss, Business Officer with the Department of Art.
“We had 20 students submit their mailing info on a volunteer basis,” she said. “It’s been a great way to stay in touch with our students and get the word out that they are still making art, even in spite of a pandemic. The reception and the support have been fantastic. The students have enjoyed it.”
Students submit their work weekly to be posted to the UofM Art Education Instagram.
“I miss teaching face-to-face,” said Bobick. “I want my students to realize that — even if my presence is only virtual for the time being — I’m proud of them for keeping up with what they’re doing in their homes and apartments.”