Cultural Worker and Teaching Artist Carina A. del Rosario Uses Art to Unify, Empower and Educate
In the library at the Hazel Valley Elementary School, there is a massive, intricate hornet nest that wraps around the room. It is made of hundreds of black and white hexagon paper pieces that are stamped with gold and silver printmaking. Each individual hexagon represents a Hazel Valley Hornet -- a student at the elementary who worked with teaching artist Carina A. del Rosario to construct this school-wide project.
The school librarian had asked del Rosario to help brighten up the library. She then wove together her core teaching concepts to create a community-integrated art piece that highlights each student’s contribution while also creating something cohesive and beautiful.
Del Rosario is a cultural worker and teaching artist who works with the Seattle Art Museum and Arts Corps to bring storytelling and artmaking to schools, communities and programs around Washington. She understands the power of art, its unifying qualities and its ability to serve as a medium for learning.
“I describe being a teaching artist as helping learners use various art forms and art techniques to explore their communities and also share what’s most important for them in their lives,” she says.
Working primarily in schools, del Rosario uses art as a tool to communicate other subjects and encourage her students to better engage in topics such as history, art and science.
“I definitely try to make cross-curricular connections because if students can see how other subjects apply to something they are really interested in, then they might be more willing to persist even when it’s hard,” del Rosario says.
Using art integration with other subjects is a burgeoning concept in the education field. Students learn in different ways, and if they can use art to embody the topics they’re learning, they are more likely to understand and retain information. Each student has their own creative capacity, and del Rosario believes it’s her job as an educator to coach her students into realizing the power of their own stories and perspectives.
“I really love what art provides me, it helps me think deeply,” del Rosario says. “The process of artmaking is very meditative and healing for me. I want to give students the opportunity to have those kinds of tools available to them.”
What are KCTS 9 Golden Apple Moments?
The Golden Apple Moments program celebrates educators, programs and schools making a positive difference in Washington State education, from early childhood through high school. KCTS 9 shares these bright-spot success stories of innovative educators and programs through all its content delivery channels: KCTS 9, KCTS9.org, social media and partner channels.
Golden Apple Moments are profiles of those who inspire us. Those who think a little differently and are reimagining the way we teach our young people. They are individuals who are not waiting around for someone to tell them how to move our education system forward. They are pushing the boundaries, engaging our youth to advance and succeed in a rapidly changing world. Golden Apple Moments focus less on complex statistics and benchmark results and more on a teacher, a program or a school’s novel idea or approach — why and how it is challenging the status quo and inspiring others.
Golden Apple Moments highlight the educators, program administrators and nonprofits/organizations working to improve education outcomes and discover new blueprints for success for children in Washington State and around the country.
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