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Fine Arts Faculty Hone Skills and Have Fun Over Summer
Categories: General, Fine Arts
Posted: 8/19/2017

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Whitefield's fine arts department spent the summer honing their skills and having fun across the country and the world. Read all about their experiences below!

Elizabeth Weathington, Lower School Music and Computer Teacher
Ms. Weathington had the wonderful experience of working at a musical theater camp through Due West United Methodist Church. The camp was open to all rising third- through rising ninth-grade students and was two weeks long. At the end of the two weeks, they put on a wonderful production of Beauty and the Beast Jr.

Natalia Hicks, Lower School Art Teacher
Mrs. Hicks spent two weeks in France and England this summer, a trip that she describes as being in art heaven. She was inspired by the many art masterpieces and designed many new art lessons for her students. In her free time, Mrs. Hicks painted French and British countryside.

Stacy Quiros, Fine Arts Director
Mrs. Quiros spent five weeks in the Golden Isles of Georgia. She played clarinet and saxophone in three church services at St. Simons Presbyterian and Ft. Frederica Presbyterian; three senior homes: Marsh’s Edge, Thrive, and Homelife on Glynco; a photography show; and a formal dinner at Ocean Forest Golf Club.

Debbie Childree, Middle and Upper School Art and Graphic Design Teacher
Mrs. Childree had such an unforgettable experience this summer while visiting Jackie Tolford (past Whitefield teacher) in Volcan, Panama. Jackie and her husband have retired in Panama and spend their days serving wherever they can in their small town in the mountains. Mrs. Childree traveled to serve alongside her for 10 days looking for ways to share her gift of teaching art. She taught children at Joya de Esperanza Sewing Group, a ministry that teaches sewing to women to give them a way to make money for their family. While they are sewing, their children are taken care of. Mrs. Childree also taught the women a sewing technique called “Stictch’n’Slash," which she teaches her Whitefield eighth-grade students. She demonstrated the technique and shared how-to videos and examples on her phone with them. They were so excited about it, so she is sending them supplies – batik fabrics and seam rippers - in hopes this new art will help them provide for their families through selling of their work.

Mrs. Childree said the most exciting thing about this artistic endeavor was that she knew absolutely no Spanish, and the women and children she was working with knew absolutely no English. She experienced firsthand how art can be a universal language – as she would draw something, the children would say the word for that object in Spanish, then she would say the word in English. She taught them how to shade and make things look three-dimensional, so as she taught them to shade an apple, they learned both how to say apple and read and eat, etc. in another language. As she demonstrated to the women the sewing techniques, they would also share words with each other – teaching each other the new language. She said, "It was amazing to share an experience through the language of art together, even when you cannot communicate through the language of words."

Kayla Marsh, Middle and Upper School Theater Teacher
Mrs. Marsh spent five weeks starring in a production of “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” at the Croswell Opera House in Michigan.

Abe Okie, Middle and Upper School Chorus Teacher
Mr. Okie attended the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) conference at Clayton State College and University over the summer. There were clinicians from UGA, Texas, and a keynote address by the president of ACDA, Tim Sharp. The group also did some choral singing in Spivey Hall. Mr. Okie says he came away with a lot of ideas for choirs at Whitefield and a renewed appreciation for the art form.