When I first started working for CAPE as a teaching artist, I was one of the few visual artists that was partnered with an art teacher. Most teaching artists partnerships are between an academic teacher and an artist. In that scenario the teacher is the “expert” in their subject (let’s say math) and the teaching artist is the “expert” in their discipline (let’s say screen-printing). That team is challenged to bring math and screen-printing together in a way that gives equal weight to the academic subject as well as the art making process.
What makes partnering an art teacher with a visual artist unique is bringing two people that are “experts” in the same discipline and seeing how they negotiate their collaboration. Ms. Kauss (my art teacher partner) and I both identify as artist but come from very different backgrounds, bringing our own interests, ways of working, and skill sets to the classroom.
The CAPE program that I oversee, the Portfolio Design Project, was designed to partner visual artists with art teachers and musicians with music teachers. Teams do also partner with 4-6th grade language arts teachers, but the primary partnership is between the arts specialists. Pictured below is Tracy Netter, art teacher at New Sullivan Elementary and veteran CAPE teaching artist, Juan-Carlos Perez. Tracy and Juan-Carlos are now in their 3rd year of their collaboration. ****