OREGON (WREX) – With cell phones and cameras available to capture life’s moments, elementary-aged children can find it hard to relate to the artists of the past, who used painting to portray the time period.
But Jordan DeWilde, one of the art teachers at Oregon Elementary School, said he wants to show students that art is not just a thing of the past.
“What’s really important to me is to show students that art is not just historical, it’s something that is still present today and that its made by all kinds of people,” DeWilde said.
He said when he was learning art in school, the curriculum centered on ancient European artists, but he wants to change that.
“I try to give my curriculum more diversity, and include as many different types of artists so students see art is for everyone,” DeWilde said.
Kelly Handschuh, the other art teacher at Oregon Elementary, said DeWilde has made “Art is for Everyone” his motto. She said he also tries to incorporate 21st century tools, such as social media, photography and videos, into his art education.
Dewilde said the students love to seeing artists that are still alive and creating art on different media platforms.
“They really love seeing artists that are on social media, so they can connect with them, and I can show them pictures from their Instagram page,” DeWilde said.
Handschuh said the students are happy to see art through social media, since it’s something they are so familiar with.
She said DeWilde has grown so much in the six years he has taught at Oregon Elementary.
“I am just so proud of Jordan, and he has just brought so much to Oregon Elementary school.”
DeWilde was also awarded the Illinois Elementary Art Educator of the Year by the Illinois Art Education Association.