Teaching Artist Learning Lab (T.A.L.L.)
Teaching Artist Learning Labs
First Things First – What Is A Teaching Artist?
“A teaching artist is a practicing professional artist with the complementary skills and sensibilities of an educator, who engages people in learning experiences in, through, and about the arts.” –Eric Booth
A teaching artist, by definition, is a two-career professional: a working artist and a working educator. As a working artist is they are involved in an ongoing process of discovery, problem solving, discipline and refinement of skills in their discipline. As a working educator, it is essential that the artist is also developing a knowledge base and skills to be an effective partner in education. Achieving a meaningful balance between these two professions, whereby one feeds the other, is an ongoing process that requires a deepening awareness for the teaching artist of what their teaching brings to their art and what their art teaches them about learning.
Teaching artists are a crucial resource for the future of arts education, the arts in general, and the overall process of learning. The role of the teaching artist is an integral part of the overarching arts education constellation, which includes:
- short and long-term school and after-school residencies
- arts experiences, including in-school performances by professional artists, as well as field trips to studios, galleries, museums, and performances.
- integrating the arts throughout the curriculum as a way of engaging all types of intelligence’s in the learning process.
- arts education standards backed up by ongoing curriculum-based arts instruction in pre-K-12.
- discipline-specific learning in the arts: visual art, dance, theater, music, poetry, etc.
- higher education and on-going development for the professional artist, as well as the professional artist who is also a teaching artist.
- lifelong learning in the arts through community arts events, classes and workshops.
Successful teaching artists help provide a tangible link between the creative process and all kinds of learning, and they make manifest in classroom and community settings the human drive to survive by making meaning of their lives!
2018 TALL Artists
Erick is a graduate of Midwestern State University, where he received a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts with an emphasis in Sculpture. While at MSU, he was named in the Who’s Who Among American Universities and Colleges, and worked as Installation Assistant in the Ceramics Department.
He was also selected to participate in the Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture Teaching Artists Learning Lab and Grants Panel in 2016 & 2017.
“I feel a career in the arts is not only fulfilling for the artist, but can be utilized to enrich and inspire one’s community and its youth.”
Audra Lambert is a Muralist and Teaching Artist. She was born in Bridgeport, Texas, and is a practicing artist who commits herself to the pursuit of furthering the arts in all communities. She graduated with a B.F.A from Midwestern State University, majoring in printmaking and minoring in metalsmithing, where she received many student accolades. Since 2013 she has been working a practicing art professional, and loves making public works. Audra is currently a Project Manager for the One World Gallery program. Her main goal in life is to produce art and help others to engage themselves in the arts as well. She believes that all people can benefit from the arts weather they are making art or enjoying it.
Jessica B. Johnson
Jessica Johnson is a professional artist who specializes in portrait drawings and paintings. She also works with ceramics and explores in graphic design. Jessica received her Bachelors of Fine Arts from Midwestern State University from Juanita and Ralph Harvey School of Visual Arts in December of 2009. In 2014, she took her art a step forward and established her own business known as JBJ Artistry.
ToiEasha Cooper is a Wichita Falls native, working towards her Bachelors in Psychology at Midwestern State University. She has practiced all types of artistry, but specializes in visual art. She enjoys painting portraits, pencil sketches, and collage. Art has always helped her with communicating emotions without words, and she can’t wait to help others say that they need to say with, or without words.
AmbeR Day Scott
AmbeR Day Scott is a native of Wichita Falls who received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture and Ceramics from Midwestern State University. She spent several years traveling and working around Texas and Arkansas before returning to Wichita Falls in 2008. AmbeR worked predominately in social work, behavioral and mental health environments, where she was able to utilize her art background to create a bridge between the different populations she served.
Since joining the Alliance for Arts and Culture in 2017, AmbeR has had the opportunity to work on multiple projects for 9thStreet Studios as the Gallery Assistant, she was the Enrichment Program Coordinator and Curator for the Communities in Schools Youth Art/Talent Expo, and she coordinated and executed the “Young at Art” pop-up exhibits and art activities for the 2018 After Hours Art Walks.
AmbeR is thrilled to continue working with the Alliance for Arts and Culture as a Teaching Artist and One World Gallery project co-manager in 2018.
Semeia Mitchell is a singer, songwriter and musician. Born and raised in Wichita Falls, Tx, Mitchell discovered a love and talent for the melodious through her family of varying artists and the church. By age 5, Mitchell was attending Yahama Music School after having expressed an interest in the piano. This was the beginning of a childhood full of musical exploration and growth. During this time, she made great strides in her learning, advancing to private instruction and also showed great passion for singing. Mitchell was a member of McNiel Jr. High choir and Rider’s Girls Choir and Acapella.
Early adult life brought travels and living out of state, 2 years of college, and several years of call center tenure.
Since November 2015, Mitchell has been performing under the name Sej Miles. Mixing a host of arrangements and original music, Miles exhibits a folk style with a blues/soul sensibility, all channeled through voice and the ivories. Mitchell’s work as Sej Miles has brought wonderful platforms for creative expression
and opportunities to serve her community. From work with Meals on Wheels to performing for the Chamber Of Commerce After Hours, Mitchell continues to put community service as a part of her purpose in performing. In July 2016, Mitchell added a side project call Ground Floor Rising, a creative collaboration with local soul fusion singer Brittany Roberts. With Ground Floor and Rising, Mitchell has continued local performance, as well as in Austin and Corpus Christi.
Mitchell is currently expanding her contributions through art with the WFAAC as a teaching artist.
Chip Kouri was born and raised in Wichita Falls, TX. He attended Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas where he received degrees in both Textile Design and Art. After spending several years in the fashion industry, he moved into the beauty industry, rising to the rank of Director of Education for a major haircare manufacturer. After living in Dallas, TX for 30 years, he now resides in his hometown where he applies his artistic abilities to interior design, floral design, acting and singing in regional theater and freelance art work.
“Music has always been a part of my life. As a youngster, I would dance all day long if I could. I joined the choir and band in Jr high. Band was more natural for me (precision). In my first year I went from beginners band to second chair in A band. However, in high school, my love for sports overshadowed my love for music, or so I thought. During my freshman year, I began freestyle rapping and writing lyrics. It wasn’t long after, that developed a true passion for writing and performing those lyrics. Since 17 years of age, I’ve been signed to 3 independent record labels, written and recorded 100s of hip hop tracks, and performed in various venues with up to 1,500 individuals in attendance. Now, at age 31, I have learned to use my voice to motivate, encourage, and empower others to continue to set and achieve their goals throughout life.”
Bio Coming Soon
Chance Harmon is one of the top performance instructors in the nation. He began his career as a teenager performing at various theme parks like the award-winning OPRYLAND U.S.A. in Nashville, Tennessee. Chance has performed on numerous cruise ships, regional theater productions, and Broadway national tours. His theater performance and directing accolades led him into the world of television. He began as a vocal coach and performance specialist for MTV, working on shows like Say What? Karaoke. During his many years in New York City, he worked for Food Network, Fox News and on shows like Fear Factor, just to name a few. He directed, produced and performed on many distinguished broadcast and live theater events. From Broadway workshops to Emmy award winning television, his professionalism is renowned and he is highly respected in the television and theater community.
VARIETY called him, “A bright spot on the stage.”
An actor, singer, and teaching artist, Bryson Petersen has co-administered the Wichita Theatre’s in-school workshop series, Acting Out In Class, for four years. In the summer of 2017, he trained as a teaching artist at Lincoln Center as a part of Lincoln Center Education’s Summer Forum, and he has participated in the Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture’s Teaching Artist Learning Lab for two years. Bryson has performed for over 14 years in over 50 musical productions in North Texas.
Bio Coming Soon.
Ramona Stegal is a practicing artist in Wichita Falls with a penchant for giving old things new life. She graduated from Midwestern State University in 1998 with her BFA in photography and ceramics, and earned her teaching certificate in 2004. She was awarded the AP Conference scholarship in 2007, and the Avid Summer Institute school scholarship in 2008. Ramona taught art in Dallas for a decade before venturing back to Wichita Falls to pursue her art adventures. She now works with the WFISD where she administers the “You Call THAT Art?!?!” Club at Booker T Washington, and most of her time is spent at the Youth Opportunities Center working with Wichita Falls youth. She also participated in the Teaching Artist Learning Lab administered by the Wichita Falls Alliance for Art and Culture which led to her continued involvement at the Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program and the Wichita Falls Library. In all her endeavors, she uses art to help students “recycle their perception of the ordinary.”
Ramona challenges you to see the world through her eyes. Working in mixed media, much of it recycled items, she creates abstract pieces of art. People get hooked on the idea that art has to “Look” like an OBJECT to be good. “Abstract” art, “Non-Objective” art or sometimes called “Expressionism” does “Look” like something, to the artist that created the work. The artwork “Looks” like: an idea, a thought, a concept or emotion. One can always find beauty in the abstract, as long as, they are willing to learn how to see their world in a new perspective.
Simon Welch was born in Henrietta, TX in 1986. He received his BFA from Midwestern State University in May 2010 with a focus in Metalsmithing and Printmaking. He was featured in several student shows throughout his college career and recieved best in show in “metalsmithing” in the student exhibition in May 2009. He has works in the permanent collection of the Wichita Falls Museum of Art at MSU, as well as on display on campus of Midwestern State University. He started a career in graphic design in 2010 and has created several logos that are featured throughout the city in both publication and apparel. Simon Welch lives and works in Wichita Falls, TX.
Brittany Nicole Roberts
Brittany Nicole Roberts, born and raised in Wichita Falls, is a self-taught musician and dancer. She is a singer, songwriter and performer with Ground Floor and Rising, an Indie Folk/Soul Music duo with Semeia Mitchell. Brittany has used the stage name of “Hazel” for 4 years and is expecting to debut an album titled “Feel Something” with her musical partner Semeia aka Sej Miles. Well versed in guitar, piano, percussion and musical theatre, Brittany has a lot to share with her students. Brittany is a new Mother to Lyric Brittany.