A Teaching Artist's Journey

Thea shows artworks during a program she offered as a Teaching Artist in Residency in Carrboro, NC.

My Educational Philosophy

As a Teaching Artist, I find the act of inquiry so exciting and important. Asking self-reflective questions as an artist, and analyzing the works of other artists is the most exciting activities I've encountered as a Teaching Artist. At the hear of it all is my belief that students should acquire a sense of "self" through the arts; this supports self esteem and nurture to the individual.  


"I teach using humor, which creates joy, which lends itself to learning."


-  Thea Howell

Thea plays with pre-school students wearing the African-inspired sawfish headdresses they created.

The Importance of Play

The power of play is crucial for students of any age.  As part of investigating the mood of a work of art through its' subjects, concepts, and materials, play is a vehicle that brings us toward this understanding.  We are drawn to play and to interact with our environment. Role-playing, games, and the act of imagining create wonderful moments for conversation and help to make an activity memorable and purposeful. 

Working with students at the North Carolina Museum of Art

Thinking + Sharing

Sharing brings together students. Starting with the most basic questions brings obvious answers and moves students toward deeper observation and a greater sense of understanding. Using mood to enter into conversation is an important starting point, and a great way to help a student investigate both the work of art they are viewing as much as it helps them in their own art-making.