0221 | How has it been going?
What a crazy ride these last few months have been! I went from teaching part-time to working two jobs that I love. I opened my own business without any reservations or fears. I guess you could say that it was meant to be then. At the same time I started working part-time at our local art museum in town. Talk about a great asset! I get to work with some great people and get to be apart of my community that I love. My summer classes went great, even with the small numbers that I had. We were able to celebrate with an Art Showcase where students showed off all their accomplishments. We were also able to finally celebrate our grand opening with the Chamber of Commerce with our ribbon cutting. At lastly after-school classes have started with great response.
I am really looking forward to how this will grow with the community. Promoting everything that I offer has been slow at first. Our paint and ceramic events seem to have plenty of interest but response has not been equivalent. I have not feel that everything will pick-up as word gets out. Hearing back from the locals I know will strengthen everything we have. Feedback and response has already helped expand what we do offer. We added an additional after-school class this semester for a younger audience. I have also learned that there is a strong homeschool community supporting that what I offer is needed. What I find that is interesting is that art is not offered to 6th graders, I only know this because my Junior High class is made up of 6th graders.
Art is extremely important not only for promoting culture and breaking boundaries but for self expression. Where else can you create without fear of failing or judgement? This is why I have come up with my mission statement, Zabeljanes Gallery is a community art center focused on raising awareness for the importance of art through education and events. I want to provide as many opportunities as I can to as many people as I can. I have some great plans for the future and all I can do is pray that I can be patient for them to play out in God's time.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
FIRST POST 0121 | What to do when you have nothing to do...
When you find out that you have no options, you find out that there is only one option. What am I talking about you may ask? Well as of right now, I am a teacher. I teach 8-12th grade as part of a Graphic Design CTE Pathway. Though, I taught PreK-12 Art for two years before. That is not what I've always done. Just five years ago I moved to Pratt, KS to teach Middle School at a different district in town than I am at now. I taught 7th and 8th grade Art. That was my first year teaching, and my only year for that district. I thought teaching was what I wanted to do.
Yeah, it had taken me forever to get that point. I had been a counselor for an after-school program at a Methodist Church in Topeka just prior to that for one school year. Even before that I was a para-educator for three years at a Middle School in Topeka. I had gone to college and got a B.F.A in Ceramics and a B.A. in Art History. But, I had no idea what I wanted to do when I graduated.
As a para I had an epiphany when one of my students told me I should be an art teacher."Yeah right, I've had enough school, I don't want to go back for more". Or, so I thought. It was only by chance that I became a para anyway. I had applied for an office position and was offered the para spot instead. I fell in love with school all over again. I went to Fort Hays for their online T2T program to get my license. I applied and interviewed at countless schools and nothing came through. An e-mail I almost threw away changed everything. Fort Hays was having open interviews for their students. I signed up for all the schools that were looking for art teachers. I had a phone call that same day as the interviews, and here I am in Pratt.
Why am I telling you all this? Well sometimes it's nice to know the whole story. This by far is not the whole story, but it pieces a lot together. But Andrea, why are you starting this gallery? Truth-be-told I had no other option. Well, yes of course I did, but not that I wanted to think about. I'm not teaching at my current district next year due to circumstances that are out of my hands. I don't want to move, that is not an option. I do not want to teach anywhere else. I love my community and the family we have made here. I have to stay, so I am doing the only thing I know how to do. I am making art for a living!
Getting this gallery started has been a lot of work. But it is so worth it! I get to do what I love. Making plans for everything that I want to do has been very fulfilling. I can not wait to open and actually get started. I hope you all are as excited as I am about this next journey.
I'm an artist of many passions. I have always loved art and being creative. Not only do I enjoy ceramics, painting and photography, but I love to cook, bake, clean, read, garden, plant, and work on saving the planet one less piece of plastic at a time. My family always comes first. My supportive husband Jeremy, two daughters; Evelyn and Emma; my shop dog Alabama (aka Bama), and at-home dog Georgia are who I spend my free time with when I'm not creating. Here is where you can check in with what we are doing at ZabelJanes Gallery!