Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Fine Arts (Integrated Arts and Education)

Department or School/College

Creative Pulse Program

Committee Chair

Randy Bolton

Commitee Members

Rick Hughes


art, art education, visual art


University of Montana


I worked to overcome two major problems for my final creative project. The first problem was the lack of meaningful, original art that my students have been creating and their inability to explain their work though an artist statement. The second problem was that I had stopped creating my own art and no longer saw myself as an artist. To resolve the first problem I took my students through a series of age appropriate exercises and lessons to help make personal connections through creative expression, and to promote creative growth. I found ways to put more of themselves in their art and take personal risks. I developed specific units and projects at each grade level that I teach to help foster this personal release though art, and get in touch with the creative process. To resolve the second problem I spent a lot of time in the studio myself, creating art that was meaningful and relevant to my life. I created a body of my own art that was ultimately publicly displayed. I broke down the issue of creativity into an approachable process through teaching; by teaching my students to understand how to put more personal thought into their art, and by teaching myself to rediscover myself as an artist. The following pages outline the process, challenges, and results of this journey for me and my students. My students and I learned to connect our feelings and what is relevant in our lives to our art, and we created meaningful, original work. We found that creating art is cathartic and a powerful way to make a statement and reflect. Through the work in my creative project I have found that my students have a lot to say through their art. Not only do they have a lot to say through art, but so do I.

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© Copyright 2009 Suzanne Michelle Roy