Carroll Arts Center show highlights work by county teachers

In the classroom, the arts teachers of Carroll County guide students from their earliest crayon drawings to their senior projects and AP portfolios.

But there is still time to catch a gallery show at the Carroll Arts Center that brings the teachers’ own work into the spotlight.


On display in the Director's Hall of the Carroll Arts Center, 91 W. Main St., Westminster, it can be viewed until Nov. 2.

About 15 visual arts teachers submitted pieces and the mediums they worked in range from photography to mixed media, painting and drawing.

Supervisor of Fine Arts for CCPS Cristina Gruss said coordinating the show was a partnership with the Carroll County Arts Council. The idea was inspired by the student art shows displayed there during Youth Art Month and is a concept that they’ve wanted to act on for a while.

“I wanted the community to see our visual arts teachers … as actual working artists within their communities," she said. “It's very insightful how they present themselves in their work and how they present themselves as teachers."

Amy Slagle, Eldersburg Elementary art teacher, submitted an oil painting titled “O Holy Night.”

“I wanted a unique piece of my work that would teach or share with others something about me, “ she said. The piece’s title references her Christianity, and the abstract representation makes it so "my viewers must really search to see what is going on in my painting. ... I love work that draws you in and sometimes also makes you step back to try to see or understand what is going on.”

Gruss sees the show as an opportunity for young artists to learn what motivates their teachers and how they are making art a part of their life.

“I was hoping that parents would come see it, that students would come see it," she said. "For students to see what art teachers are doing with their artwork is really insightful."

Slagle agreed.

"I would love for my students and the peers that I work with to see the other side of me as well — that I am an artist outside of just being an art teacher," she said. "I am a strong advocate of the arts along with supporting our community in any talents each other has to share."

Gruss said she and the Arts Council hope to make the teachers’ show an annual event and expand it in coming years, Gruss said. This year, 3-D works could not be part of the show because of space and logistics, but she hopes they can display sculpture and other larger works in the future.

The show is free and open to the public. Gallery hours for the Carroll Arts Center are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.

For more information about gallery hours, contact the Carroll County Arts Council at 410-848-7272 or email