Krisha Davis, of Westminster, is the learning facilitator for Visual Art at Springdale Preparatory School in New Windsor (springdaleps.org). She has been there since the first day it opened.
When Davis was 14 years old, her art teacher asked to purchase a of her pieces of art. That is when she decided she wanted to be an art teacher someday. Davis liked to do mixed media when she was in school. Davis won a first-place award at the 4-H Fair when she was a freshman in high school at Beulah High School, Beulah ND
After graduation from high school Davis joined the Air Force as a mental health technician. While she was stationed in Mississippi, Davis studied art at the Gulf Coast Community College. Davis got married while she was in the service and had her daughter. She was in the service for four years.
When she left the service, Davis had medical problems but eventually she was able to study art at a variety of places where she lived. Davis also took art classes at North Shore Community College in Massachusetts and Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Davis moved to Carroll County in 2006.
Davis enjoys doing any kind of art that she can do with her hands. She likes tactile art. For example, when she does charcoal images, she likes to use her fingers. Often, when she paints, Davis gets rid of her paint brush and uses her fingers.
Davis has taught children’s art classes at the Carroll County Arts Council. The children read a book and did a piece of art inspired by the book.
In 2017, Davis took the teaching position at Springdale Preparatory School. She teaches fifth grade through twelfth grade.
“I always back up art lessons with history. If we are going to do abstract art, we study Georgia O’Keefe, “The Mother of American Modernism,” known for her huge flowers, western New Mexico landscapes and skyscrapers in New York.
“Recently, we created collages and studied Kurt Schwitters,” Davis said. He was a German artist that worked in a variety of styles but was known to collect garbage off the street and turn it in to art. Her students study the techniques that the artist used and then they apply it to their classroom projects.
All students also must do a written “reflection” of their artwork when it is complete. The student evaluates their own artwork. They write a paper explaining what they would change about it, what techniques they found easy and what they have learned.
Every year they consider it a day of service for the community. The students have helped the elderly, raked leaves, painted shelves for a food bank and restocked the shelves. They have also cleaned a local church in New Windsor.
This year, Davis was asked to do a school-wide art project for Martin Luther King Day. She bought an art panel for each of the students in the school. She chose a photo of Dr. Martin Luther King along with a quote about helping other. Davis put it into Photoshop and made it into six grey scale values to simplify the picture. She printed the picture and cut it into one-inch squares.
Next, Davis numbered the backs of the squares and corresponding panels and passed them out to the students. Each student interpreted their small square and painted it onto their panel. It was a team effort to get all the images to line up to make the whole. Davis helped some of the students with their images.
The image was installed on the wall with double sided adhesive. They started with the fourth row from left to right and then worked above and below. The mural is located in the hallway outside the gym so that visitors can enjoy it.
The students enjoyed it and each student knows what panel they did. They have a sense of pride for their accomplishment.