Teaching Artist

I have taught a variety of art classes at the Des Moines Art Center, as a volunteer parent instructor at the Downtown School in Des Moines, and starting this fall at the After School Arts Program. Below are a few projects that I have done with students. Projects can be customized for specific ages and time spans. Please contact me directly.

Arizona Artist-in-Residence Mosaic Project

In October 2015 fellow artist, Michael Lane, and I traveled to Page, Arizona to work on large mosaic project at Page Middle School. We worked with the middle school art teacher, Susan Wilson, and about 200 of the students from the school. Outside the school a 22 foot long dinosaur was built around ten years ago. Susan and the past art teachers at the school enjoyed painting the dinosaur with different themes over the past few years. We the opportunity arose with grant money through the JOM Indian Education Council, Susan seized the chance to bring in some mosaic artist. 

Students drew out different patterns and ideas for the dinosaur mosaic. i took those ideas and combined them into a cohesive design. Page middle school has a majority of students from the Navajo reservation. Some of the patterns and colors were also incorporated into the design. It was a great pleasure to work with the students and staff at the school. The students really enjoyed the project and worked long hours to make the piece come to fruition. 


Shuler Elementary Mosaic project

During the spring of 2016 I worked with about 150 fourth grade students at Shuler Elementary in Waukee, Iowa. At our first meeting we planned out the mosaic design they wanted to represent their school. Shuler Elementary was built near the abandoned Shuler coal mine. They incorporate mining as a theme throughout the school and have use gems as rewards. The students choose to use a past, present, future theme for the mosaic. The piece was originally planned for library, but now hangs in the front office. 

Shuler Elementary Mosaic 4 x 4' stained glass

Shuler Elementary Mosaic 4 x 4' stained glass

Preschool Art Auction project

My baby is 5. He is in his last year of preschool. Making this project was a little bittersweet. The teachers had the students draw self-portraits using one color of marker. i scratched their drawings in the clay pieces I had cut. This process had it's advantage with piecing the pieces together after firing- they fit together nicely. This mosaic process is one I hope to return to soon. 

ht kid mosaic.jpg


City Sounds Piano Project

In April of 2015 I was chosen as an artist for the Des Moines City Sounds Project. Each artist was given a piano to design. For my design I worked with second and third grade students from the Downtown School. They were studying Cities and Downtown Des Moines as part of their project-based learning. I had them sketch details they saw on thier tour of downtown Des Moines. We also went outside and listened for "city sounds". They sketched what those sounds might look like when visualized. I used their sketches when designing the piano. 

They pianos went on display mid-May. Unfortunately, the donated piano could not withstand the tiny hands outside the Central Library for long and it was replaced by another piano at the beginning of June. 

Youth Peace Pole Project

The Downtown School in Des Moines, Iowa had all 97 students in the 5-6 year-old learning groups work on the Peace Pole. Each student was given a small area on the pole to paint an image of peace. The images came together to create a colorful mosaic around the pole. The languages chosen for the sides of the pole are languages taught at the school; Spanish, Japanese, Korean, and English. The students were very excited to work on the pole and are looking forward to seeing it displayed near their school library.

peace pole 1.jpg


I have taught mosaics to students in fourth grade to adults. I prefer to work with stained glass because the colors are more readily available and there are more color variations then ceramic tile. The following mosaics were done by students in grades 3-5 in the Fall of 2014 from the After School Arts Program (ASAP).