Setting an example:
Euclid High School's visual communications teacher, Edith Mellen, set out to motivate her students by submitting her own art into contests. Now that artwork’s gone international.
Mrs. Mellen, who teaches the high school’s Visual Communications career technical education program, describes herself as more of a “quiet” artist. She doesn’t usually enter contests but decided to make an exception as she encourages student artists to market themselves and their work.
She submitted work to a Loo Roll Art Challenge sponsored by the UK’s Pinkfoot Gallery that challenged artists to turn“those gorgeous blank canvases” into pieces of art. Pinkfoot Gallery chose to include her toilet paper roll drawings of the famous surrealist artist Salvador Dali and they were shared on the BBC News.
“I laughed,” she said, talking about how “something so mundane as a toilet roll could go as far as it did go.”
Mrs. Mellen and a couple of her students also had artwork accepted into Ursuline College’s “Self Portrait: Artists Respond to COVID 19” virtual gallery.
“I wanted to show them that ‘you can do it. Look at what I just did,’” she said. “Some of them are doing it.”
Mrs. Mellen is having Zoom chats with her students and covering subjects like how to be an entrepreneur. She said taking classes online has forced her students to learn how to be more independent and better organized when it comes to their work flow.
“It’s always been the teacher will have to do everything,” she said. “Now they have to, too. They have a lot of things to work on.”
Mrs. Mellen, a Euclid native, has taught for Euclid Schools for 30 years.