Paula Liz-Artist and Art Educator
"My name is Paula Liz and I am an artist and art educator. I was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Maryland. Since English was not my first language, I found it difficult to formulate my thoughts verbally or through writing. Instead I thrived when I was given the opportunity to visually express myself. As such it is through art that I was finally able to explore my identity and share my story.
Growing up in a community culturally different from my own, I often felt like an outsider. As such I felt that my voice and opinion did not matter. But through art I realized that my voice and perspective are not only unique, but were in fact important. Once I realized this I began to explore what it was that I had to say. What mattered the most to me?
I knew that I never wanted another child to feel the way that I had. I wanted every child to grow up knowing that they are important, that what they say and do matters, and that they can make a difference. This passion is what inspired me to become an artist and art educator. With a series of scholarships I was able to attend the Maryland Institute College of Art where I received my BFA in Painting and MAT in Art Education.
Since then, I have had experience teaching art at public, private, and charter schools in New York City, Washington D.C. and Austin, Texas. Currently I am teaching Elementary art at a Two-way immersion school in Maryland where I am able to instruct in both English and Spanish.
I am fortunate to have a career where I get the opportunity to create with children everyday. I have been inspired by their ability to use their voice, art, and actions to make a difference in their communities. In a world where testing and automation is taking over, this creativity and innovation is needed now more than ever.
However, during this decade of teaching I had found myself in a bubble. I was often the sole art educator in the building and collaboration was difficult to come by. Online I found that many elementary art lessons focused more on step-by-step techniques and creating a “cute” product rather than encouraging exploration and empowering all student voices. Fortunately through social media I was able to connect online with other like-minded art educators. What started as a collaborative google document has turned into a website- www.antiracistartteachers.org. The goal of our site is to encourage art educators to work towards removing biases, stereotypes, and false narratives in art education. It is clear that we can no longer accept the things we can not change, we must change the things that we can not accept. Together through art education we can inspire our youth to use their imaginations to create a more just and inclusive future."
To learn more about Liz follow:
YouTube: Art With Ms. Paula Liz
TpT Store: Making Art with Ms.Paula Liz