Art show set for March 20

Published 7:00 am Friday, March 11, 2016

By Bob Ann Breland

For The Daily News

Artist and teacher Sarah Willis talked positively about teaching art to her students in Bogalusa schools when she spoke to members of the Washington Parish Art Association on Tuesday, March 8 in the fellowship Hall at Bogalusa First Baptist Church.

A native of Bogalusa and a 2005 graduate of Bogalusa High School, she said she thoroughly enjoys bringing art and creativity to the lives of her students. Willis will be one of the artists showing her work at the art association’s show and sale on Sunday, March 20.

She showed some of the work created by her students, including some ceramics, as well as drawings and other art forms.

“I worked with special need children for seven years before becoming an art teacher,” she said. “The majority of these children were ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and were language delayed or non-verbal. I was able to help them learn through art and music and teach them alternative ways to express and communicate.”

She added she takes this approach into the talented art sixth-through-eighth-grade classroom by individually telling children they are worthy, special, creative geniuses, giving them the positive guide to allow them to become well rounded individuals.

“I teach three general art elective classes and three talented art classes every day, equaling a little under 100 students — our future scholars and artists,” she said.

“I have enjoyed doing something creative every day since I was a child. This has shaped my entire self,” adding she aspires to be a positive light in the community, reinforcing this message for students to carry in them as well.

“The arts are of such vital importance in building an individual; giving them a voice, allowing them to push themselves and achieve self-respect and pride in both their character and worth,” she said.

Willis told the group she was taught visual arts at Southeastern Louisiana University, receiving training in ceramics, digital design, painting, drawing, and printmaking. She also studied Larry Casso’s technique course in 2006 at the Mandeville location of the Baton Rouge Fine Arts Academy. She graduated from UNO with a bachelor of arts degree in English and creative writing.

Willis was introduced by Cathy Robbins, who co-hosted the meeting with Theresa Lomzenski, Judy Pritchard and Debbie Lusco.

Prior to the program, president Janis Fisher led the short business meeting, hearing routine reports. She also noted that the May 6 meeting for installation of officers will be held at Sugar Shack in Franklinton at 6 p.m.

Ann Warner talked about the upcoming art show and sale, giving final rules and directions for bringing art for the show on Wednesday, March 16 after 2 p.m. to the home of Sara Nelson in Clifton where the show will be held. The show will be professionally hung on Thursday, March 17 by Cindy Nicholas of Baton Rouge.

Several new members were welcomed to the meeting.

A delicious meal was provided by the hostesses and art students of Cathy Robbins.

Those attending included: Janis Fisher, Frances Miller, Christine Beatty, Sara Nelson, Sharon Klerk, Debbie Lusco, Cathy Robbins, Bob Ann Breland, Jane Brodie, Sarah Willis, Ellen Barrett, Reba Sanspree, Violeta Thomas, Ann Warner, Janice Branch, Terry Seal, Peter Gard, Theresa Lomzenski, Gayle McCants, Sandra Stewart, Peggy Kemp, Johnny Green, Patricia Jenkins and Esma Irvine.