We are proud to feature our Benton Teaching Artist, Eileen Jackson, on this month's Staff Spotlight.
1. When did you first realize you were an artist or wanted to be an artist?
I think I was about 9 years old when my neighbor showed me how to watercolor paint. We painted together and created a beautiful scene by a lake and I fell in love with the process of making art. It just made me feel so good!
2. What is your favorite art medium and why is it your favorite?
My favorite art medium is photography. I love it because it’s a historical document and I have a love for all things from the past. When I look at a photograph I feel like I can see many different layers of meaning. Not only are you seeing a time and place but emotions come through as well.
3. If you could learn any other art medium, what would it be? Why?
I would love to learn how to make stained glass. It’s a very old medium and there are so many beautiful stained glassworks in the world. My Mom had a beautiful Birds of Paradise stained glass window lighting the stairwell. I used to look at it for hours. I love how the light came through the glass to make it come to life. It was very magical!
4. What is your favorite part of your job as a MAC Teaching Artist?
I love connecting with the children through making art. Teaching them different ways to express their ideas is very rewarding. I love seeing their creations come to life!
5. Why do you think the arts are so important right now?
Giving children an opportunity to express who they are and giving them the tools on how to create is valuable. Teaching them that their art has value and meaning in the world is teaching them that they have value and a voice. We need more artists in our changing world to help us make sense of it!