Primary Discipline: Visual Arts
Areas of Specialty: Painting, Drawing, Mixed media/Installation
Based in: Olympia
Dana Squires lives in Olympia in a periwinkle colored house. She cooks spicy food that her teenage daughters wont eat, but that she and her husband love. After graduating from The Evergreen State College in 1979, Squires worked as Art Director for an independent music publication of the Lost Music Network. She also began showing her artwork at, what is now the William Traver Gallery in Seattle. Eventually she joined the Peace Corps, traveling to both Senegal and the Solomon Islands. Her extensive travel experiences and her interest in food have influenced much of her work. Squires has completed numerous commissions through the Washington State Art in Public Places program. She has taught art through Arts Building Curriculum, a joint project of the Olympia School District and the Olympia Arts Commission. She has also taught at the Thurston County Refugee Center.
My work as a teaching artist has several strands: the process of making art, integrating art into other curriculum, and providing a cross-cultural glimpse of different worlds. These can be separated or intertwined in teaching and learning. Art is not just making marks on paper. To teach how to make art is to teach the creative process. Art teaches one to look at things from different perspectives, to explore, and to develop innovative thinking. Art also challenges learners to be observers in the world around them and to examine what they see, ultimately translating their personal impressions into something entirely different – be it a drawing, group project, or something else completely.
By bringing an artist into a non-art classroom, students can explore the same material from a different perspective and utilize their different learning styles. This opens doors for learners and promotes alternative ways of thinking. Looking and exploring artwork from cultures other than our own can help us understand other lives and worldviews.
All three strands are about learning to see, interpreting what you see, and learning to trust your creativity. I want to leave students feeling confident in their abilities to create, whatever their projects may be.
Suitable for Grades: K-12
Preferred Grades: K-12
Curriculum Integration Possibilities: Literacy, Reading, Writing, Math, History, Social Studies, Other Arts Disciplines
- Working with students who are English Language Learners