Primary Discipline: Visual Arts
Areas of Specialty: Murals, Painting, Installations
Based in: White Salmon
For 25 years, Janet Essley has taught art to students of all ages, in settings as diverse as a Cambodian Refugee Camp and the Honolulu Academy of Art. She has completed numerous murals, for both public and private clients in the Pacific Coast states and has worked with children to create murals in several states, Mexico and Belize. Essley exhibits her paintings, drawings, and installations throughout the Pacific Northwest and several of her works reside in the Washington State Public Art Collection.
My work with collaborative murals began when I spent a year working with neighborhood youth, painting murals over graffitied walls and fences. This led to projects in the schools creating murals with students that integrated arts skills with other subject matter. With murals or at their desk lesson, I teach students the elements and principles of the arts and the technical skills and processes that will allow them to present their own ideas effectively. Whenever time and space allow, I add a collaborative process to art making. This can be through murals, or in smaller group printmaking or design "studios." Collaborative projects help students learn and practice 21st Century skills. They allow students to see themselves as responsible individuals within a group effort, to see in very immediate ways how many individuals' skills and aesthetic sensibilities can combine to achieve community goals.
Suitable for Grades: K-12
Preferred Grades: K-12
Curriculum Integration Possibilities: Literacy, Reading, Writing, Science, Math, History, Social Studies
Essley is an experienced Tai Chi instructor (for adults and seniors) certified in Yang Style. She has developed an integrated dance/storytelling/visual arts residency based on Chinese folktales and culture, tai chi movement, and pictographic choreographies. She has presented this to grades K-8 in public schools in both classroom residencies and after-school programs.