Spotlight on...Angela Willetts, Art Teacher
Posted November 16, 2011
Art teacher extraordinaire Angela Willetts has been teaching art at BHDS for seven years. During that time, she has served as the teacher representative to the Parent Association, started an upper elementary and middle school after-school open studio program, and started a BHDS art studio blog with Aliza Cohen. She currently teaches grades 1, 3, 4, and 6, as well as a stop-motion elective. Angela earned her bachelor's of education in English literature and education from Cambridge University (UK). She has studied art at the SF Art Institute and the California College of Art, and has worked with a variety of arts programs and museums.
What are you passionate about at work? Why do you do what you do?
I want to help every student discover the personal rewards of the creative process. I strongly believe that everyone is creative and everyone can find enjoyment in some aspect of the creative process—be it discovering the possibilities of a new medium, learning a traditional technique or craft, or expressing an idea and sharing it with others. I am committed to a style of teaching that focuses more on the journey of making art than on the merits of the end product. The value of art in school is that it can be a powerful THINKING tool - students learn to navigate their way to their own thoughts and beliefs through the creative process, and on the way practice problem solving, critical thinking, planning and editing work, risk-taking, persistence, careful observation and reflection, and many more cross-curricular skills.
Art was always so important to me as a child, but the elementary and high schools I attended had almost no art programs. I decided I wanted to provide the kind of art opportunities for kids that I never had.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Outside of work, my life pretty much revolves around art also. I have an art studio in San Francisco, and if I'm not at school I can usually be found there, working on my latest series. I just had my first solo show in San Francisco, and the pieces for that exhibition were all about the body—somewhat scientific representations of the body’s incredible systems. Science is often a source of inspiration for me in my work, and I believe that artists and scientists share a drive and a curiosity to always look below the surface of things. I recently created an artwork with a friend of mine who received his PhD in microbiology from Stanford. We combined his scientific processes and techniques with my drawing processes and created some very interesting sculptures!
When I need to take a break from all the incessant art-making, I love to go get lost in nature and discover new places.