Mary Ellen Gutknecht

Drawing with graphite

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Teaching Artist Statement

I have provided Art Residencies to elementary students Preschool - Grade 7 in the Buffalo School District, surrounding districts and outstate Minnesota for the last 20 years. I have also taught adults through Community Education classes, as well as private lessons. It is ever renewing and enriching to see the amazing relationship between art and students of all ages, abilities and levels of interest.

Explore and Nurture Creativity in the classroom

• Develop drawing projects that capture the students' imaginations.
• Provide guidance, encouragement and awareness so the students gain confidence in expressing themselves through their art.
• Infuse specific lessons on brain function to allow greater understanding of the mental process that is involved in solving "visual challenges".
• Deconstruct drawing samples to allow students to better see the component parts, which helps in relaxation, confidence, and new insights on the subjects of their drawings.

Residency Projects

Natural History: "Minnesota Birds" Students explore and draw the differences between common Minnesota birds, and how those differences help them to adapt to various conditions and environments. (Third Grade)
Math: "Solid Forms through Math and Art" The students explore cylinders, cubes, pyramids and other forms through hands-on activities and drawings that include dramatic shadows. They then combine the forms to create a cityscape, which is painted monochromatically.
Other projects: Drawing and natural history of animals (turtles, pandas, tigers, penguins, dogs, raccoons, various birds); Geometric shapes in houses; literature and drawing; self portraits with ratios and proportions.