Art teachers in the Papillion-La Vista School District are getting the chance to showcase their work.
Throughout the end of the year, the City of Papillion’s public art gallery, located on the second floor of City Hall at 122 E. Third St., will feature works from Papillion teachers.
“We like to work with the schools. We thought it’d be good to have the art teachers be involved,” said Ken Molzer, chairman of the Papillion Arts Council. “We’re showcasing the art instructors’ works in our district.”
The arts council’s school district representative reached out to art teachers in the junior high and high schools. Teachers were invited to display their personal art.
“We had a good interest in that and quite a variety of artwork was presented,” he said. “Being teachers, they also have their own art they like to do.”
Mike Arnold, head of the art department at Papillion-La Vista South High School, said the exhibit is a good way to showcase teachers as artists in addition to educators.
“We do art alongside the kids,” Arnold said of educators in the district. “Not only are we teaching the art, we’re participating in the art as well. We’re giving kids a unique perception that this isn’t something just being taught, it’s something we do as well.”
The exhibit has displayed various pieces of artwork from five teachers: Mike Arnold from Papillion-La Vista South High School, Val Mouttet from Papillion-La Vista South High School, Mary Todero from Papillion-La Vista South High School, Debra Leif from Papillion-La Vista High School and Kristin Wilkinson from Papillion-La Vista Junior High School.
Each teacher’s work will be on display for about two months at a time. The personal displays will last now through the end of the year.
The schedule will be Arnold from March 3 to April 30, Mouttet from May 5 to June 27, Todero and Kelli Matza from July 1 to Aug. 29 and Wilkinson from Sept. 1 to Oct. 31. Shows from Nov. 3 to Dec. 31 have not been determined.
“We like to look at all venues of the artists in our community,” Molzer said. “To have the instructors is just another avenue of showcasing artwork in the City of Papillion.”
Molzer said the council is looking to expand arts in the community. Several new art-oriented businesses have opened in Papillion’s downtown.
Molzer said the council is always looking to expand the presence of art in the community, with showcasing the work of different residents and in displaying public art in more locations.
“We’ve got the visual arts being presented all the way down main street,” Molzer said. “That’s very encouraging and we’re very enthusiastic.”
Arnold said they encourage student work to be displayed. But it’s important to display the work of teachers, too, he said.
“I think most of us have been artists before we’ve been educators,” Arnold said. “More than anything, at least from my personal experience, I think it’s important to put our work on display for kids to see. It’s important that the kids know we are artists, too.”