Teaching Residency Program expands K-12 students’ learning experience by bringing artists to the classroom.
The ARTx3 Campus / The Arts & Science Center partners with Arts in Education (AIE) teaching artists to enrich students’ learning experience.
ASC, with the teaching artists, collaborates with Pine Bluff area schools on innovative ways to engage students and help to improve literacy and classroom engagement.
“If we’re able to engage the students in a way that is interactive, that engages a different part of the brain, that shakes things up, then we’re more likely to be able to see a result because it’s something completely new and it changes the environment,” says Dr. Rachel Miller, executive director of ASC.
ASC seeks to make a meaningful impact in Pine Bluff through its AIE program.
For more information about teaching residencies, contact Education Programs Manager Shakeelah Rahmaan at email@example.com.
These workshops and programs are made possible by the Arkansas Arts Council’s Arts in Education Program.
Virmarie DePoyster is the Arts in Education artist-in-residence for spring 2024. DePoyster will lead students in a mural project that highlights famous figures in Black history.
Students will learn and explore the process of designing a mural and use those techniques to produce a beautiful piece of art. The workshop is inspired by the murals created throughout the ARTx3 campus by Amanei Johnson.
DePoyster will lead students from the Pine Bluff Community Center in this after-school workshop during the week of April 1-4, at The ARTSpace on Main.
This workshop is also open to any student in sixth grade or above. To enroll, please contact Shakeelah Rahmaan at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 870-536-3375. There is no cost to attend.
DePoyster will also lead a free, drop-in self-portrait workshop from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, April 5, at The ARTSpace on Main. The public is invited and it is open to all ages. There is no cost to attend but registration is requested.Registration Coming Soon
Virmarie DePoyster is a Puerto Rican-born multidisciplinary artist, educator, and community leader. As a practicing artist, she explores the complexities of identity. As an educator, she develops therapeutic art programs, providing safe spaces for self-reflection. And as a community leader, she advocates for equality and inclusion. She mainly works with pastels, but is skilled in multiple mediums. She has taught as part of the Arkansas Arts Council's Arts in Education Roster since 2011.
The Arts & Science Center hosted her solo exhibition Beyond Labels | Más Allá De Las Etiquetas in 2021. In the pastel portrait show, DePoyster explored how in today's world — a melting pot — the labels we assign each other have the power to either divide or connect us. Rather than focusing on the boundaries these labels can create, DePoyster's goal with these works was to inspire a sense of community as each subject's intrinsic beauty is illustrated. Beyond Labels was recently on view at the Fort Smith Regional Art Museum, and will be on view later in 2024 at the South Arkansas Arts Center in El Dorado.
The Arkansas Arts Council recently announced DePoyster as the 2024 Governor’s Arts Awards recipient for Arts in Education.
Jasmine Harris was the Arts in Education artist-in-residence for fall 2023. Harris led students in learning about the art of spoken word. This included a focus on poetry in an after-school residency. Harris lent her extensive artistic talents to the Pine Bluff Community Center and Townsend Boys & Girls Club with after-school programs Oct. 10-13, at ASC. Students created, learned, and explored the process of spoken-word poetry. The classes were available to middle- through high-school students at no cost.
She also led a free poetry workshop for the community.
Jasmine Harris is a secondary educator for the Little Rock School District, living and learning in central Arkansas. She’s a certified wordsmith, holding a Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics, a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in Secondary Education, and an Educational Specialist degree in Building Administration. She’s also a published poet, featured in the International Poetry Digest, Ink & Voices, Rigorous, and more. A collection of poetry I May Have Been In My Feelings focuses her writing on identity, relationships, and the climate of society. Harris frequently quotes her inspirations as Maya Angelou, Ntozake Shange, and Tupac Shakur.
Alica “Aida” Ayers was the Arts in Education artist-in-residence for the 2022-2023 academic year. The multidisciplinary artist led students and workshop attendees in music and art, with an emphasis on African culture. This included a focus on music in the fall and art in the spring.
Ayers lent her extensive artistic talents to Pine Bluff-area students in a weeklong after-school ceramics class March 6-10, 2023, at the Arts & Science Center. Students created, learned, and explored the process of designing beautiful, African-inspired clay pots. Workshops were open to any student in sixth grade or above.
Alice “Aida” Ayers is from Albuquerque, New Mexico, but has lived throughout the United States and a few African countries. Since 2018, she’s been based out of El Paso, Texas. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, and on the Arkansas Arts Council’s Artist in Education roster.
She holds degrees in fine art, design and art education, and has exhibited work in America, Europe, Mexico, and several countries in Africa. As a teaching artist, she has conducted residencies in more than 250 schools, colleges, and community centers. She has painted more than 20 public murals.
Her work is created with strong colors and shapes and she loves depicting the female figure. The work is created with a sense of joy, depicting women as nurturers and lovers. Whether working with canvas and paint or fabric and thread, the color and pattern choices come through.
Traveling and meeting new people, seeing new environments and experiencing life is what inspires her most. Whether she is working in pastels, glass or textiles, her art has a direct correlation with the environment she is in.
Ayers works in a variety of media and whichever one she is working in at the time, is her favorite. She enjoys pushing the medium in innovative ways and combining several different media to create with. She is concerned with the value that art brings to people’s lives and chooses to focus on subject matter that shares her point of view.
She was an Arts in Education artist-in-residence at the Arts & Science Center in April 2022, with a focus on collage quilting. She worked with students at Dollarway High School and led a collage quilting workshop at ASC in May 2022. An exhibition in the Loft Gallery of The ARTSpace on Main displayed her collage quilt creations.