For Jeffrey Sass, Art Education is not only important to the development of a student but it is essential for their growth as an individual. Sass shares Pablo Picasso’s sentiment that, “Every child is an artist. The proble...
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For Jeffrey Sass, Art Education is not only important to the development of a student but it is essential for their growth as an individual. Sass shares Pablo Picasso’s sentiment that, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” Sass’ appreciation for art education was not a life-long passion, but rather was an epiphany he had when observing his daughter’s pre-school artwork over 10 years ago. From that moment he left the world of marketing and shifted his focus to showing children the power that art can have on the world.
“Art is such a great tool because if you put the right image forward it can get a lot of attention quickly.”
Sass allows students to creatively use art as a tool to magnify larger issues. One example of a project that allowed students to construct large-scale sculptures surrounding a political issue they cared about. One student created a large-scale sculpture resembling a goldfish box, but marked it “deadfish” to bring awareness to pollution issues among local rivers and streams.
Sass sees special needs students as a major benefactor from art education. Sass believes that art education is something that is irreplaceable for special needs students due to the creative aspect of the subject. He sees an opportunity for students to increase multiple life skills because of the setting and the unique material presented.
“Art education is extremely valuable both cognitively and socially, especially for those students with special needs,” said Sass. “Sometimes the only success the students have during the day is in my classroom, and success can have an domino effect.”
Sass also makes sure that in his classroom, although it is a loose environment, students understand that everyone respects each other. He finds that because of the creative nature of art, students can get a better understanding on different creative ideas surrounding a similar subject to help them learn how to understand each other better.
“We are not just teaching how to color in the lines. We are teaching true values to kids and encourage students to help others daily.”
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