CLARKSVILLE — There is an old saying that, “Those who can, do, and those who can’t, teach.” But the students, staff and administration at Clinton-Massie Local Schools know that there is nothing further from the truth. Especially when it comes to art teacher Kristin Walker, who was recently selected by the AIC College of Design in Cincinnati to choose two of her most talented students to be recognized at the “Artists of the Future” award event.
The event will take place on Saturday, Nov. 21 at 2 p.m. on the AIC College of Design campus in Cincinnati and is presented in partnership with VENUE Magazine.
Out of the hundreds of art teachers in the Cincinnati area, Walker is one of 30 art educators invited to participate in this event which will also include a photo shoot for an article in the Spring Issue of VENUE magazine featuring the best of art education.
Walker first realized she was an artist when she was in second grade and classmates asked her to draw for them. But interestingly enough, in high school it was in math and science classes that Walker excelled the most — even winning the National Math and Science Award and college scholarships.
It was also in high school that Walker met one of her greatest artistic influences, Mrs. Joellen Dreve, who taught art at Columbus South High School. It was under Dreve’s guidance and instruction that Walker began to truly understand her talent and hone her skills.
Dreve would continue to support Walker’s artistic journey by attending her college graduation party and watching Walker begin her own career in the art field when she began teaching at a private school in Columbus and later at Bright Elementary before joining the teaching staff at Clinton-Massie High School in 2000.
A graduate of The Ohio State University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts, and Xavier University where she earned a Master of Education, Walker continues to practice her craft. She is partial to illustration using charcoal and colored pencil but has recently pursued ceramics and currently teaches hand building and wheel throwing at Chatfield College in Saint Martin.
Most recently, Walker has displayed her work at Mount St. Joseph University’s Parallel Visions, the Aroma Java and Gelato coffee house in Cincinnati, the Arts in the Alley Music and Arts Festival in Grove City, and the Columbus Art Museum.
It was a difficult decision for Walker when it came down to picking just two students to be recognized, as Clinton-Massie’s art department has several students whose talents are always developing, always growing and warrant both respect and recognition.
But for this event, Walker selected senior Caitlyn Robinson and junior Jocelyn Burton whose work Walker said is beyond outstanding.
Walker has been active in the field of art education for 25 years, both in and out of the classroom. From 1997 to 2007 Walker served on the State Board of Directors for the Ohio Art Education Association, and for seven years served on the board’s executive committee.
Walker is known among her colleagues and students for her commitment in striving for excellence, a commitment she encourages her students to nurture as well. Walker says continues to learn as much as she can about her work as an artist, and she encourages her students to enter art shows and competitions that will recognize and celebrate their work as well.
“It means so much to have the College of Design take notice,” said Walker, who works hard every day helping students to appreciate and cultivate their own artistic abilities. “Sometimes I think all the extra work goes unnoticed; it’s nice to know it doesn’t.”
Clinton-Massie artists have earned a reputation in the art community, and more than once, Walker says she has heard other artists comment, “Oh, no. Clinton-Massie is here” when her students step forward at events to compete and exhibit their work.
Walker’s response when she hears such comments: “Yes we are,” says Walker. “Yes we are.”
Information for this article was provided by Diana Miller, who coordinates communications for several area schools.