26 Julai 2010

Teacher takes students on tour through her art

The students of Patricia Cummins' K-5 art classes at Palmetto Elementary often find themselves living and learning vicariously through her.

As a landscape artist who has participated in six National Park Artist-in- Residence programs and painted landscapes throughout the world, Cummins has a plethora of cultural knowledge and first-hand artistic experience that she infuses into her lessons. After taking part in an Artist-in-Residence program at Mesa Verde National Park, CO, Cummins had her students learn about the native pueblos of the area and weave paper sandals.

"My students get some geography lessons," she said. "They learn a little bit of history and culture."

A native New Yorker, Cummins first was inspired to paint landscapes by the city's park system. After receiving her BA in Art Education from the City University of New York, she moved to Miami and received her MS in Art Education. She has spent 34 years as an art educator in South Florida.

Aside from her time at Palmetto Elementary, she has taught at Barry University's Adrian School of Education, served as the Fine Arts Department chair at Richmond Heights Middle School and lectured at the Metropolitan Museum and Art Center of Coral Gables.

Cummins has won a number of awards and displayed her work in many exhibitions, including at Florida's State Capitol. Her current studio is located at ArtSouth in Homestead.

Once classes resume this fall, Cummins will have a whole new set of experiences to share with her students. This month, she is traveling to the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area in northern California for three weeks. This is her seventh National Park residency.

The rugged landscape is poles apart from South Florida's tropical scenery, but Cummins welcomes the challenge.

"I'm looking forward to painting things that are new to paint," she said. "The landscape is quite different there. I'm hoping I will appreciate a totally different landscape."

There is one particular part of the residency Cummins is anticipating.

"The California condor is endangered. I’m hoping to paint the condor or its habitat."

To contact Patricia Cummins or to see some of her work, visit her website at www.patcummins.com.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/07/23/1743927/teacher-takes-students-on-tour.html#ixzz0ukqgXYdG

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