St James is incredibly fortunate to have 9 different enrichment programs that stimulate and motivate the school’s curious and creative minds. Each enrichment program is led by a subject matter expert who helps make the topic meaningful and memorable. Today we highlight Catherine Russell and the dynamic arts experience at St. James. From digital art, to locally inspired Blue Dog paintings, artistic exploration goes beyond the classroom.

“When I think of art in general, I think of it as a cultural resource that entertains, teaches, perplexes, soothes, and even frightens us at times. Sometimes when I think of art as a teacher, especially at the elementary stage, I see it as a way to preserve memories from some of the happiest times of our lives. As an art teacher, of course my ultimate goal is to expose students to all the elements and styles and techniques and mediums that I possibly can in order to prepare them for a lifelong journey of cultural learning. However, I am also very fortunate to provide families with pieces of happiness or memories of some of the most joyous times of their lives for years and years to come. While I am certainly a teacher, I am also a mother, and going through old projects of my daughters’ early years brings back wonderful memories of years passed. I’m truly humbled when families love their child’s art so much, they choose to frame and hang it in their homes. I realize that I am providing more than an education, I am providing a window to the past. Here are some of these memory filled masterpieces that parents and families have shared with me in the past. I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I do.” –Catherine Russell