High school visual art teachers are an under-appreciated lot in this age of draconian budget cuts that often leave art and music underfunded. But the Gibbes hopes to bring attention to the importance of a good art teacher’s role in inspiring young artists and fostering a love of art in their students with the Mary Whyte Art Educator Award.

Mary Whyte, a Johns Island artist and teacher herself, established the award in 2007. Past winners have included Dona Dowling of St. Johns High School, Robin Boston of Stratford High School, and this year’s winner Ashley Webb of Wando. They are currently accepting applications for next year. The deadline to apply is March 1.

Judges are looking for a teacher who is committed, dedicated, collaborative, and involved in the community as an artist. Submission requirements include a resume, artist statement, and an example of a lesson that inspired students (to include samples of students’ resulting art work).

Winners receive $2,500, conduct a workshop for other teachers, and write a blog post for the Gibbes about their role as an educator. Visit marywhyteaward.com for an application and more information. 

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