Paula Bullwinkel, artist and educator, has recently announced the launch of her new art school, INTO ART: Learn Art With An Artist. As a licensed classroom teacher for elementary and middle school age groups, she is able to easily link art education with other subjects for a more holistic approach to instruction. Through small class sizes and teaching by example, Bullwinkel hopes to reveal the personal, powerful and relevant aspects that are the soul and heart of art.
Bullwinkel wanted to start her own art school for the creative freedom of the endeavor, “I saw a need in the community for a fresh, progressive and authentic approach taught by an exhibiting, engaged artist. In kids’ classes, the meaning in art is often omitted or ignored. Progressive art education shows the whole picture: art history, art criticism, art aesthetics, as well as art making.”
Most of the classes she is offering have never been taught in Bend before and since the school is brand new, she is open to suggestions for courses. Current classes are offered from ages 8-17 and she plans to open the programs to include younger students at some point in the future.
For 20 years, Bullwinkel was a professional fashion and portrait photographer in New York City and London. Bullwinkel states, “From there I moved on to the challenge of painting the figure in a fantastical or surrealist setting. My images are figurative, narrative and allegorical. I often use combinations of my photographs for composition and ideas.” Bullwinkel explains that art education can benefit from the authenticity and excitement of learning and working with a successful artist.
“I look at the student’s concerns, their creative interests and imaginative collections, to make art lessons student-centered. Art is one of the most important ways people tell us how they view the world. Children’s natural aptitude can be lost when art teachers impose only adult-centered concepts and artworks. Art education should initially focus on student’s ideas because their experiences must be valued and built upon. In this way, art lessons can be not only successful, but relevant. Studying art encourages the ability to value oneself and others, and to approach the world with a desire to understand.”
Bullwinkel has a long history in art education in Central Oregon. With a masters degree in progressive Art Education from Montclair State University, she has included the latest research-based theories in art education including art history, art criticism and art aesthetics in her courses over the past seven years. She recently created the Art Academy, the first academic long-term art course for kids in Bend, developed and implemented the successful programs Art Envy and the art portion of A Novel Idea at the Deschutes County Public Library branches as well as taught at a variety of local elementary, middle and high schools.
Bullwinkel will offer four classes this fall: Art, Style & Design, Art in a Virtual Classroom and Paula’s Studio Class.
Art, Style & Design is an eight week course which will focus on the origins of great design and style. Students will examine how socially conscious fashion and style are rooted in classical and multicultural art. The class is open to two age groups: 8-12 and 13-17.
Art in a Virtual Classroom is an eight week course which will break out of the classroom mode and visit different locations each week to sketch, paint, explore and discuss art issues from an artist’s point of view. The class is open to six students aged 8-12.
Paula’s Studio Class was created for students who would like to pursue their individual interests. Bullwinkel will teach at her studio, keeping the class size to five students in order to provide more personal instruction as well as share her creative process. All media and all levels are welcome.
Bullwinkel’s approach to art education not only strives to encourage young artists, but to create an environment in which they can explore their relationship to the world around them. She states, “Through a community of inquiry, students learn to investigate, question, and judge art (including challenging my own ideas). I invite risk-taking in both art making and art thinking that questions the status quo and searches for personal or social truths.”