Joanna Abel

Resident Artist
Interdisciplinary Artist

I express my creative ideas through a variety of art forms including visual art, dance, and music. To better inform my process, I connect these art forms to different themes and subjects that are meaningful to me. I create work environments that cultivate collaboration with other artists and allow me to freely take risks in my art making.

As a teaching artist, I stive for the same things in the classroom. When students can explore a multitude of art forms, they are more likely to find one that speaks to them. I also create opportunities for peer collaboration and risk taking through group discussions, brainstorming, and activities. Connecting with others helps students find meaning and relate to the world around them.

I am inspired by finding creative ways to engage students in meaningful learning through the art forms I’m most passionate about–visual art, moment, and music. Being a Teaching Artist is like solving a puzzle. Part of the puzzle is to make learning fun–I’m energized when I can connect academic disciplines to artistic work and my excitement carries over to the students. Ingenuity is another part of the puzzle, ranging from using upcycled or unconventional materials, collaborating with other atists and teachers to gain a new perspective, or even assessing and then reworking a lesson on the spot to better communicate ideas. The last piece of the puzzle is making sure students can relate the new knowledge to their current knowledge, aiding in a deeper understanding and creating “A-ha” moments! The pleasure for me is figuring out the balance of engagement, STEM, artistry, and meaningful learning, and then putting it all into action.

Resident Artist Joanna Abel
Resident Artist Joanna Abel