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Julia Fatato, Jess Ackerson & Britt Sternberg of
ADK ArtRise

Art Education


I often find people are nervous about making things; they overthink it or want it to be perfect on the very first step. While I struggle with that as well, I’ve learned ways to huck myself off the cliff of my own fear in order to be an artist. I find a lot of joy in taking others by the hand and helping them make the jump from idea to tangibility. The struggle and anxiety is always still there until all of a sudden they realize they’re flying; they light up!

When asked to symbolize my teaching style with a nature motif, I’m afraid to say the Sparta bird meme was the first thing that came to mind and wouldn’t let any other ideas arise! My talented business partner, Julia, painted it for me. While I won’t kick you off the cliff, I will firmly take your hand for the initial plunge, gleeful in anticipation of the cool things you’ll make. 


I believe my gift to ArtRise is my ability to bring people together. The first time Jess ever mentioned the  idea of creating an art education center, I immediately launched into interview mode and began describing all the ways I could be of use- not because of my masterful art skills, but because of my ability to hold an awareness of resources and connections in my mind. There is nothing I like more than being able to match up somebody who has a need with somebody else who can help fulfill it. In this way, I think what I bring to ArtRise is a network of pathways and opportunities. I am the spider, carefully and quietly weaving a web to connect our community. 


My contribution to the art education section of the mural is the Monarch butterfly. I chose the butterfly to represent my style of teaching. Because many of my classes include students at a wide range of ability levels, I pride myself on the way I am able to meet people where they are at and provide just enough guidance to lightly nudge each of them in the right direction. I often move quickly from person to person- a gentle suggestion here, providing instruction there, and hovering around the whole room at once- much like a butterfly fliting from flower to flower. I enjoy finding the beauty in each moment, and at every flower I land at. 

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