“Growing up, when I thought of an artist, I thought of a painter, that’s it,” confessed Kyle Maurey. “Now, of course, I understand that there are lots of ways for people to work in the arts, it’s not just being a painter.”
As a high school art teacher at Maclay School, this is a realization she’s committed to passing on to her students. Maurey does that in her classroom and also through the annual Celebration of the Arts, a school-wide arts festival. For Maurey, the goal of the event is “to make people see art as a part of life, as a part of everything.”
She believes it’s important to show kids “actual career opportunities that allow them to be creative, innovative and expressive. Let’s get rid of this idea of the starving artist.”
Maurey graduated from Maclay in 2007 and, after earning a BFA in illustration from the Savannah College of Art and Design, she started teaching and creating greeting cards and children’s book illustrations. She’s published two books and is currently working on a third.
Her books were on display during the Celebration of the Arts event, and there were dozens of other booths hosted by school clubs, community organizations and several Maclay alumni who now have careers in the creative industries. Chase Jordan, a practicing architect, flew in from Chicago to support his alma mater and Barrie Maurey drove from Atlanta to give kids insights into her job as a logistics manager for a performance production company.
“Having the alumni here is great because these people are doing real things in real places. They’re bringing that real-world experience back to Maclay to show our current students that these are viable career opportunities,” said Maurey.
The Celebration of the Arts is a multi-disciplinary event and included opportunities for students to showcase poetry, theater, music or dance. One of many to take the stage was 12th grader Justine De Saint Mars who performed an original song.
“I’ve always wanted to do something in music since I was little. I just got into college for music composition at FSU. Music has always made me really happy and I knew there were career options. I don’t really know what people can do with a chemistry degree,” Justine admitted, “but I know what I can do with a music degree. I focus more on that.”
Laura Adams shared that Justine’s performance was “100% one of my favorite parts of the event.” Laura is currently enrolled in one of Maurey’s art classes. The 12th grader especially enjoys learning drawing techniques and she contributed to a collaborative, large scale art installation for the event.
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