Rachel Michaud Encourages Vibrancy at ELHS

Rachel Michaud Encourages Vibrancy at ELHS

Ms. Michaud elaborates on creating art and teaching it as the AP Art teacher


Viking Saga: What motivated your pursuit of the arts and the education of it?

Rachel Michaud: Ever since I was a child, I always loved to draw and simply work with my hands, so I enrolled in art courses throughout my academic life and eventually committed to art school. After graduating with a bachelors in Illustration from the University of Hartford, I traveled abroad with my peers and learned a variety of different perspectives and perceptions of art and how art is expressed through different cultures. From there, I was motivated to teach it.

VS: What are your greatest influences?

RM: My professors in art school were definitely those that influenced me most. The professors absolutely pushed me to find my own voice, my own style. Not one person can think of everything, and inspiration is everywhere, so listening to my teachers push towards individuality influenced me to find my own, unique style.

VS: What inspires you most often to create art?

RM: Students inspire me. They’ll be working on a piece and I’ll think, “Oh, that’s such a cool idea!” or when I’m introducing concepts to them in class I’ll think, “Oh, I want to create this with you!”, so I think, as of right now, my students are my biggest motivators to create my own work.

VS: How has teaching art and interacting with students impacted your life?

RM: I have learned so much throughout the 23 years I have been here. There are days where I am so tired and reluctant to go to work, but as soon as I step into my classroom, it’s home. I get excited to teach and to see my students learn and create art, it becomes my comfort zone.

VS: Why is it that you feel students enroll in this course?

RM: Other than needing to fulfill the art credit, I feel students enroll in this course to receive the inspiration in being their own artist, their own creator, and hopefully become motivated to pursue art classes and further their passion for self expression.

VS: What do you hope students retain from this course upon completion?

RM: I hope students reinforce their confidence in their artistic ability when they complete this course. I hope they remember they can create anything, to not be afraid to create, to not be afraid to make mistakes, and to be their own visual speaker.