Exercising the Creative Side of your Brain!
The Mission of the art programs at Perkins Elementary are to create meaningful learning experiences that develop a lifelong appreciation for the arts within our children and community.
Michelle Varley-Crosby: I have been teaching young people to love and appreciate the arts in Pinellas County Schools since 1987and have been the Visual Arts Instructor at Perkins Elementary, Center for the Arts and International Studies since 1994. I was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, attended the University of Washington and University of Puget Sound, receiving BFA in Art Education. Prior to becoming a teacher, I counseled people with disabilities and had a pottery studio.
Gelaina LoVario: My name is Gelaina LoVario and I am an art educator at Perkins Elementary where I myself attended years ago. I have lived in Pinellas County my entire life and I am honored to teach such talented young artists! My mission as an art educator is to help my students make connections to the world around them through art. I would like to help them see the world through the perspective of various artists who come from different places, cultures and time periods. I hope to instill in them a confidence in their own ability to make decisions, solve problems, create and express themselves. I also want them to see that, through art, they can: lift someone¹s spirit, capture a moment and say what words sometimes can’t.
Merry Vasterling: My name is Merry Vasterling. I share my life with my husband Dan (a wonderful talented right brainer), my daughter Hannah (teenage artist in residence!) and Brisco (a Bassett/Golden Retriever agreeable mutt). Creativity and art making have always been a large part of my life. Teaching "found me" while volunteering at Hannah's elementary school. I enrolled at Eckerd College and earned a BA in Visual Art. Primarily I am drawn to 3D mediums such as ceramics, altered materials and textiles. This will be my 8th year teaching and I am so excited to be joining the Perkins' community. I learn so much from working with young artists and I am constantly amazed by their unique abilities to bring creativity to life.