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Art Teacher Hopes to Display Puzzle Pieces to Honor Past and Present Students

BY MELANIE BUCK –

Ms. Sheila Johnson, Art Teacher at Mena for 25 years, now teaches art at Cossatot River School District. Johnson has an art show scheduled for next Spring at Mena Art Gallery, something all artists long for. However, Johnson said she wouldn’t be the artist she is without her students who she said taught her as much as she taught them. I’m having a show in April at the Mena Art Gallery and since I’ve learned more from the kids than what they learned from me, I wanted to incorporate my students to spotlight them, who’ve taught me so much.

Johnson is calling on all of her students, former and current, to create something special as a ‘prequel’ to her show. Johnson would like for all of her students to create a puzzle piece, approximately 2 ft. x 2 ft. “You don’t have to spend a lot of money. You can do a collage, mosaic, or even an older project you may still have, make a copy and paste it on,” Johnson explained. As for the actual puzzle piece, those can be ordered through Johnson for $5 each.

She would like to have all puzzle pieces ready to hang by March 1st, a full month prior to her gallery show. This will give her plenty of time to hang and display them around town and will also give time for them to be seen by the community and its visitors.

“Don’t make this a job, make it fun. I’ve used watercolor on one, sharpie, and acrylic paint. I wasn’t a natural artist. I had to learn myself and I wanted to extend that it was my students who helped me the most,” said Johnson.

If you are one of her former or current students and would like to take part or have questions, please contact Johnson at 870-385-2285 or 479-263-9529.

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