Editor’s note: Answering The Purcell Register’s five questions this week is Jon Corea, art teacher at Purcell High School.
Q: What is your favorite media?
A: My favorite media is whatever I am working with at the moment. I love drawing, painting, and sculpting. If I were forced to pick a favorite I would probably say pottery. It relaxes me and pottery has immediate results. It reacts to pushing and pulling. It is alive and breathing. Pottery is also very temperamental; your emotions are reciprocated when working with clay.
Q: How do you keep students engaged?
A: I am blessed with student engagement. Purcell High School has amazing and hard working students. Engagement comes natural to them. My students have a natural curiosity about art and expressing themselves. I set high standards for my students. I try to push them out of their comfort zones. I want them to find their own style. I begin my school year as a teacher and transition into a facilitator.
Q: How much time do you have for personal art projects?
A: My time is very limited. Along with being a full time teacher I also own Pinot’s Palette on Main Street in Norman. Pinot’s Palette is a paint and sip business where customers are instructed how to paint in a fun environment. I currently have six employees. Of my six employees, three of them are former students that have graduated from Purcell High School. It is exciting to have former students as my employees. Owning my own business has been a lifelong dream. It allows me time to paint.
Q: What is the most memorable art project your students have undertaken?
A: My most memorable art project was the Peter Project. Peter was an amazing young man who passed away while enrolled at Purcell. His life touched every student in the school. The entire school was involved with this artwork. Each student wrote about Peter on a 4x4 tile. The tiles were all placed together to make an 8 foot portrait of him. It was a powerful, reflective and healing project that helped the students heal from their loss. It was a humbling experience to see the entire school come together.
Q: How long have you been at Purcell?
A: I began working at Purcell High School in 2012.
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