See the most popular lesson from this seasoned arts educator

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In 1998, during Sean Parrish’s sixth year at Brevard High School, he took the Art Guild on a field trip to Savannah, Georgia. The Art Guild is as old as Parrish’s career at Brevard and is an after-school program open to all students interested in the arts.

During the field trip, his students stumbled upon the annual Sidewalk Art Festival at the Savannah School of Art and Design. Parrish asked if his students could participate, and they got a piece of sidewalk.

The educator from Transylvania did not leave the lesson in Georgia. He brought it home, and hundreds of students have benefited from the Art Guild experience since then.

Students sketch out concepts before going out. Once outside, they resize their drawings to their square size and have two days to complete them. Supplies include sidewalk chalk, water, and a mixing brush. It is a true open-air art gallery, accessible to all.

What is one thing Parrish would like the others to know about the lesson?

“The sidewalk can be treated as seriously as you would [treat] canvas or piece of paper. And I think the students take it at that level. And that it’s also like sand sculptures and ice sculptures. It is only meant to be enjoyed for a short period of time… Mother Nature will take it away.

Sean Parrish, visual arts educator at Brevard High School

Caroline parker

Caroline Parker is a multimedia storyteller for EducationNC. It covers the stories of rural North Carolina, the arts, and STEM education.

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