Katina Gustafson, a middle-school art teacher from Riverside, Rhode Island, is currently receiving praise for her snow-art. She made huge snow sculptures in her yard that are pretty as well as motivating to the kids around.
"I grew up in western Coventry and I did make snow sculptures when I was younger but not many people saw them when you live out in the middle of the woods. I made a bruins hockey player in 2009, I spelled out 'I love you' in the snow. I think that was around Valentine's Day in 2010 and it's been a yearly thing," Gustafson told local news.
Through her art, she wants to encourage her students and other local children to come out of their homes and enjoy the fresh air while witnessing this one of its kind artwork. The school where Gustafson teaches is currently following online and in-person hybrid classes which leave the children with less time and even lesser energy to have fun outside. Due to colder weather, most people avoid leaving homes, moreover it’s the pandemic that’s limiting people to their homes. Amidst this tension, her massive snow sculpture art is only adding to the joy in the neighbourhood.
Gustafson has been handcrafting multidimensional designs since 2009. The most recent ones she did in snow were ‘Baby Yoda, a dinosaur Mr. Potato Head’ and a Bernie Sanders-themed sculpture.
Apart from playing in the snow for motivating others, she also did summer drawings during the 2020 lockdown. “During the summer, I did chalk drawings and paintings in the windows to reach out to the neighbourhood and when then we had the most recent snowstorm, I was ready to get back out in the snow," she said.
According to Gustafson, it is not necessary to immediately like an art form or like it at all but she makes sure of telling her students that they should keep looking for inspiration. "There are so many forms of art and I tell my students you might not like every art form and that's OK. It just means you haven't found the one that's for you yet,” she explained.
Educators like Gustafson don’t just make the learning environment a little bit better for their students but also the society we live in, we are grateful for such teachers.
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