Thursday, May 1, 2014

DIY: The Best Dressed Art Teacher Contest!

Well, folks the entries are in! Here are just some of the most crazily, er, Best Dressed Art Teachers around. I've included a super short bio (there were so many entries, I had to keep 'em brief) as well as a blog link if available. Casting your vote is easy peasy, just click on your fave in the poll on the right (it's a tough choice so you can vote for more than one!). Voting ends Thursday, May 8th with winners announced shortly thereafter. Have fun checking out these awesome characters and good luck, you crazy art teachers!

 Meet Natalie Friedl who is an elementary art teacher in Huntersville, NC (right outside of Charlotte). She says, "I love teaching art to little artists and this Halloween I decided to take a sick day to enjoy my favorite holiday. Well, I was so happy to find that Frida Kahlo herself had recently become a substitute in our system.  I quickly called her and she agreed to sub for me on Halloween!"

 You might know Don from his blog. He teachers at Zamorano Fine Arts Academy which is a K-5 Visual Arts Magnet School in San Diego. He writes, "The first look is me as a Che Guevara t-shirt. I stenciled "Viva la education!" below the portrait on the shirt. The second one is me as the one and only Bob Ross. I wore this one for our halloween parade a couple years ago. Gosh, I remember being mesmerized by him on TV when I was a kid. That voice, that fan brush, that hair..."
Kimberly Jones has a "sub" known as Ms. Paintbrush that occasionally shows up for her! Kimberly writes, "Ms. Paintbrush is my crazy cousin who, interestingly enough, looks and sounds just like me! It's been rumored that Ms. Paintbrush has actually demonstrated painting with her paintbrush hair!"

 Deyana Matt teaches art in Bloomingdale, IL  to students in 6th through 8th grade. Deyana sent me so many amazing outfit photos, I can tell she is a girl after my own heart! I wish I could have share 'em all with you. These were my faves!
Melinda Flinchum, aka Miss French Fry, writes "I am a kindergarten through fifth grade art and special education teacher. I LOVE color, my dog Mugsy and putting together theme-y outfits based on the artists we're studying.  Most of my outfits are thrifted because you never know when a Kindergartener will spill a container of red glaze on you (true story)." 
Stephanie Walton taught middle school art since 2001.  In 2013,  she made the leap to elementary school! She is now more comfortable in dressing the part as Crazy Art Teacher and does so with her adorable apron collection. She says, "They [the aprons] are a hit now and the kids worry when I don't have my aprons on in cute colors!" What a perfect way to add a little color to your art teacher wardrobe, Stephanie!

Amy Fitzpatrick teaches grades first and fourth through seventh at Duluth Edison Charter North Star Academy. She writes, "The Art Fairy was originally a Halloween costume, but she's made appearances on days when we've done art history or art appreciation." I love this idea of an art fairy, so stealing this one, ya'll!

 Debra Thomson organizes an "Art for Ed's Sake" event as a public school art fundraiser in my district. She says, "So of course I had to dress up as well.  This is my hubby and I as American Gothic.  (Once in awhile we stood the other way and said "the tornado had come through"…." So much fun! I love that hubster got involved. And what a fabulous idea for a fundraiser, Debra!
Heather Hyslop, who blogs at Art Intertwine, says that she put this look together after finding a Marilyn t-shirt. She wrote me to say, " Since no outfit is complete without accessories I also included my Andy Warhol soup cans and 25 cats which are 'hidden' throughout both pics."
Heather lives in Victoria, Canada where she teaches art as a sub to elementary, middle, and high school students.  She also runs an art program for elementary kids through community recreational center.  

 Sheryl Depp teaches elementary school art. About her outfits, she writes, "One is the typical artist "uniform" and the other is my self proclaimed Queen of Recycle costume." I personally love her typical artist outfit, especially that scarf, fantastic!
 Erin Maday is a baby to the art education game. She's a second year elementary art teacher in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan. She says, "I love my job (I am 39 and left a marketing corp. America type jobs few years ago to finish up an Art Ed certificate and have never looked back! I love being an Elementary Art teacher!)." Here she is dressed as a silent film star for Halloween, highlighting the art element "value" and principle of design, "contrast." And... of course the silent film movies of yesteryear.

Patricia Brentano is an Elementary Art Teacher in Neptune, NJ. About this lovely look, she writes, "I love Hokusai's Great Wave and have a pair of leggings and a shirt with his print. As a way to introduce the artist and a project on the Great Wave to my third grade classes, I wore my leggings, origami crane earrings, and a wave bracelet. Now kids in all grades can say "Hokusai", without someone exclaiming "God bless you!" and students who are doing the Great Wave project are super excited to begin!"  

Donna Staten, most famous for her amazing art education pinterest boards (which I am so very thankful for, Donna, what a resource!) got all Suess'ed up for Read Across America week! She teaches kindergarten through fifth grade art at Gattis Elementary in Round Rock, Tx (right by Austin).

Hope Knight, the art teacher behind Mrs. Knight's Smartest Artists, sent these photos and wrote, "I am dressed as a Picasso painting, fictitiously called "Head of a Woman." I don't dress up very often - I have to admit that comedy is a huge part of my life, but for some reason I act very serious and teacherly in the classroom. I have some sort of hang-up about getting in silly mode at school, but that's just my introverted nature I suppose. So glad my partner in crime, the music teacher, is a total extrovert and we make the best team."

 Ashley Hammond is an art teacher at Munford Elementary School in Munford, TN. She says, "I love making my own costumes to surprise my students, even though I am absolutely too scared to sew a single stitch. So everything is made with my best friend, the hot glue gun! :)  

The Very Hungry Caterpillar comes from my avid love for the life and work of Eric Carle. 
The Super Art Teacher outfit greeted my students on the first day of school this year. Nothing says "Welcome back!" than to harness your inner power of creativity!" 
Michael Kantor, aka Michael van Gogh, wore this awesome ensemble for Dress Like Your Hero Day! He says that he uses this very cool ensemble all the time and writes that when he dresses this way, the kids listen to "Micahel van Gogh more than me!"
Meet Lindsey Ostafy, an elementary are teacher in Bear, DE. Her first costume was inspired by an Egyptian themed unit (I have that very same hat, Lindsey!). She writes, "Each student used their photos to make themselves into a pharaoh. It was a fabulous day, and all of the students were inspired by my costume!" Her second photo features  a super cute scissor happy skirt. perfect for a lesson on collage!
Arlene Shelton teaches ninth grade art in Aledo, Texas.  This fabulous ensemble was inspired by an SNL Dress-Up Day! She says, "I have always wanted to wear my paint pants to school but I knew I would have to get creative to be allowed to wear them.  Therefore, when SNL Dress-Up Day was announced I grabbed the chance and dressed up like Garth from Wayne's World!  My counterpart, Wayne, is our school librarian."
Jena Love is a pre-k, third through eighth art teacher whose philosophy is, "If kids can relate to it then they get excited about it!" She writes, "Kids can relate to comics so I show them examples of comics and superheroes that have primary color costumes/uniforms then we talk about that. Then I tell that that I have a secret. I put on the cape and glasses and become a superhero whose power is to make any color in the whole world!"
 Ya'll probably know Phyl who blogs over at There's a Dragon in my Art Room. After teaching for 36 years, most of that at a rural elementary school in upstate New York, Phyl is now 2 years into her retirement. Although, you'd never know it. She stays busy teaching, painting, sculpting, you name it! This ensemble was created from a large collection of free art tees that Phyl had collected from attending years of conventions. If you were at NAEA in San Diego, you probably saw Phyl wearing this dress!
And, lastly, we have the super cute Erin Mikels who teaches at the Blue Earth Area School District in Minnesota.  About her look, she writes, "I love color, but have always been "scared" of being too loud. However, after adding bits of color and loud patterns, I have had nothing but positive feedback on my wardrobe! I buy most of my clothing from thrift shops, strictly because we are "poor" due to having five people in our family!But the other reason is due to the fact that every article of clothing I own has some sort of paint stain on it." Oh, friend. I think we can ALL relate to that!

And there you have it, folks! Place your votes. I'll keep you posted on the winner shortly after May 8th!


  1. This is the BEST!!!!!!!!!!!! Great job art teachers!

  2. These are great!! Look'n good Mike Kantor!!

  3. You all are fantastic! I especially love Phyl's free art T-shirt shirtdress.

    1. Aw, shucks, thank you, sallgood! I know it's not a wacky as some of the other contestants, but hey, mine is real FASHION, not a COSTUME! And it says inspirational stuff on it! I know I can't really compete with some of these wildly imaginative outfits, and the fabulous paintbrush hairdo, and I don't really expect to, but I deserve some points for wearing an outfit that I could also wear to the store, to a movie, to dinner, or anywhere! Right?

    2. Hey, hope you all know my cracks about costumes vs fashion are meant in good fun! I think the outfits in this post so such incredibly creativity and imagination. The world would be a duller place without art teachers!!!!

  4. Colleen Ostafy5/02/2014

    Vote for my daughter Lindsey Ostafy! She is a wonderful art teacher, and the fashions and costumes, are great! She puts a lot of love and soul in everything.

  5. kimberly jones- that hair took commitment! I forgot to enter :( maybe it will be an annual festivity??

    1. Definitely, Tessa! Please submit next year!!

  6. This is so awesome Cassie! I did a little signal boost post over on my blog. People gotta vote for this! So cool!!!

  7. Just posted about this... So fun!!

    1. Thank you much, Nic! I appreciate it and I'm sure the art teachers do to!

  8. Anonymous5/05/2014

    I vote for Phy! Love it!

  9. I'm voting for Patricia Brentano because not only do I love Hokusai's Great Wave painting, but I've seen Ms. Brentano on other days and she truly is the Best Dressed Art Teacher


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