Faculty Spotlight: Three Questions with Rachel Van Wylen

What inspires this accomplished artist in her classroom, the intersection of visual arts and Essential Skills & Habits, plus – where you can see Van Wylen’s own artwork!

rachel-good-smileTelemark: How does the Catherine Houghton Arts Center inspire you as both an artist and as a teacher at The White Mountain School?

Van Wylen: The Catherine Houghton Arts Center is a great place for students to work since the natural light, views of the mountains, and high ceilings create an atmosphere of possibility.  It’s also a space that changes with the seasons since the floor-to-ceiling windows let in different colors throughout the year.  In that way, it mirrors the creative process, in which things are constantly evolving.

dsc_1181Telemark: What should parents know about how arts education at The White Mountain School intersects with Essential Skills and Habits?

Van Wylen: The Art Department absolutely supports students in their development of Essential Skills and Habits.  One of the habits we emphasize most is persistence.  Students may arrive with the idea that some people are artists while others are not, but the ethos of our program is that anyone can improve and grow when given opportunities to persist.


We also emphasize curiosity.  Students get to choose which artists to research, so they are pursuing topics about which they are genuinely curious.  Similarly, projects are structured to give students room for interpretation and personal expression, so that they can pursue subjects and questions that have piqued their curiosity.

dsc_0084Telemark: Where can people go to see some of your artwork?

Van Wylen: I have some work up at the Mystic Museum of Art right now, since I am a part of the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts 108th Annual Exhibition. I was also recently featured in Chaleur Magazine with a series of drawings I made while traveling in Lisbon.

For images of Van Wylen’s work in progress, you can check out her Instagram account, or visit her website.

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