The Right Brain Initiative


Welcome to new Right Brain teaching artists!

August 16th, 2011 by Right Brain Team

As we gear up for the start of a new school year, and embark upon our annual teaching artist application process, it couldn’t be a more perfect time to introduce the newest members of our teaching artist roster.

The Right Brain Initiative would like to welcome teaching artist Caitlin Shelman as well as 6 additions from Young Audiences to our 2011-12 artist roster. Click on each artist’s name to learn even more about them.

Caitlin Shelman was trained as a discipline based art teacher and folds history, aesthetics, criticism, and art production into her teaching. She works with students in a variety of 2-D media including drawing, painting and printmaking. She believes that the most powerful learning takes place when students can make meaningful connections between different disciplines and that arts instruction encourages students to understand the interconnected nature of all learning.

YA artist Ben Popp is an animator who received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and is co-founder of the experimental media group Grand Detour. As a teaching artist, Ben works with his students to explore classroom topics through animation. In his workshops, topics such as the multiplication table become hands-on learning experiences and take on a life of their own on film.

YA artist Carla Wilson is a professional flutist and teaching artist who believes that residencies provide students with the opportunity to experience the music-making process in a non-formal, and therefore non-threatening environment. She encourages students to participate in the musical experience as composers, performers and listeners. Carla has worked with Portland Public School teachers to design curriculum for the Oregon Symphony, Scottish Storyline, and ArtSplash.

YA artist Karen Brunke is a mixed-media collage artist and Certified Arts Specialist. Karen received a BA in Art History and an MA in Art Education, and has been teaching art mediums in K-5 classrooms for 14 years. Through age-appropriate activities, Karen enables her students to appreciate art as a form of visual communication accessible to everyone.

YA artist Karie Oakes is a ceramic artist who began her teaching career 27 years ago at the Portland Children’s Museum. Karie uses clay as a tool for inquiry in the classroom, and encourages her students to ask questions and make hands-on discoveries. Karie creates an environment rich in spatial exploration, unique to clay as a 3-D medium.

YA artist Nancy Smith Klos is a multi-media teaching artist of 25 years who has been featured on Oregon Art Beat and HGTV’s Modern Masters. Nancy works with both children and adults, including 8 years teaching Adult Arts Seminars at the Portland Art Museum. In her residencies, Nancy works with students to cultivate their creative spirits, and with teachers to integrate art into the science curriculum.

YA artist Sarah Nagy is a filmmaker and teaching artist. Sarah holds an MA in Film from the University of Amsterdam, a BA in Writing from Marylhurst University, a certificate in Film from the Northwest Film Center, and is founder of the Buckman Film Academy. She works to engage her students through collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and engagement of all the senses. Sarah dreams of one day producing a Lego video that will receive a million hits on YouTube.


Right Brain Team