Each year, the Colorado Art Education Association chooses a highly qualified individual whose dedication to excellence and advocacy in the field of art education deserves recognition and serves as a model to which all art educators may aspire. This year, they selected Kelly Mansfield, SMA Lower School Art teacher, as their 2019 Private School Art Educator of the Year!
Described by colleagues as dynamic, thoughtful and passionate, Kelly Mansfield is deeply committed in her approach to teaching art at Saint Mary’s Academy. Committed to ensuring that her students receive nothing but the best, the depth and breadth of her knowledge is unmatched and has brought a new dimension to the Lower School Visual Arts curriculum.
Missy McConnell reflects upon collaborating with Kelly, “As a new teacher, it has been wonderful to collaborate with Kelly to develop and launch a new, innovative program at our school. Students work together to practice the Design Thinking Process, using empathy at its core, to solve problems and practice refining with feedback. With Kelly's expertise and experience, the program has developed into a construction project to build a full Inspiration Lab in support of STEAM in our school community. Kelly exemplifies the kind of exciting collaboration that turns into real action with her passion, motivation and her purpose to encourage students to experience the creative process to be exceptional artists, students, leaders, and change agents.”
Kelly commits herself to art education through her participation in professional associations, both at the state and national levels. A leader in the field of art education, Kelly shared her talents as a CAEA Representative Council, serving as the Metro Area Representative and as Executive Council Secretary. Kelly has also shared her expertise by presenting multiple workshops at the CAEA Fall Conference and also at the National Art Education Association’s Conference. In addition, Kelly has written numerous publications for CAEA’s monthly journal, Collage and has been featured in Crave and Bravo magazines. Kelly also supports the Colorado Scholastic Art Awards program as a consultant and presenter, as well as young people in making art throughout the summer at the Camp of the Creative Arts, which she helped to found. The Camp incorporates movement, singing, Spanish and the visual arts.
Kelly’s participation in ArtSource Colorado’s Summer Institute 2001 proved to be life-changing. Having been so inspired, Kelly immediately jumped into various leadership positions within the organization in order to help to provide meaningful art and leadership opportunities to art educators throughout the state. Since that time, Kelly has risen to the challenging roles of serving on the Content and Organization Team as well as the organization’s Advisory Council coordinating logistics. Currently, Kelly continues her support and belief in ArtSource by serving on the Board of Directors.
Kelly is also a terrific and thought-provoking artist in her own right and has been actively engaged in showcasing her artwork since 1999. Kelly joined the Next Gallery in Denver in 2013. Throughout her time with Next, she has held the leadership roles of Treasurer and Co-Director and was an integral part of the recent relocation of the gallery to the current location in Lakewood.
Justine Sawyer, Vice President of CAEA, concludes, “Kelly’s engagement, knowledge, experience, and calming demeanor make her a role model for her students at St. Mary’s Academy, in addition to the countless art educators she has worked with from across the state of Colorado. She is truly an educator to be celebrated!”
The awards ceremony will be held on Saturday, November 9 in Breckenridge, CO. Congratulations Kelly Mansfield! We are so proud of you!