In recognition of Washington State Arts Education Month in May, the Edmonds Arts Commission is presenting an exhibit of paintings by teaching artist Meredith Essex. Her exhibit runs now through June 20 at the Edmonds Library, 650 Main St. Hours are Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m.
Meredith Essex, a Northwest native, belongs to an extended family of artists. Her early years were spent both in Western Washington, where she lived, and in Eastern Washington, where she visited her grandfather in the summers. Time spent outdoors along the streams and lakes of the Cascades and the hills and canyons along the Snake River, sparked a life long fascination with the landscape – mountains, forests and plateaus. Her landscapes represent an internal connection with the external natural world around her and can be metaphorical or an expression of a spiritual experience, and sometimes become architectural passageways, or tapestries of interlocking elements.
Spearheaded by Arts Ed Washington, Arts Education Month provides an opportunity to specifically call attention to the critical role of arts learning in a complete and balanced education, empowering schools and communities to provide every student in every school with arts learning opportunities. A standard K-12 curriculum that includes arts education as part of everyday learning, fosters well-rounded graduates who enter college and the workforce with creative skills and a competitive edge. Studies show that arts education teaches creative problem-solving and cultural awareness; offers multiple pathways to understanding for different learners; and increases connections and engagement between teachers, students, and the community that surrounds them. For more information, visit www.ArtsEdWashington.org .
Essex has been on the Washington State Arts Commission Teaching Artist Roster since 1990. She has written Art Education curriculum materials for museums, school districts and arts commissions, is a trainer and mentor of other art instructors, and has worked with youth to create public art.