Laura Monahan hoped paint plus canvas would equal lower stress and anxiety

NEWS RELEASE: Heather Higdon, Director of Communications 

INDIAN HILL, OH (May 21, 2020) – The class is virtual; the equipment – canvas, brushes, and paint

Indian Hill Middle School art teachers opened up distance learning classes to all IHMS families during COVID-19.(Provided)

During distance learning, for Indian Hill Middle School (IHMS) art studies, teachers hoped these would be the tools that would help cut COVID-19 stress and anxiety. The art class was offered to all IHMS Braves, and often included both children and adults.

“Art is beneficial for everyone at any age,” said Indian Hill Middle School Art Teacher Laura Monahan. “During this time, it is so important that we embrace the fact that everyone is at home working and learning in the same environment. That is so rare in our busy world!”

That unique combination can cause anxiety. Monahan understands the pressure of working from home while raising her own children. 

Indian Hill Schools student displays her art work (Provided) 

She said incorporating families in the learning curriculum was a deliberate choice she and her teaching partner created to help make the experience exciting for all.

“Every week we have had at least one art lesson that families can choose to work on together,” said Monahan. “The biggest surprise for me was how many students participated in the workshop who aren’t enrolled in an art class. I was so excited to meet new students and teach students that I haven’t seen in one to two years.” 

Monahan said the response was excellent with 25-plus people working on the lesson.

Virtual Art student dispalys her work during virtual session (Provided) 

“I’m so grateful to have a career that inspires me to do better every day,” said Monahan. “Our students are strong, creative, curious, and hardworking! I cannot stress how much I miss creating with them in person every day. Holding these workshops is a little selfish on my part because it makes me so energized and happy!”

Monahan planned to hold the final watercolor workshop this  Thursday, May 21. Students will experiment with how to paint 3D objects.