"Artists Inspiring Artists Inspiring Artists!"


Her motto is simple but powerful: "Artists inspiring artists inspiring artists!" It's an idea Art Department Chair Babs Wheelden lives herself and is promoting to the Brooks community more than ever now that one of her photographs was just selected to be a part of the 2022 National Art Education Association (NAEA) Member Exhibit.

"I'm honored to have my work selected and be representing Brooks School as a teaching artist in this international exhibition," said Wheelden, who notes that she is in "good company." The exhibit "celebrates why we do what we do and how cyclical the practice of art is."

The photograph, shown below, was recently on display at Montserrat College of Art, where it was also part of another exhibit celebrating teaching artists this past June.

Earning a spot in the annual NAEA exhibit was no easy feat. The organization received 425 entries for just 80 openings in the virtual exhibit. Submissions flooded in from 46 states, as well as from Canada, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Greece, Lichtenstein, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom.

Learn more about the arts at Brooks

Each work was reviewed for qualities including originality, meaning, creativity and craftsmanship.

The collection "highlights the tremendous skill and vision of members worldwide who are educators as well as fine artists," according to NAEA's press release sharing details of the exhibit, running July 25, 2022 through January 6, 2023, online at arteducators.org.

Practicing what she preaches as an artist at Brooks is important to Wheelden, who also serves as Director of The Robert Lehman Gallery on campus. "As a teaching artist, I use my own work to inform my teaching, and my students inform my artistic practice," she said. "That's why my motto is 'artists inspiring artists inspiring artists!'"

What inspired her winning photograph? "This work is titled 'reflection' and is of our view in Maine -- our summer getaway and a place where we can pause and reflect and enjoy nature," she explained. "Our world is turbulent. This image is anything but. It is still, captured time and beauty."


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