All Access Arts Celebrates National Arts Education Week!
September 12, 2017
To celebrate the 2017 National Arts Education Week from September 10-15, we’re highlighting the work of our All Access Arts program, and the dedicated Teaching Artists who bring art experiences to underserved populations in the OKC metro area, including schools, libraries, OKC parks, and community agencies.
All Access Arts is proud to be a part of the rich arts education the kids at The Boys and Girls Club of Oklahoma County receive every week. We spoke to their Teaching Artist, Leslie Hensley, to learn more about her work with the Boys and Girls Club and her passion for arts based learning.
For over 10 years, Leslie has worked as a visual and performance artist in Oklahoma City. Currently, Leslie is the curator and owner of The Grease Trap Gallery, and serves as the head of the Visual Arts Department for the Boys and Girls Club of Oklahoma City. She has worked as an All Access Arts Teaching Artist for over for 7 years.
Leslie works hard to provide varied visual arts experiences designed to foster creativity and enhance skills learned in other classes. Many of her projects employ recycled or recyclable materials to encourage students to look at everyday “trash” differently. These mixed media projects allow students the discovery of using anything to create art. The art created by students is showcased monthly at the gallery inside The Boys and Girls Club site so students and parents can enjoy their hard work.
The relationship Leslie develops with her students makes art class an environment where kids can feel comfortable expressing themselves. “The benefits [of the arts] are limitless,” said Leslie, “…exposure to arts education can help broaden children’s creativity and brainstorming skills. The freedom that art can bring to every child is important. To be able to express oneself through art is an experience that every child should have access to.”