Arts Education

Spring Course Guide:

Spring courses will begin April 1st. 
Please click on the image above to view the Spring Course Guide. To make a paid registration please call 419.756.1700

Partners in Education:

A partnership among the Mansfield Art Center, Mansfield City Schools, and the Renaissance Performing Arts Association has been selected as a Partners in Education team by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The local partnership is among just 14 new Kennedy Center teams announced this month across the nation and the only team to be named from Ohio.

The program is based on the belief that the professional development of teachers is an essential component of any effort designed to increase the artistic literacy of young people. The Kennedy Center's extensive experience with its local professional development program, established in 1976, provides the basis for this national program.

What is Arts Integration?

Arts integration is an approach to teaching in which students engage in a creative process that connects an art form, such as dancing or singing, with another subject area, such as math or reading. Since not all students learn the same way, the arts integration approach reaches students despite these differences-whether a child learns best by talking, seeing, singing, or writing, arts integration accommodates many diverse learning styles in one classroom. The Kennedy partnership offers a wealth of resources to Mansfield teachers, who will now have access to a variety of local, state, and national teaching artists in their own classrooms. A series of professional development workshops throughout the coming years will help teachers learn how to seamlessly integrate arts activities into lesson plans to not only help students be more engaged in school, but also retain information better and achieve their greatest learning potential.

The Mansfield Partnership

The Mansfield partnership team (a.k.a. the Ohio 2010 team) vied for a spot in the prestigious program against numerous other teams across the nation, and was inducted into the program in May 2010. Mansfield is one of only 100 partnership sites across the United States. The Kennedy Center Partners in Education program represents a great honor for The Renaissance, the Mansfield Art Center, and Mansfield City Schools, and the program looks to have a positive impact on the lives of thousands of Mansfield City Schools K-12 students and teachers over the coming years.

Team Members:

Mike Miller, President/CEO, The Renaissance
Chelsie Thompson, Director of Operations, The Renaissance
Jody Nash, Principal of Spanish Immersion School, Mansfield City Schools
Carole Swope, Board Member, Mansfield Art Center


· Learn more about the  Kennedy Center's Partners in Education program.

· Discover valuable resources for educators looking to use the arts in the classroom on the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education website.

· Find information on grants for Teaching Artists in Residence through VSA Ohio, the state organization on arts and disability.


George Whitten

George Whitten is a well-respected artist and teacher in the community. He teaches ceramics and painting classes for both adults and children. His work has been exhibited across the country and he has been published in magazines such as Ceramics Monthly and Studio Potter.  Some of his magnificent large-scale paintings adorn the walls at Broken Rocks Café and Bakery in Wooster, Ohio. He received his BFA at Florida Atlantic University and earned his MFA at Wichita State University.

Selected Exhibition and Publications:

American Museum of Ceramic Art Institute for Contemporary Arts, Columbus, OH.
Ohio Designer Craftsman @ Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian, Washington, D.C.
Ceramics International, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Carsley Gallery Inc., Montreal, Canada
Invitational Exhibition-Ran Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel
Neville Nowell, San Francisco, CA.
Canton Art Institute, Canton, OH.  
Ceramics Monthly, 2000
National Broadcasting Corporation, Miami Vice, TV Series 1985, New York, NY Ceramic Art of the World 1973
Ceramic Art of the World 1973, Rothman Ltd., Canada
Raku Pottery, WKYC TV-3, Cleveland, OH 1982 and 2000
Studio Potter, Daniel Clark Foundation, Vol. 10, No .2, 1982, U.S.A.

Mary Cooper

Mary Cooper is the Education Coordinator at the MAC and teaches many of the specialty children’s classes such as homeschool art, mommy and me, Girl Scout workshops, clay workshops and coordinates school field trips. Additionally, she is the art teacher at Discovery School for PK-8th grade.  She earned her Bachelors of Education degree with a minor in Photography from The University of Toledo in 2006 and is certified to teach Visual Arts PK-12.  On her own time, Mary is fascinated by the technical nature of photography and being able to capture fleeting moments in peoples’ lives. She enjoys being behind her camera and photographing weddings, engagement sessions, family portraits and more. She has also been a vendor at the Ashland Fall Festival for the Arts in addition to being part of the Etsy community where she enjoys selling her personalized “keepsakes”.

Heidi Wyrick

Over the last 3 years, Heidi has developed into an extremely passionate polymer clay artist.  She teaches polymer clay classes for adults and children at the MAC as well as in her large home based studio that she shares with her wonderful husband Chuck and their dog Milo in Ontario, Ohio.  She creates Polymer Clay jewelry,  pens, pencils, razors, tooth-brushes, makeup mirrors, bowls and wine stoppers just to name a few.   Because of polymer clays versatility, it can beautifully mimic most of natures wonderful elements such as pearl, jade, wood, leather and many many more.  Polymer clay stays soft and pliable until baked.  Heidi considers this the most forgiving medium that she has ever worked with and she loves how she is still learning something new each and every day. 

Cameron Sharp

Cameron Sharp is an artist, educator, and advocate for individuals with disabilities.  Originally from Columbus, Ohio, he received his bachelor of fine arts degree with a concentration in photography from The Ohio State University.  He has worked closely with artists with developmental disabilities through organizations such as VSA Ohio (Very Special Artists); the Dublin Arts Council in Dublin, Ohio; and Element of Art Studio/Gallery in Mansfield, Ohio.  Sharp currently teaches children with autism.  An active participant in Ohio’s art scene, he recently displayed his creative work in solo exhibitions at the Coburn Art Gallery at Ashland University and Roy G Biv Gallery for Emerging Artists in Columbus, Ohio.  Sharp’s artwork examines issues of memory, time, family, and space as springboards to approach greater interpersonal relationships.