Amy Moore, an art teacher at Lane Technical High School, is passionate about exposing her students to art. Now in her 14th year teaching, with 12 of those years at Lane Tech, Moore and her colleagues have developed a robust arts program that ranges from ceramics and painting to photography and animation.
“It’s been amazing to have a vision for this program and to receive such strong support from our principal, colleagues, alumni and community,” said Moore. “We have a special group of kids who come from all over Chicago, and they such a desire for a well-rounded curriculum and opportunities to learn and be creative, but many of them had never been exposed to art. By far, the best part of my job is opening their eyes and helping them pursue their passions. It’s so rewarding.”
When entering her classroom – an art studio she has transformed from an auto shop – R&B music pumps from the radio and students are scattered about, engrossed in their projects. A group of Advanced Placement art students, they have earned the opportunity to pick projects of their choice, using whatever medium they please, ranging from traditional ceramic vessels to modern installations using clay, glass, ice, wood and metal.
With waiting lists to get into Lane Tech’s various art classes, including Moore’s “Intro to Ceramics” course and AP ceramics classes, her students couldn’t be happier to be there.
“I love Amy’s class because I can create whatever I want here,” said Angelica C., a student of Moore’s since 6th grade. “She’s so much fun, and she lets us be free. She helps with our techniques, but she also encourages us to pursue our own ideas.”
No obstacle is too great for Moore to overcome, and, each year, she is committed to adding a new aspect to her program. Whether raising money for a new kiln to fire the clay, to transforming that auto shop into a workable art studio, to most recently planning a community art festival that will be run by her students this spring, she’s determined to do what it takes to give her kids new, exiting artistic opportunities.
And she doesn’t stop at providing in-classroom instruction. Twice each year, she takes her students on field trips designed to foster skills development as well as team-building activities. In addition, she routinely brings in guest speakers with expertise in a variety of artistic mediums.
Always seeking new funding opportunities and support for her ideas and ever-growing vision for her classroom and school, Moore applied on behalf of Lane Tech for a $5,000 grant from the College Board in support of exemplary arts programming. Her proposal centered on her idea, “Program Sculpting Communities with Clay,” which would utilize the grant to purchase a new gas kiln and afford students, guests and visiting artists the chance to fire their art at higher temperatures, as well as hold a city-wide clay and art festival at Lane Tech, at which kids and adults will be invited to participate in clay competitions and other hands-on art activities and view students’ work.
As a result of her outstanding proposal, last month, Moore and Lane Tech were honored as the Midwestern Regional recipient – and National Winner – of the College Board Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts.
The College Board said the following regarding Moore’s work: “’Program Sculpting Communities with Clay’ uses a singular artistic discipline to teach and inspire a diverse community of students. We were particularly taken with both the high quality and large quantity of student art presented, and your innovative emphasis on cross-curricular integration was also noted. Your program is a testament to the kind of positive impact that high expectations for all students can have on their learning.”
Congratulations to Amy Moore and to Lane Tech on this outstanding achievement!
About Lane Technical High School
Lane Tech College Prep offers a rigorous college prep curriculum. For more than 100 years, Lane has been a leader among the most outstanding educational institutions in Chicago. Lane’s reputation is the result of our dedicated instructors, outstanding students, diligent parents, and the support of the community. We are a “School of Champions.” Learn more here.