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Deland Anderson, Artist in Schools at West Homer Elementary, February 2023

“Recently the students of West Homer Elementary were fortunate to host Homer artist
Deland Anderson for an Artist in Schools residency. During his time here Deland taught

the“ditdot” style of painting with sticks on rigid panels and worked with over 220 students,

creating numerous “ditdot” art pieces. Each child created five art paintings and was able to

choose a piece to share in our school’s annual Art Walk.


Throughout the residency, Deland guided the students to learn important life skills as they

made their paintings. Making these paintings was a perfect opportunity for students to let their

creativity shine. While Deland maintained a strong focus on the creative process, he also taught

and encouraged other valuable skills such as persistence, accepting mistakes, and vulnerability.

Over the two-week residency with our 3-6 graders (and their teachers), Deland taught our

students to use notice the beauty in their art when looking at it using different perspectives (near

and far). He celebrated student creativity and advocated that we, as teachers, honor this

creativity and their requests to share (or not share) their art.


Throughout this residency, Deland was patient, skilled, and was a positive teacher. He

was able to bring out the best in our students and create a newfound appreciation for a style of

painting that students and teachers had never done before. Deland was extremely gifted at

communicating with students and inspiring them to take the leap of faith needed to try something

new.


As a final celebration, we held an Art Walk on Friday, March 3 from 4-5:30 pm. For this

celebration, students were able to showcase two of their favorite pieces of art. Some students

chose to write an artist statement while others made beautiful paper frames for their art to be

displayed on. In all, roughly 180 students and parents were able to attend this celebration, look

at student art, and make art along the way.

Since his residency, students have done other “ditdot” style paintings in their classrooms
and some have even done them at home. This unusual technique is a highly accessible form of

art and turns out beautifully no matter the skill level.”

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