“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
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.”