Angee Lennard is an artist, art administrator, and teaching artist. As founder and Executive Director of Spudnik Press Cooperative, she oversees a range of community-based arts programming including open studio sessions, classes, a residency program, keyholder memberships, consignment printing, collaborative projects, youth programming, and exhibitions. Angee Lennard is also a teaching artist, primarily through Marwen and Spudnik Press. As a Marwen Fellow, Angee acts as an advocate, role model, and researcher for Marwen teaching artists. Her own artistic practices includes printmaking and illustration. Her work is often narrative, incorporating comics and illustration. Past clients including Green Lantern Press, WBEZ, and musicians Jonas Friddle and Sunnyside Up. Recent group exhibitions include Expo 72 and Chicago Urban Art Space. She has been an Artist in Residence at AS220 and Ragdale. Professional affiliations include the Chicago Printers Guild, Southern Graphics Council, and Mid America Print Council. She received her BFA with an emphasis is Print Media from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2005.
I am a print-maker, video artist, and educator. My work focuses on themes of repetition, discovery, and interpretation of documents and found materials through story telling. As an educator I recognize teaching as a creative process in its own right. I am interested in integrating my teaching practice, my art, and their respective processes in rewarding and inspiring ways.
These interests have deep roots beginning in High School. When I was 18, I was involved with a group of young artists that founded a not-for-profit organization whose mission was to provide creative outlets and resources for teenagers identifying as artists. The Association for Young Artists and Musicians (AYAM) played a big part in my decision to stay in Chicago after graduation. I went on to earn a BFA with an emphasis in film and video from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2004. Through these years I worked as a youth group mentor, and founded a national touring film series that was in partnership with Chicago’s Ice Factory, a shared artist space and collective. It was through these experiences that I began to see that art making, working with youth, and facilitating space for expression and the sharing of ideas could be integrated.
Upon gradation I was hired by the Montessori School of Lake Forest (MSLF) to teach art, art history, and media literacy.
At this time, MSLF was just starting a new farm based adolescent program. By joining this emerging program, I was able to work with and learn from established teachers to develop a syllabus that integrates both academic work and practical life skills that fulfill the developmental needs of adolescents. I have been teaching at MSLF now for 8 years and have expanded in my role by working with students to sell and market produce grown on the farm, as well as to oversee a lunch program funded and run by entirely by the students.
My classes cover basic art skills from drawing to video editing, as well as provide a context in history and human development. I push my students to not only understand the elements of art, but also come to see that they are creative thinkers with their own unique strengths and approaches.
Over the years I have continued to hone my teaching practice through continued education. I completed the Association Montessori International (AMI) Assistants to Infancy training in Denver, CO in 2007. The following year I completed a Masters Degree in Montessori Education from Loyola College in Baltimore, MD. Most recently I have completed the Orientation to Adolescent Studies program offered by The North American Montessori Teachers Association (NAMTA) and AMI.
I have also found importance in pushing myself outside of Montessori education to experience other avenues of teaching. In addition to teaching at MSLF I have become an involved member and instructor at Spudnik Press Cooperative, a non-profit print studio, as well as a teaching artist at Marwen, another non-profit organization which offers free art classes to Chicago’s under-served youth. It is through these two organizations that I have been able to teach in depth to my artistic strengths – printmaking and video.
I’m excited as ever to further develop my skills and insights as an artist and teacher. I’m interested now in expanding and building on what I know by learning from others and moving out of my comfort zone. I feel that I am poised, professionally and personally, for new challenges and experiences.
In 2010 I was asked by a literary publication, Artifice, to create a time-based companion to a poem. This spawned my current interest in animation as a collaborative process to tell stories and explore repetition and rhythm. I have since taught several workshops and classes in optical toys, animation, and its history. I recently collaborated with Angee Lennard to expand our understanding of the medium and found in her a creative partner. We have come to realize that animation is an exciting medium that draws on our individual strengths. By collaboratively teaching through Dramatic Need, we hope to supplement each other’s specialties, and learn from each other as well as our students.