Art School is the creation of teaching artist and Nashville native Allison Jarrett. The purpose of Art School is to provide engaging contemporary art education to students of all ages, experiences, and abilities. Traditional art schools and art classes focus so heavily on developing technical skills that younger or less-experienced artists can feel intimidated. Many students give up from fear of failure, and lose the joy in the process of creating. Alternatively, some contemporary art classes are so process-focused that students miss out on learning important art skills that can impact them positively beyond the world of art-making.
Art School classes bridge the divide between these styles of teaching. Projects are inspired by contemporary artists, crafters, and makers, and are focused around key concepts, materials, and techniques. Students are given space to interpret projects to suit their interests and ideas, and experimentation is encouraged. While students receive the tools they need to create successful pieces, a beautiful artwork is not the end goal. Learning through the process (and sometimes through failure) is our primary focus, and the path to rediscovering the joy of making.
About Allison Jarrett
Allison Jarrett is the creator of Art School. She is a Nashville native and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies with a Concentration in Studio Art from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. After a stint working in media relations, Allison decided to pursue her love of art and teaching in New York City. She earned her Master of Arts in Art Education from New York University, where she developed an appreciation for teaching with contemporary art and learning from artists and makers working today.
Since returning home to Nashville, Allison has served as an adjunct instructor at Watkins College of Art, Design, & Film and a teaching artist for Watkins Community Education and the Watkins Pre-College Program. She is currently a teaching artist at Vanderbilt University's Sarratt Art Studios, where she teaches adult courses in pottery, as well as intensive fiber arts, pottery, animation, and printmaking courses for Sarratt's Summer Youth Art Institute.
Most recently, Allison served as the Art Instructor at Ironwood Academy, a college-prep homeschool tutorial program in Brentwood, Tennessee. She credits Ironwood for introducing her to the joys of working with homeschool students, and for inspiring her to create Art School as an alternative to traditional art education.
When she isn't teaching or hauling art supplies all over Middle Tennessee, Allison can be found creating artwork with just about anything she can find. She combines her love of graphic design, hand-lettering, and embroidery in her custom, hand-stitched artwork sold under the name Precious America. She also enjoys the challenge of creating custom and collaborative art installations for events, often using recycled or unconventional materials. Above all, Allison loves to make things, and loves sharing that joy of making with students of all ages and abilities.