NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Art education students and faculty at Stephen F. Austin State University have created a series of YouTube videos designed to provide art instruction for students who are at home instead of in the classroom as a result of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.
The tutorials, which range from lessons in drawing techniques and photography skills to the Raku firing process, were created to meet the needs of teachers and parents who are homeschooling art classes. The videos are accompanied by lesson plans that can be easily used by teachers/parents and students, according Dr. Maggie Leysath, professor of art education in the SFA School of Art.
“We decided to create this YouTube channel to help K-12 teachers who are now required to create video content for their classrooms,” Leysath said. “These videos can be used for sketchbook assignments or for unit artwork assignments. Really, these videos are great for parents to use as well, since the projects are relevant and so much fun.”
Creating the channel also helped to address the challenges art education students were facing due to the COVID-19 public health crisis, Leysath said.
“Since the curriculum for Spring 2020 included numerous opportunities for art education students to teach children in our local schools and at the Boys & Girls Club, which was no longer possible, it became clear that providing online instruction was now a necessary experience and skill for future art educators,” Leysath explained. “This channel and the content the art education students are creating is excellent experience for them in our ‘new normal’ world.”
The first two videos, portrait drawing basics and Raku firing, were created by Leysath as a way to get the channel up and running. The channel was viewed 708 minutes in the two weeks of March, when these videos were first available. And there’s more to come.
“The topics will be as varied as the art education students are themselves,” Leysath said. “Currently, there is a video for one-point perspective, one for creating dramatic photographs using your phone, and a really fun emoji lesson.” Videos will be added as students create them.
“We’ve discovered that quarantined and socially isolated people of all ages are thrilled with the opportunity to learn and grow,” Leysath said, adding she has received several self-portraits from her social media connections. “These videos offer a variety of ways to learn and try out art again.”
Art education students will continue to provide instructional videos during the month of June as an alternative to the two SFA art academy camps that were canceled due to concerns about COVID-19.
The art lessons are provided as a service and are not to be used for profit, according to Leysath.
The videos are at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtbqUvPzKL16lvAFzR788Zw/featured.