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Tell us something about yourself: What is your creative history?


From an early age, I’ve always had the urge to express my self through art. Born and raised in Miami, I went through MDCPS and had some memorable art teachers: Mr. Rothbar, Mr. Sloane, and Mrs. Wheye. They facilitated an environment where I could confidently explore my artistic passion. At Miami Dade College I received the first ever “Francis Wolfson Art Scholarship” due to my portfolio. From there, I attended the University of Miami and received a full scholarship, earning my BFA in drawing/painting and an MFA in sculpture/clay. When I was working on my thesis (I was twenty-four at the time) I was consumed by the idea of aging. How do we emotionally and socially shift when we reach old age? This personal question led me to my graduate thesis, where I built a nursing home wing and filled it with nine, hand-built, life sized, clay sculptures of patients living in a nursing home environment. It opened several career opportunities for me. I was hired by Miami Metro Zoo to make sculptures that are still seen today. I also worked at Vizcaya on the restoration team repairing sculptures.

What inspired you to become an art educator? How long have you been teaching?


I was given so many opportunities that allowed me to pursue a career in art and if it weren’t for the teachers I had while going from elementary school to college, who knows what I would be doing today. Therefore I found myself wanting to share my knowledge and experience with aspiring young artists and I thought what better way to do that then to be an art educator. With the guidance of Mariam Jefferson (who was the head of Art Education at UM), my teaching experience began at the University of Miami. I later expanded my teaching career at the International Fine Arts College. Presently I work at Miami Sunset Senior High School.

Judy Elkins, WAtercolor, Woman with a Secret

What is your favorite medium to work in and why?


I love working in all kinds of media: graphite, colored pencil, ink, watercolor, gouache, tempera, fabric, metal, wood, cement, however clay has a special place in my heart. It’s sensuous, seductive, and each touch leaves a direct impression on my being. It lends itself to whatever image is in my mind and allows me to bring it into a physical form.

What an alchemistic experience!

What is your proudest teaching moment?


My proudest teaching moments are when I witness a student devoting all of their time, passion, and energy into their artwork and they are acknowledged for their efforts by either having their work featured in an exhibition, or by receiving an award. What a pleasure it is to see their whole face and body language change from uncertainty to a newfound confidence they didn’t know they could feel about themselves. It makes me proud I was able to guide them in some way and give back some of what I have been given.

If you could have lunch with any artist in the world (living or not) who would it be and why?


If I could have lunch with Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo that would be a dream come true! I admire Michelangelo for his intensity and passion for sculpting, and Da Vinci not only for his exceptional ability as an artist, but his thirst for knowledge and truth. These two giants of the Renaissance have and will always be my personal, imaginary art mentors.

What are your personal and professional art dreams for the future?


As an educator I hope to continue to serve as a mentor and facilitator to each student that enters the art room. As a lifelong artist I wish to continue creating and my hope is that my next work of art will be the better than my last piece!

“Creativity is contagious, pass it on!” – Albert Einstein

FAEA 2018 Award winners

Congratulations to the 2018 FAEA Award Winners

Press Release

September 11, 2018

Miami-Dade County Public Schools art educators, administrators, and patron of the arts will take home major awards issued by the Florida Art Education Association.

Three Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) art educators, one Principal and one community service/corporate award winner will be recognized this year as award recipients at the Florida Art Education Association (FAEA) annual conference Awards Breakfast held on Saturday, October 20, 2018 from 7:30-8:30 am at Hilton St. Petersburg, Bayfront.

The FAEA's awards program recognizes individuals who have achieved the highest level of professionalism in art education and shows appreciation for their contribution to the association and its mission. The following 2018 award nominees will be honored during the FAEA Awards Breakfast: Middle School Art Educator of the Year Award, Maggie Vidal-Santos, Ruth K. Broad Bay Harbor K-8 Center; Principal/Administrator of the Year Award, Ana Alvarez-Arimon, Design and Architecture Senior High; New Professional Award, Sara Haley, South Miami K-8 Center, Miami, Florida, Distinguished Service Award, Marlon Zuniga, G.W. Carver Elementary School, Community Service/Institution/ Corporate Award, Marie Vickles, Pérez Art Museum Miami.

The nominees are identified by the members of the Dade Art Educators, Association, Inc. (DAEA) for their service to art education. Let’s extend our congratulations to the 2018 winners. DAEA is in search of leaders like you, to lend your talent, commitment, artistic spirit, and become new board members for 2019-20. We hope you can join the organization.

For more information on the awards or about the upcoming conference:


Congratulations to the winning designs for the 2018-2019 DAEA T Shirt Competition

Judy Elkins

Judy Elkins design T Shirts will be available for sale at the conference and at FIU Arts day.


Brian Reedy

You may pre-order a Brian Reedy original through our website. These are hand silkscreened one-of-a-king and limited edition tees. Email


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