Debi West

Debi has been teaching children through the visual arts for 24 years in Gwinnett County. She spent 14 years at the elementary level and the last 10 years at the secondary level.  She also owns the Crystal Collage Children’s Art Studio where she teaches children in summer camps and weekend classes from the ages of 5 and up. Debi teaches all forms of visual art and specifically loves working with teachers, helping them with Project-Based Learning and bringing in creative lesson planning to their curricula. She is looking forward to working with K-12 teachers and students via hands-on workshops, interactive projects, teacher/staff development activities, and bringing arts integration to the schools of Georgia because she knows, first hand, that it truly works.

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Arts Disciplines: Visual Art, Storytelling, Poetry/Spoken Word, Creative Writing

Core Content Curriculum Areas: Visual Art, English/Language Arts

Specialized Content Areas: Arts Integration, Character Education, Literacy, STEAM

Grade Levels: Pre-K, K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Staff Development Leadership Workshops

Special Populations: At-risk Students, Special Needs Students, ELL (English Language Learners)

Pre-Service Learning and Professional Development: Post-Secondary/Pre-Service Learning, Professional Development for K-12 Teachers, Professional Development for Teaching Artists

Geographic Availability: Metro Atlanta, North Georgia, Middle Georgia, South Georgia

Program Fees:

  • Performances: $500 a day (includes all supplies) plus travel expenses; $2,000 a week (includes all supplies) plus travel and lodging expenses
  • Workshops: $500 a day (includes all supplies) plus travel expenses; $2,000 a week (includes all supplies) plus travel and lodging expenses
  • Residencies: $500 a day (includes all supplies) plus travel expenses; $2,000 a week (includes all supplies) plus travel and lodging expenses 

Artistic Profile:

Debi has been teaching children through the visual arts for 24 years in Gwinnett County.  She spent 14 years at the elementary level and the last 10 years at the secondary level.  She also owns the Crystal Collage Children’s Art Studio where she teaches children in summer camps and weekend classes for students ages of 5 and up. She teaches all forms of visual art and specifically loves working with teachers, helping them with Project-Based Learning and bringing in creative lesson planning to their curricula. Debi is looking forward to working with K-12 teachers and students via hands-on workshops, interactive projects, teacher/staff development activities, and bringing arts integration to the schools of Georgia because she knows, first hand, that it truly works. Debi’s formal education includes a B.A. from the University of South Carolina, Art Certification from Moore College of Art and Design, and a M.A.Ed., Ed.S., and Ph.D. (ABD) from the University of Georgia. She has National Board Certification in Early/Middle Childhood Art and holds AP Institute Certification. 

Teaching Experience:

Debi has been teaching children through the vehicle of the visual arts for 24 years.  She has taught K-12 in Gwinnett County schools and has 4 degrees in studio art, art education, language and literacy, and leadership, and is a Nationally Board Certified educator. She also owns the Crystal Collage Children’s Art Studio and has been teaching community weekend and summer camps to children for the past 20 years.  As a teaching artist, Debi believes it is her job to see what each school is specifically looking for, so she is excited to talk with educators and create unique programs designed for each school.  Some of the programs that she has produced include:

  • Summative Assessment Bookmaking: all grades, all disciplines
  • Narrative Necklaces: all grades, all disciplines
  • The ABC’s of ART… Literacy and Art:  K-5
  • Eliminopee and the Alphabet Tree:  K-5
  • The eARTh… it’s got ART: K-8
  • Museum Mania… Vrooming Through Permanent Collections: K-8
  • Visualizing Virtue… Creating through Character Education: K-8
  • Interactive School Wide Tape Mural Making Experiences: K-12, all disciplines

These are just a few of the experiences that she can bring to students and schools across the state. Debi believes every student is an artist and it is her job to teach technique through fun, prompt-based learning.

Sample Programs:

  • Summative Assessment Bookmaking Unit
    • Bookmaking lesson encompassing reflective learning – this is authentic learning at its best!
    • Visual Art / K-5; 1-day session
    • Can work with classes and be observed by teachers to introduce the various ways that this lesson can be used in all disciplines.
    • $500 per day – to work with several classes and have teachers observe the active lesson
    • $2,000 per week – to work with every student individually
    • Note: Each program is uniquely created for each school, so pricing is negotiable.
  • Narrative Necklaces 
    • Self-Portraiture – Self-Reflection “necklaces” through the art of collage
    • Teacher / Student Workshops
    • Work with teachers to introduce them to the creative ways they can use this lesson to teach their students.
    • 1-day session
    • $500 per day – to work with teachers and several classes
    • $2,000 per week to work individually with all classes
    • Note: Each program is uniquely created for each school, so pricing is negotiable.
  • Eliminopee and the Alphabet Tree
    • Can work with every student in the school in a 5-hour block of time creating an interactive canvas about Eliminopee and the Alphabet Tree, a book I wrote about visual literacy.
    • Teachers may observe the delivery of the lesson to use this in their own curricula.
    • Each student has the opportunity to “make their mark” on the canvas to create their own unique school “Alphabet Tree.”
    • $500 per day
    • $2,000 per week to extend this lesson into a wall mural complete with literacy components
    • Note: Each program is uniquely created for each school, so pricing is negotiable.

Sample Lesson Plans/Study Guides:

Program Photos:

Program Videos: