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Ms. Douglas leading by example with art

Ms. Douglas leading by example with art

Even though she is just two years into her career at Wilbraham & Monson Academy, Ms. Kiayani Douglas of the Fine & Performing Arts Department is already exhibiting traits of a great teacher.

She’s leading by example.

As if earning an art scholarship wasn’t enough, Ms. Douglas will be the focus of two upcoming workshops in the Northeast.

Titled “Fallacies of a Black Identity Enthusiast,” Ms. Douglas will hold her first solo show Feb. 4-29 at Springfield Technical Community College in Springfield, Massachusetts. Ms. Douglas will be featured at the Artist Open Reception Feb. 8, the Wearable Workshop Feb. 12, and the Artist Talk and Closing Reception Feb. 27.

Separately, Ms. Douglas will host a Printmaking Workshop Honoring Black History Month in Yonkers, New York, Feb. 14.

On Jan. 26 in Maine, Ms. Douglas had her work on display at a workshop called Race Amity: Finding Our Paths in Bridging the Racial Divide. Ms. Douglas, who earned a scholarship for the event after attending a conference in Quincy, Massachusetts, was asked to create a piece of art for the display


Ms. Douglas on the workshop in Maine: “That was an awesome experience. That was my first time being asked to create something for a conference. At first it was a lot to digest. The workshops I attended were nice in a way they inspired me to think about what I could do as far as being an artist in the spaces I create and create conversations around these issues.”

Ms. Douglas on being active in the art field outside of the classroom: “For me, it’s important for my students to see that I can be a professional artist and a teacher. There’s often times that stigma with art teachers that if you’re an art teacher you could not make it in the art world. I’ve always had the intention of being an artist, and teaching is part of my journey. I’m trying to honor myself; it’s a bit of self-care for me. If I’m not doing things in terms of my personal art, I feel like I’m not taking care of myself. That’s something that’s important to me and a part of self-care.”