Four artists are strengthening the bond between math and creativity through outreach to students in an art centered math classroom.
In the Rockford school district, a massive woodworking table is in the middle of the room. Screen printing machines take up the south end of the building. Everywhere you look is stuff. Wood stuff. Metal stuff. Stuff you’d find at a Hollywood prop house or flea market.
Electronica music fills the air in what has become a hub of creativity and collaboration for Jeremy Klonicki, Carmen Turner, Javier Jimenez and Jennifer Burtman.
The framing and light artists, screen printer and woodworker come and go at all hours. They share the space, the rent, the pizzas and the double IPAs in the fridge. Most important, they share energy and ideas.
“Being around creativity is amazing,” said Klonicki, the 34-year-old owner of MainFraim. “I may not be feeling creative one day, but Jen may be making something brilliant up there and that will inspire me to work on something I wasn’t planning on. Or if I get stuck on something, I can go to Javier and ask, ‘What would you do in this scenario?'”
Late last year, Klonicki’s communal arts space, 3022 Wallin Ave., went beyond collaborative projects and creative support and into the world of public education.
Klonicki, Turner and Burtman are among the 20 artists chosen to help teach math in the Rockford School District.
LuAnn Widergren, Rockford’s fine arts director, went to Fraim & Mortar last fall looking for one artist, Klonicki, to participate in art-inspired and art-centered math instruction in middle schools.
She walked out with three.
Artists started working with teachers this month at Kennedy and Flinn middle schools.
The goal is to help the School District change the way it teaches math to students who struggle with basic math concepts.
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