Lily Hotchkiss is Seattle Academy’s new art teacher. Lillie and I have had a great time getting to know her during the interview, as I work by her side helping with her 8th grade F block. We decided to ask her a few questions so the school could get to know our new art teacher. The conversation went as follows...
Lily: How much time do we have? I am adamant about learning the schedule.
What schools did you teach at before?
I taught at the Interagency Academy- in the middle school. It’s sort of a school within a school. And I taught at Orca K-8. And at the Pratt Fine Arts Center.
Why did you want to come to SAAS?
It sort of happened in a strange way where I also taught preschool for many, many years and one of April (Ferry)’s grandchildren was in my preschool class. April’s grandson’s mom recommended the school to me. It went something like: come visit, now come see the rooms, now come teach a class, now come have a job! The curriculum focused on starting with the individual child is what is interesting about SAAS. It was a lucky series of fortunate events.
What classes are you teaching this year at SAAS?
I have two current eighth grade classes and one beginning studio arts class in the high school that is doing an amazing portrait project.
What projects are you looking forward to this year?
I am looking forward to all the projects. I am interested in what students want to be doing and involving art in that, so sometimes I have no idea what project is next. I am most motivated by engaging people in art, so I will work from there.
Do you have any suggestions for people who want to get more interested in art?
Tessellations. They are a good way to involve people from the left brain. (Tessellations involve geometric measurements, precision, and math to make interesting tiled patterns).
Oh, there’s something I really want to share with you- I work at a place called The Makery. It’s a mobile art lab.
Using primarily recycled resources, people come and create. Newcomers and frequenters. It’s a place where anyone can make art for free. There’s usually lots of collage but anything is acceptable.
I love to make art, take long walks, and read. I have three kids--a daughter and two stepchildren. I shouldn’t say those are hobbies, but I do spend a lot of time with them.
Favorite art making process?
Painting , collage, and ceramics. Everything, but I’ll say those.
Who are some artists that inspire you?
I am inspired by many writers and poets, modern artists, and visual artists.
Favorite thing to draw?
Trees. I love trees.
What first got you into art?
Art saved me. The art room was always comfortable and accepting. It was the one thing that kept me going.
What motivated you to become a teacher then?
Well first, I love working with kids. A huge motivator for me is also that I want to make art accessible for everyone.
We’ve seen glimpses of it… but what exactly is your tattoo?
It’s a Luna Moth (Pictured at right). My daughter’s name is Luna, and I had a friend in high school who opened a tattoo shop. We both had kids at the time and my friend decided to give it to me as a birthday present.
Do you have more?
I won’t tell!!
Donna, (in the room at her desk) your birthday is coming up soon, you should get a tattoo!
(Donna starts laughing.)
I love working with Donna and April every day. It’s so inspiring working beside these artists.
How about the last show I saw- Under My Skin at the Wing Luke Museum. I love going to the de Young Museum in San Francisco. I love going to museums everywhere.
Favorite type of music?
Jazz, singer-songwriter, classical, world music. I’m an avid listener to KEXP. Quite eclectic I guess.
And to top it off, do you have a favorite color?
I knew you were going to ask that… I just felt it coming. I love color, I love wearing color… I usually go back to shades of green... lime green, sage green, dark green, and chartreuse! I love chartreuse!
Check out the website for The Makery: http://themakeryseattle.org/.