Five Questions With … Arielle Levine

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Five Questions With … Arielle Levine

Arielle stands with the green screen in the distance learning studio. Can you believe that she used to be camera shy? Not anymore.

In this new series, we'll bring you the stories of some of the people behind the scenes at the Cleveland Museum of Art. In this blog, we’ll meet Arielle Levine. Levine is a distance learning instructor in the education department. She studied art education and art history at Case Western Reserve University and brings that enthusiasm and knowledge to her students through the magic of video conferencing technology.

Q: When did you start working at the museum, and what does your job entail?

A: About 15 years ago. I started part time as a teaching assistant and eventually taught the Mini Masters class. Those are the 4- and 5-year-olds in our museum art classes. I became full time five years ago and moved over to distance learning. I teach art to children in schools all over the United States (and some adults, too). We've also connected to Canada, the U.K., Finland, Germany, Mexico, Tokyo, New Zealand, and Australia. In my distance learning classes, I talk about the museum’s collection and how it relates to other subjects, such as math, history, and science.

Q: Do you have a favorite topic that you teach?

A: I really enjoy the Art of Adornment class. We talk about beauty practices, including tattooing, scarification, etc.

Q: What's a typical day like for you?

A: Every day is different, but that is one of the things I like. My day usually starts at 8:00 a.m., and I may do as many as five or six video conferences. The conferences last 45 to 60 minutes with questions and answers and are interactive. We might do a drawing project or might sing a song, depending on the class and the topic.

Q: What's been your most memorable classroom teaching experience this year?

A: I taught 20 weeks of art classes to a fifth-grade class in Alberta, Canada. I was actually their art teacher during the period because they didn't have one.

It was so much fun. The kids were awesome. We made an art project every week. The best part is that we get to work with them this year, too.

Q: What's it like working in such a creative environment? Does it inspire you to make things when you're not at work?

Yes, I like making things. Some of the jewelry I make is inspired by things I see at the museum. I get inspired by what I see staff and our visitors wearing. I've been making jewelry for about five years. Before that, I used to draw and paint.