Advocating art in Helena

Published 3:15 pm Monday, April 21, 2014

Kat Scarbrough, Shelley Bailey and Lee Ann Perry at Helena School of Art during April First Friday in Helena. (Contributed)

Kat Scarbrough, Shelley Bailey and Lee Ann Perry at Helena School of Art during April First Friday in Helena. (Contributed)

By LAURA BROOKHART/Community Columnist

“We are not just about finger painting and crayons. In the world of education: we have moved into a world of curriculum collaboration. How can we teach children to tell time with art? Understand sequencing with art? Solar system and art anyone?”

Shelley Bailey, recipient of the 2013 Alabama Elementary Art Educator of the Year Award, says that she, as an educator, enhances these topics while teaching the design elements and principals of art today.

“And,” she adds, “it’s easy if you have a creative mind. Expectations are high. In elementary and middle school we push to support our academics.”

Bailey was honored at the Alabama Art Education Association state conference held in Orange Beach this past October attended by educators from around the Southeast.

A Helena resident and also owner of the Helena School of Art, Shelly Bailey has been teaching for 21 years and holds a Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Education from the University of Montevallo. Previously she taught at Thompson High and currently teaches at McAdory Elementary.

Bailey also trained at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. As a strong art advocate in public school, she has written and been awarded more than $35,000 in grant money during her seven years in public education. She received a $19,400 grant for this school year.

Bailey also coordinated the McAdory Elementary second Annual Art Gala on Feb. 2. Student artwork was featured and teachers dressed as their favorite works of art.

“I believe technology is the wave of our future. Does that mean all artists will be on board with it? No. But to be forward thinkers we must be willing to be progressive and continue our education,” she said. “And remember that art is all about experimenting and trial and error.”

“I personally like getting my hands dirty both in my classroom and at HSA. Literally. I never quite feel productive if I leave my studio clean. Paint, clay, glue—whatever the medium, it will be somewhere on me,” she added.

The summer class schedule has been recently posted along with registration forms. The classes are suitable for grades first-eighth. All classes will be progressive and clay will be an added summer offering. No previous experience is required. Lee Ann Perry and Kat Scarbrough will join Bailey as summer camp teachers.

See more details at: or email: or call 914-4409.