My name is Carolina Diaz. I am a Visual Artist and currently teach at Rosalyn Yalow Charter School and Riverdale Neighborhood House. I’ve been teaching with BAE for about 12 – 14 years.

My background: Growing up in Hollis, Queens, surrounded by artists in my family, I naturally loved doing art. During high school, I attended Parson’s School of Design’s Saturday program, in Manhattan, where I fell in love with lettering and graphic design. I learned graphic design at Fashion Institute of Technology and worked as a mechanical artist at Lord & Taylor on Fifth Avenue.  I moved on to teaching high school students how to do murals from creating concepts to painting the design on walls using different tools and art mediums. Eventually, I started teaching kindergarten thru high school with Bronx Arts Ensemble.

One art project I worked on with my fourth and fifth graders at Rosalyn Yalow Charter School is a drawing exercise. The exercise is to copy a design upside down as it is covered with construction paper, uncovering the original drawing inch by inch. This drawing exercise was something I remember doing from art class in high school. It helps students slow down their impulse to draw what they think the item is and be more observant to just the lines, inch by inch, until they are completely done. It also helps with spatial reasoning skills. The most difficult part about this exercise is getting students to start. It challenges students to not rely on seeing things the way they’re used to, rather focusing on the lines in front of them. Their initial reactions? They felt it was too difficult for them. One student stated, “This is impossible,  Ms. Diaz!”

My favorite part about teaching is seeing my students’ uninhibited drawings and the stories behind their work. What makes my day is seeing several students show great interest in continuing to do more art, in and out of school settings.

View photos of Carolina’s students’ work below!