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I am currently working with a wonderful young lady in her pre-teen years to compile a portfolio for admission to the Rush Arts Academy in Philadelphia. This young lady has raw talent, but also is a fabulous listener! She struggles in self-confidence (what artist doesn't?), but we are making great improvements. We have meetings every other weekend, and I demonstrate a new technique and project for the portfolio. So far, we have completed a pencil still life of dishware, a 2-part positive and negative charcoal still life of fruit, and a watercolor painting of a bamboo plant. They have all come out fabulously. Currently we are working on her awesome self-portrait collage idea, incorporating several small canvases on a large canvas, with emphasis on what she enjoys to do. I have a great feeling about this current project! The next meeting is going to focus on creating a landscape work with oil pastel and matting her finished work for presentation. There are a few things I... read more

Who is Amanda O.? Just another art teacher in Philadelphia? I am indeed an art teacher in the Philadelphia School District, but am so much more than that. While some students have the misconception that teachers just hatch from an egg as is, we know that's not true. I have many parts to me, as I am sure you have to you. I am a world traveler, who loves exploring new places, but also loves home more than anywhere. I also truly love helping others. During the summers of 2004 and 2005 I was able to combine these two passions by volunteering for a Christian service group called Project Serve. Our Project Serve team went to a small village just outside of San Pedro Sula, Honduras those 2 summers to serve the people of a Christian Youth Camp. My team focused on building a dorm hall and establishing a clean drinking well. While it was incredibly difficult, both physically and emotionally, each time I traveled there shaped who I am today. While we worked 8 of the 10 days we were there,... read more

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