Art Teacher's Creativity Spreads to His Students

Article excerpt

Byline: Claire Slepicka

Giant soap bubbles and juggled fruit are just some of the techniques Joe Eddy Brown uses to get attention for art.

At Glen Crest Middle School in Glen Ellyn, Brown is a popular teacher who helps students discover the well of creativity within themselves.

Recently Brown was the invited keynote speaker for Art/Creativity: A Design for the Future, the Illinois Art Education Association's spring conference. He presented "Notes and Artifacts from a Very Old Child," a unique sampling of his methods and ideals to stimulate thinking. His attention grabbers included juggling fruit and creating a 3-foot soap bubble and a 9 by 12 foot inflatable.

Not surprisingly, Brown is a motivational speaker who gives 35 workshops each year around the state and will be guiding his 33rd, 34th and 35th student teachers in the 1997-98 school year.

Author of books for teachers and a visiting professor to colleges, the 23-year veteran teacher at Glen Crest applies his principles to his own junior high students each year and awes them with what they can do themselves.

At Glen Crest, his students boast, "Every project we do, we invented." The kids love Brown, a master of magic, music and miracles of materials. …