Rita Shumaker has been the Mint Museum’s master teacher for most of the past decade. Shumaker, an accomplished visual artist, has touched countless students in the community, teaching art at Central Piedmont Community College, Queens University of Charlotte, Belmont Abbey and Charlotte Country Day School. She designs art classes inspired by the museum’s permanent and visiting exhibitions.
Children and the creative process: Children are closer to (the creative process) than adults because they haven’t experienced as much socialization; they don’t have to unlearn to create. They respond to the museum setting, which is critical. Even if they don’t become artists as adults, they are exposed and come to appreciate museums and what they offer.
Art and community: For the community to thrive there must be platforms where different viewpoints and expressions meet. There must be a place for different voices and a way to draw upon them. The creative process is one place where that happens.
Teaching: For me teaching is how I support my artistic habit. I can perform considerable research and get exposed to technique I can further explore on my own.