Painting New Horizons


Nancy Mellor, Managing Editor

The end of the 2023 school year will be both bitter and sweet as students say goodbye to their beloved High School art teacher, Mrs. Culver. Though there are many exciting adventures ahead of her now that she’s retiring, that does not dismiss the fact that she will be greatly missed. 

Mrs. Culver started working here in 2005. Since then, “Room 340 has been my home.” Mrs. Culver said, “I’ve been in this room in the last 18 years more than in my home. I’ve never had a day that I haven’t wanted to be here.” 

Mrs. Culver’s art classes have been a joy to many students. She has taught in a self-propelled style, giving students the tools to create art they never thought was possible by giving them a taste in all kinds of mediums like watercolor, colored pencils, charcoal, and paint and then letting them take flight to create masterpieces all their own.

Her favorite part of being here at AHS has been, “seeing the glint in the eyes of my students when they find out that they’re finally an artist. They have big smiles and [so much] joy in their faces. I’ve heard this a hundred-thousand times, ‘I didn’t know I could do that.’ When they find out that they can– that’s been my joy.” Her classes have always been oriented around the student. “The student’s brilliance has fed me. They have been the fountain of my life.” 

Mrs. Culver’s motto has always been “Experience is the best teacher.” Whenever she assigns a new project in an unfamiliar medium, she says that experience will be a greater teacher than herself. She also encourages students to, “keep a sketchbook running all the time. Keep it in your car. Keep it with you. Travel with it and make it an illustrated journey so it’s not just  focused on one subject matter…[Write down] your memories.” Art is an expressive version of oneself. Keeping memories with the artwork will enable the experiences to be unforgettable. 

Though Mrs. Culver will miss her students so much, she is very excited to have more time to do the things she’s been wanting to do. “I’m going to do some workshops where I can actually travel away and stay and paint right on the location. It’s called plein air painting.” Though Mrs. Culver is leaving Room 340, she will never abandon her passion for art. She will be off on new adventures, painting new horizons.