Arts Education Artist Page

Patricia Ritter

Visual Arts and Crafts

Patricia Ritter creates art in watercolors, pastels, acrylics, collage and murals and her art has received numerous awards and honors and appears in many collections. She is a juried member of the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen, a juried artist with the Kentucky Crafted program and serves on the Teaching Artist Rosters of the Kentucky Arts Council, VSA Kentucky and The Tennessee Arts Commission.  

She has completed numerous short- and long-term art residencies with children, students at all grade levels at alternative schools; juvenile justice facilities, special needs classrooms, libraries, and summer art programs. Pat completed five Kentucky Arts Council Showcasing the Arts Grant Programs in 2017 where she shared her personal journey of creating art, her creative processes and materials, along with pre- and post-art activities for the classroom. 

Inspired by the work of many artists, including Diego Rivera, Georgia O'Keeffe and Frida Kahlo, she uses innovative hands-on art projects to enhance all subjects. Pat leads students on a journey to discover their own artistic abilities through drawing and painting, creating expressive self-portraits murals, small sculptures, making puppets, masks, collage and mixed media projects. She works with teachers to meet their classroom needs and ensure successful projects for students and educators alike.

Potential Residency Project

Designing and Painting a Mural 
Time Required: One to four weeks depending on size, subject and site of mural.
Grade Levels:  4th grade and up

Students are introduced to public murals and artists including Diego Rivera, Thomas Hart Benton and murals around the world with discussions centered on the uses of public murals to focus on historical, social and political uses and how an artist takes an idea and visually expresses it. Students develop a theme, create individual sketches using the elements of art and principles of design, collaborate and combine ideas and drawings into a cohesive design, Students are instructed on how to enlarge drawings on site and then draw and paint the finished design alongside a professional mural artist to complete the artwork.

3-D - Small Sculptures in Bas-Relief
Time Required:  One to two weeks
Grade Levels:  4th grade and up 

sing air-dry clay, we can pair any subject with this material and process. For example with the study of biomes, students illustrate environments they study using a collage or drawn background and create bas-relief sculptures of animals and plants or learn about geography by drawing out maps and adding bas-relief architecture or portraits specific to countries or places. Writing assignments are included. 

In another project we look at masks from Mexico, Africa and Northwestern Native American peoples and the myths and legends of their cultures. Students write their own stories, create a bas-relief “mask” in air-dried clay, and attach to a collaged or painted background to tell their story. This covers 2-D, 3-D, literacy skills and cultures.

Keeping a Nature Journal – Observing the World Around Us
Time Required: One week
Grade Levels: 4th grade and up

We create simple “journals” and students are instructed in drawing techniques and
examples before we go outside to observe record and enjoy the world around us using notebooks and colored pencils. Students are given assignments to further write about and illustrate their notes once back in the classroom. These projects connect to earth science, language arts, visual arts, physical education, math, social studies and more. 

Expressive Self-Portraits – Me, Myself and I
Time required: One to two weeks 
Grade Levels: 6th grade and up.

After looking at and discussing self-portraits by famous artists, photos are taken of each student and printed out in small size. Students learn how to grid the photo and transfer it to a larger sheet. They choose a color scheme and proceed to paint their own self-portrait. A border is left around the self-portrait and filled in with words, poems, and collage images to complete the story of themselves. 

Using Your Visual Voice – Collage and Paper Arts
Time Required: One Week
Grade Levels: 4th grade and up

tudents are introduced to several collage artists and shown examples of their work through a PowerPoint with discussion of art form and possibilities. Any subject can be explored including history, cultures, favorite artists, social issues, landscapes and faces (realistic or abstract). This project has wide appeal for all ages and abilities. This can be a recycling project using magazines, newsprint, discarded books and other collected materials. Writing assignments are included.  

Drawing and Painting with Watercolors
Time Required: One week and can be expanded depending on scope of project
Grade Levels:  6th grade and up

Drawing techniques are reviewed with warm-ups and exercises then students create drawings and paintings. Projects can include, seasons of the year (can be tied to poetry), works inspired by famous artists; abstract and realistic paintings, architecture from their own community, or students can work from photographs they bring to the classroom.