Study in the arts is an essential means, not an end, to acquiring thinking skills, creativity, the ability to change, and the facility to teach oneself. In a safe, nurturing environment, the arts enable students to communicate ideas, express their feelings, develop a sense of community, and appreciate themselves as participants in history, tradition, and culture. Learning in art advances and strengthens motor skills, promotes considerate behavior, ability to work well with others, self-discipline, perception, and sensitivity. Fine Arts experiences contribute to the developmental process of understanding one another and naturally motivate students in all their learning. -Utah State Office of Education
More students building the Olympic Legacy stained glass pieces at Olympic Legacy
Learn about and view more student murals by visiting Murals
I am in my 17th year teaching art at Ecker Hill where I have taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade art.
Raised in San Francisco, I have a Bachelor of Arts degree from California College of Arts and a Masters in Education degree from the University of Phoenix. During the 2007-2008 school year, I was granted a year sabbatical. I attended numerous art workshops ranging from watercolor painting outdoor (plien air) in the mountains at the Sun Valley Center for the Arts to a teacher workshop at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art focusing on the Frida Kahlo exhibit. I participated locally in studio work at the Kimball Art Center, working in everything from fused glass to oil painting to ceramics.
I have always been an artist. I had my first exhibited work while in seventh grade, a woodcut print shown at the San Francisco de Young Museum of Fine Art. I have also displayed at the Crown Zellerbach in San Francisco, Gallery 531 in Berkeley, and the Kimball Art Center, here in Park City. This summer, I will be a featured artist at the Park Silly Market.
Although schooled in Fine Art, I have spent more than 35 years in the commercial art world working both as Art Director for publications and advertising firms, and as a freelance artist. I have received numerous Addy & Press Club awards for my work in advertising design and editorial illustration. I currently teach Digital Media for the Park City High School’s PCCAPS program, Park City Center for Advanced Professional Studies, on the days I’m not teaching at Ecker.
I have lived in Utah since 1988 and here in Park City since 1992. I am the mother of three boys, ages 23, 25, and 27, all graduates of the Park City School District. Twenty years ago, as my own children entered the Park City public school system, I became involved in art education advocacy. I helped develop the District’s Masterpieces in Art program and wrote art curriculum through funding from the Kimball Art Center. I served seven years on the Board of the Park City/Summit County Arts Council, including as Grants Chairperson and Treasurer. I fell into teaching while recruiting student volunteers to paint the Poison Creek tunnel, funded by the Arts Council. While visiting Ecker, I learned they were in need of an art educator. I agreed to teach, temporarily, until a permanent instructor could be found. I fell in love with teaching. With three children attending Jeremy Ranch Elementary, and while still teaching full-time, I obtained my Masters in Education. Ironically, during my first year teaching at Ecker, I was awarded Volunteer of the Year at Jeremy Ranch Elementary for developing their Masterpieces in Art program and their Annual Art Festival.
I have a shelter rescue dog, Snoopy, and a rescue cat, Pütz Fraü, which is German for “cleaning lady”. My husband, Bruce, and I own O’Shucks, Ahh Sushi & The Grill restaurants in Park City and Salt Lake City.
When not teaching or producing artwork, I enjoy skiing, tennis, biking, hiking, and spending time in Sun Valley, Idaho.
I love teaching, talking about, and creating art. I love learning with my students, as they learn with and from each other.
-Debra Barfield Corrigan