Grad is Teacher with Vision, Plenty of Heart
Art/Art Education Concentration
As a K-5 art teacher for the past seven years, Jonathan Juravich has a passion to help his students “make connections between the fine arts world and their everyday lives.” He stated, “The art room should be a place where experiments, investigations, successes, and mishaps are all celebrated for their educational value. I work hard to make my room an environment that all students delight to be in, regardless of their artistic abilities.”
A 2005 Otterbein graduate with a B.A. in Art Education, Jonathan is an art teacher at Liberty Tree Elementary School and the head Cross Country and Track coach at Olentangy Hyatts Middle School, both in the Olentangy school district. He also recently completed a Master of Arts in Art Education from the Art Academy of Cincinnati.
“There was a time in my life when I wondered if education was really the right road for me. Now I know that for me there is no other road, I am here to be a teacher,” he stated. But he acknowledges that teaching can be difficult at times. “I don’t think anyone ever really prepares you for the emotional side of education. As an educator not only are you teaching your students, but you are also becoming invested in their lives,” he said.
In January 2011, Madeline, one of Jonathan’s first-grade students at Liberty Tree, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, an aggressive cancer that often begins in the abdomen or core. She underwent months of chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant and countless blood transfusions. Jonathan recalled that from the moment of her diagnosis, the community stepped in to support her and her family. “Our school has made ‘paying it forward’ an integral part of our school culture,” he said. “I have found myself in an intriguing role in Madeline’s fight with cancer. I have played games of Chutes and Ladders, provided comic relief, and ran the Columbus Marathon in Madeline’s name.” Today, Madeline is cancer free, but continues intense treatments to keep her well.
Madeline’s journey has impacted Jonathan’s artistic work. In January 2012, the Otterbein’s Miller Gallery will feature his work title Core Studies. Jonathan’s role as an elementary teacher and coach will be examined through screen prints, a method of printing that was used to print ads and share information with the masses. His “shoelaces” print features text from Madeline’s mother’s blog about her cancer treatment. He ran long distances each week with these laces.
By building up layers of ink on the page, Jonathan says he attempts to reference the many layers of our identities. Depending upon the lighting and the viewer’s location, layers of text become visible. In one of his pieces, a simple printed statement in pink reads, “Why does it taste like hand sanitizer?” A shift in positions reveals white text describing hospital dinners. Jonathan points out that there are many layers to every situation – humor, grief, compassion and empathy. “As a fine artist, I have been given a vehicle to engage conversation and share the importance of investing in each other’s lives,” he said.
Jonathan’s exhibit, Core Studies, will be open to the public from January 4 – February 15 at the Miller Gallery, 33 Collegeview Rd., Westerville, Ohio 43081. Reception Feb. 9, 5-7 pm.
Gallery hours: M-F 8am – 4pm, Sat. and Sun. 1pm – 4 pm. Closed holidays.