CLIP Art Teacher Spotlight - Kathleen Ko
Every month we will feature a current student, teacher or alumni from CLIP to showcase on our blog. If you are interested in being featured, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who are you?
My name is Kathleen Ko. I grew up in Taiwan and moved to Irvine when I was 12 years old. I graduated from UC Irvine with a B.A. in Studio Art. Professionally, I have worked for Disney and eBay in User Experience and Design. In 2006, I began my culinary journey where I worked at Manresa and The French Laundry. Currently, I teach cooking classes as well as private dining when my schedule allows.
When did you join the CLIP Art teaching staff and the CLIP program?
I started as a CLIP Art parent volunteer in 2014, and then became an CLIP Art instructor the following year. I have two children in CLIP program, Charlie Loper (3rd grade) and Oliver (1st grade). This is my 2nd year teaching CLIP Art, and I currently teach kindergarten kids. I love their excitement towards doing art projects, and their naturally raw creativity. It’s messy at times, but that’s not something artists worry about! Previously, I have been on the CLIPCO Board as a grade representative, as well as a coordinator for ASEP Percussion and Wushu.
What are some of your hobbies or special interests?
I love everything related to design, and anything involving food and cooking. I love arts and crafts, especially embellishing (or rather resurrecting) clothing and accessories inspired by fashion trend. I’m not athletic, however, I really enjoy watching soccer and basketball games, especially when my kids are in the games!
How do you choose your curriculum for CLIP Art? What happens during a CLIP Art class?
We incorporate the CLIP Art curriculum with social studies and science by grade level. We also use season-specific topics to promote awareness of our surrounding. For lower grades, we pick topics that suits their interests, as well as sharpening students’ fine motor skills.
One of my favorite CLIP Art classes is the “Blue and White Porcelain.” In class, we teach the history of porcelain/china, and the process of producing such fine art. During the hands-on craft time, students get to design porcelain (paper) plates with tools such as stencils, baking cups, Q-tips, ball-point pens, etc.
Why do you think learning art (and Chinese art) is important?
Art is the freedom of self-expression. It’s in contrast to math, where often there is only one right answer. In art there is no right or wrong, and this enables us to appreciate a diversity of perspectives. Art also represents a civilization’s culture and history. It is CLIP Art’s mission to enrich students’ awareness of the Chinese culture, and improve their Chinese communication skills through a series of classes.
What advice do you have for current CLIP students?
Students should advantage of this unique educational experience. When you look back on your CLIP years, I believe you’ll truly appreciate the opportunity to have immersed yourself in Chinese culture, language, and learning from an early age. Make the best out of it!
What advice do you have for current CLIP parents?
Continue to support your child’s appetite for learning Chinese culture. Encourage them to understand Chinese art, and how it reflects its history and culture. There are also plenty of opportunities to get involved with CLIP, either through CLIP Art or other areas where we need parent support.