Tomoko Abe

Tomoko Abe
Rye, NY
Ceramics/Pottery, Drawing, Mixed Media, Painting, Printmaking
English, Japanese
Adult Day Care, After School Program, Assisted Living, College/University, Arts/Cultural Organizations, Community Center, K-12 Schools, Library, Nursing Home, Rehabilitation Center, Senior Center

Over the last 10 years, I have been teaching art to students from K to 12 and to older generations from varying background and culture. Some are active and others are cognitively challenged.  

I have worked at a number of non-profit art organizations in Westchester county, including Clay Art Center and Rye Arts Center, and have taught in numerous programs at public schools, nursing homes and day care centers. I have also given lectures at various institutions on my artwork and the art of healing. I hold BA in Drawing and Painting from the Edinburgh College of Art and have been active as a mixed media installation artist using clay, glass, paper making, printmaking and video over the last 20 years. Growing up as a child and teenager in Japan, studying in Europe and moving to the US 16 years ago, I consider myself a borderless teacher and artist, who wishes to learn from and contribute to all facets, across all cultures, generations, as well as artistic media.

Regardless of students’ age or abilities, I have been constantly questioning how I can support and guide them to express themselves freely. I greatly enjoy teaching older generations as they have so much to share from their rich life experiences, but I also feel that many of them have not been given sufficient opportunities to express themselves. We all benefit from expressing ourselves, in terms of gaining self confidence and reassurance, irrespective of our age and generation. The availability of quality art education, I believe, is just as important for the elderly as for the youth. Through teaching art, I have learned to be patient and to build trust from the students by supporting them as individuals, sometimes taking hand on hand and other times giving them the freedom to work with their choice. I strongly believe that art can heal, empower and inspire people with positive energy, no matter what their age and background may be.