Painted paper is passion for art teacher at Lake PDF Print E-mail
Written by DEBBIE ROGERS Sentinel Staff Writer   
Saturday, 14 December 2013 09:13
Laura Lohmann poses with painted paper projects in her Lake classroom. (J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
MILLBURY - Laura Lohmann's Lake Elementary art classroom is peppered with painted paper.
There are the stacks resting in "the biggest drying rack in Wood County." Others are piled on tables ready for students to cut and layer and paste. Even more of the paper is in the artwork that covers the halls of the school.
"It just gives so much more color to the project," she said. "You always have it, and it gives you so much color."
When Lohmann's students aren't working on a project, she has them paint paper to prepare for the next craft. They blend colors from the same palette onto construction paper.
It's fitting that Lohmann's blog is called paintedpaperintheartroom. It showcases ideas she's used in her classroom and gives step-by-step instructions on how to recreate some of her projects.
One of those crafts, a "palm" tree, was picked up by Family Fun and is featured in the December-January magazine. The editors have also asked Lohmann to do an art column for the magazine.
The "palm" tree base is a yarn cone, and the branches are made from painted paper in shades of green that has been cut from the pattern of the child's hand (Get it? Palm!).
"Being a parent, I love seeing handprints," said Lohmann, who is mom to a 10-year-old and 6-year-old. The family, which also includes her husband, Dean, lives in Perrysburg.
The trees were a project for her art club, which is made up of 40 third and fourth-graders who meet before school twice a month.
In addition to the blog, Lohmann has 3,800 followers on Pinterest and 2,780 "likes" on Facebook. Technology has opened a whole new world for teachers, she said.
"It's a wonderful way to share, without the travel," she said. "It was just such a nice way of meeting other art teachers."
She views a laptop as a brain - it files all of her art and ideas and enables her to share with the world. She's had her blog since 2009.
Lohmann has done thematic art units on Pablo Picasso and, most recently, Georgia O'Keeffe. She likes to take lesser-known aspects of an artist's life and introduce them to her students. For example, while O'Keeffe may be most known for her New Mexico landscapes, Lohmann introduced her students to the artist's life in New York, where she liked to vacation .
"I always like to find things they're not famous for," she said.
The O'Keeffe lesson will be the topic of her first column for Family Fun.
Lohmann also used photos she took of the Grand Canyon and desert during a vacation this summer for the O'Keeffe lesson. The family loves to travel to national parks, including Yellowstone and Grand Teton. She brings back photos and stories as inspiration for her art students.
"I do a lot of landscapes with kids. I love nature."
All of her classes often combine to do murals throughout the year. The younger ones will do trees and flowers, while the older students outline and complete a lot of the detail work. A Mexican marketplace mural is the main page of her painted paper blog and her profile picture on Facebook.
Lohmann grew up in Toledo, where she attended private school - that did not offer art classes. In college, at the University of Toledo, she went into marketing which tapped her creative side. After getting bachelor's and master's degrees from UT, she got a job there, teaching education majors how to incorporate art in their classrooms.
She has been teaching for 18 years, including 12 at Lake.
Lohmann credits excellent teamwork among the four art teachers as the reason the Lake program is so successful.
"We get along. We love to share ideas."
See Lohmann's "palm" tree at

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