Karri Clark, School of Art Coordinator
Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts
Karri retired from Klein ISD in June 2019 after serving students and teachers for 34 years. She spent 22 years teaching visual art. Twelve of those years included coaching volleyball, basketball and track. Karri served as the Fine Arts Coordinator for the last 12 years of her tenure. Karri launched the elementary visual art program in 2007. She enjoyed the creative process of designing an art room, collaborating with architects, teachers and administrators while watching the concept evolve from its inception through the construction completion.
Karri has served in a variety of art education leadership roles throughout Texas including the Visual Art Scholastic Event (VASE) State Event Director sponsored by the Texas Art Education Association (TAEA). She led the development and implementation of the VASE Online Scoring program. She was a TAEA Conference Chair and Supervision Division Chair. She also served on advisory committees for the Harris County Department of Education Regional Affiliate for the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, Houston Area Art Supervisors, Houston Arts Partners, and Klein Art Days and Special Needs Grant Program for the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts.
Karri feels visual art development creates an opportunity for students to effectively connect with classmates, teachers and parents. Visual art teaches through personal experience, how to make decisions and problem-solve. Every student is unique, and needs a safe, caring and engaging learning atmosphere in which to learn and grow socially, emotionally and intellectually.
Karri enjoys being part of an organization designed to nurture teaching skills and creativity as well as intellectual growth. Karri feels she has the unique opportunity to work along side visual art educators who hold a variety of strong artistic and leadership qualities and ability to create a lasting love of art for students.
MEET THE INSTRUCTORS!
We are incredibly proud of our instructors who have earned recognition both as artists and as teachers. With such a diverse and professional group, your experience in a Pearl School of Art class is sure to be successful.
Want to teach? Click HERE for more information!
Mary Ellen (Mel) Basham currently serves the Texas Art Education Association as Past President, Region 6 VASE Juror Foreman, State VASE College/University Liaison, Certified VASE Juror, and Distinguished Fellow. Mel is also a member of the CEDFA Cadre and National Art Education Association member.
After completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Sam Houston State University, Mel began her teaching career in Aldine Independent School District where she developed an Advanced Placement Art History and Studio Art Program at MacArthur High School. After 18 years of teaching, she retired from Shepherd Independent School District where she taught Art 1-4 and was National Art Honor Society sponsor. Mel has also worked with young children as daycare owner/director and dance instructor.
As an art educator, she believes the teaching process is the most valuable lesson for students. Her philosophy is summarized in this quote by Claudia Betti: “In life as in art, the process is the point. If you take care of the process, the end product will take care of itself.” As a retired art educator, Mel loves to work with other educators providing art in-service incorporating language arts, science and math.
As a practicing artist, Mel relates to Robert Henri’s quote: “I am not interested in art as a means of making a living, but I am interested in art as a means of living a life. It is the most important of all studies and all other studies are tributary to it.”
Art educator Evelyn Bouley has had an interesting career teaching all ages in public schools as well as in the museum setting. In 2014, she retired from her position as the Education Specialist at the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts where she designed the art curriculum and taught a variety of museum activities that included Teacher Staff Developments, Adult and Children Art Classes, Family Days, and school field trips. In the summers, she organized and taught several sessions of elementary and teen summer art camps for the museum. Prior to the six years in which she worked at the Pearl, Evelyn served as the Fine Arts Department Chair and Art Department Chair at Tomball High School. Her public school teaching career included both Jr. High and High School levels for a span of thirty-three years.
Evelyn holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Oklahoma and continued with post graduate work at Sam Houston University. During her career in education, she has twice been the recipient of the Tomball Outstanding Teacher Award, and the Tomball Rotary Club awarded her the Educator’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.
She enjoys sharing her teaching ideas at the teacher staff developments that she presents to the various school districts in the area. She likes to create new, innovative approaches to art projects that often incorporate new, or unexpected, art media. She feels that one of the most fulfilling aspects of her career has been to mentor the young art teachers of the next generation. In addition, Evelyn adjudicates for events such as VASE (Visual Art Scholastic Event) and IB (International Baccalaureate), as well as serving her community as a member of the Centrum Art League and a docent at the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts. In her retirement, Evelyn hopes to spend additional time painting and continuing to grow as an artist.
Cat is a lifelong artist with a passion for teaching. After pursuing her education in Art, Psychology, and Art Ed she began her journey in public schools at the elementary level - first in CyFair ISD, now in Klein ISD. Today she teaches middle school art at Doerre Intermediate School, as well as several special programs with the Pearl Fincher MFA.
Her art styles span from murals - both painted on walls and on the street at chalk art festivals every fall (Kerrville Chalk & Via Colori in downtown Houston), to portrait and pet portrait commissions, and any art that deals with bold colors and deep emotions. She is ready and excited to share art with you and your family this fall!
Kiersten Rucker has taught Art at all levels, K-12. She has utilized her infectious energy and love for Art in after school programs and the public-school setting. She is currently beginning her 7th year as a full-time Art educator in the Houston area teaching middle school art.
Ms. Rucker is a proud member of the Texas Art Education Association (TAEA) and strives to uphold the importance of Art as an integral part of a student's education career. On teaching Art, she says, “In class we don't just ‘make pretty things’ as some might say. We learn about self-expression and building our critical thinking skills.” She firmly believes that each student is important regardless of their Art ability and makes it her mission that everyone leaves feeling that they have achieved progress from where they were when they first started class.
Karen Strole spent 35 years in the art classrooms of Aldine and Klein ISD. She taught her last 20 years at nearby Strack Intermediate School and has been sharing her love for art with her students for as long as she can remember. She retired a few years ago and became an active member with the Watercolor Art Society-of Houston, or (WAS-H) and she’s been passionately painting in her home studio ever since.
Watercolor is her current favorite but she enjoys mixed media arts such as clay, sculpture, fiber, calligraphy, drawing, jewelry making, and 3-dimensional crafts. Karen is inspired by decorative floral patterns influenced by Matisse, Van Gogh and Picasso. She loves to study Art History and learn about different styles and methods from the past. Art Museums have always been her favorite when traveling, Texas, California, Mexico, the Mediterranean. She has many artist friends that she paints with, usually working on pastel dog portraits in Old Town Spring.
Karen loves seeing the delighted faces of children enjoying the creative process and that feeling of self-pride. Art should be a fun, explorative journey with experiences that grow in your soul. Art education has been her life’s work, labor of love and endless curiosity.