Mobile Arts Council Awards South Alumna ‘The Arty’ for Art Educator
Posted on January 28, 2022 by Amber Day
Amanda Youngblood, a University of South Alabama alumna, was awarded ‘The Arty” for art educator from the Mobile Arts Council. The Artys are awards for those dedicated to the arts in education and art advocacy in the community.
“It was no surprise that Amanda Youngblood was chosen as the outstanding art educator in our community and awarded ‘The Arty,’” said Dr. Paige Vitulli, who serves as interim chair for the Department of Leadership and Teacher Education and received an Arty in 2017. “Ms. Youngblood has consistently emerged as a leader in all of her art education endeavors. Her creativity, passion and high level of energy is contagious and effective as she provides art education for students from elementary school to college. And, of course, we are thrilled that she is a University of South Alabama College of Education and Professional Studies alumna.”
Youngblood received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in painting and Master of Education in Art Education from South. She has served as an art teacher at St. Paul’s Episcopal School for four years.
“I have the pleasure of teaching visual arts to third through sixth grade students,” Youngblood said. “We have so much fun in my art classroom. We explore, experiment and create art in a variety of media from clay, paper mache’, recycled arts, printmaking and even just simple processes with Crayola markers.”
Youngblood currently serves as president elect for the Alabama Art Education Association and president of Bay Area Art Educators. She coordinated a student art show this past November at the Mobile Arts Council, which coincided with the Alabama Art Education Association Fall Conference. Her artwork has been featured in Mobile Bay Magazine and in several art shows across the area. She has been in group exhibitions at the Coastal Art Center of Orange Beach, Alabama Contemporary Art Center, Mobile Museum of Art, Alexandria Museum of Art in Louisiana and Las Laguna Gallery in California.
Youngblood worked as a graduate student at South and now teaches art education courses part time in the College of Education and Professional Studies. She has also worked several summers at the Mobile Museum of Art’s Art Blast camp. During graduate school, she was named the Alabama Art Education Association’s Higher Education Preservice Art Educator of the Year and the College of Education and Professional Studies Outstanding Graduate Student.
“It was actually during my undergrad years while working at Alabama Art Supply that I really felt my calling to work in education and share my passion for art and creativity with others,” Youngblood said.
Youngblood encourages her students both in elementary school and college to embrace exploration in art.
“Personally, teaching art specifically to children has made me a better artist. I have learned to embrace my own mistakes or just enjoy the experimentation and that art is not about the end result, it’s about the process and joy derived from creating. It is important to practice what I preach and what I teach. In my classroom, we have a saying that I adopted from a friend of mine: ‘turn that mess up into a bless-up.’ I think this attitude and growth mindset can be applied to all areas of life and subjects or difficult tasks we may face.”