Meghan Dillon teaches art at Kettering Fairmont High School. She has been a member of the Kettering Arts Council since 2013 and serves on the Art in Public Places Committee as well. In honor of Youth Art Month, we asked her to give us her perspective on the arts in Kettering and the value of the arts in general.
How long have you been teaching art in Kettering?
I joined Kettering City Schools in 2009, after several years of working in museums in Athens and Cincinnati, Ohio.
What ages have you taught?
Since working with KCS, I have taught grades 1 – 5, and I currently teach grades 9 – 12.
What’s your preferred medium for your own artwork?
I love printmaking, and that was my focus in undergrad. I love how it takes the best parts of drawing and painting and combines it in a really flexible medium that works for the subject matter I prefer.
What led you to get involved with the KAC?
I’m not from Kettering, so I wasn’t sure how to get involved with the greater arts community. Shortly after I began teaching, I was introduced to [Cultural Arts Division Manager] Shayna McConville, and the rest is history! I joined the Council and have served on the Exec Committee, the Art in Public Places committee, and everything in between.
How do you feel about Kettering’s art offerings compared to other small cities?
I think what surprises me most is how much I hear from people who don’t live in Kettering making the trip to Rosewood to take advantage of what we have to offer. The fact that a little suburb like Kettering can offer its residents everything from beginning ballet classes for preschoolers to advance studio classes for adults is pretty rare. There aren’t a lot of communities that can boast about that!
What do you feel the value of having access to art and arts programs is for kids? For adults?
When I talk to my students about this they often reference the need for a place to let go, de-stress, and just experiment. It’s so important that adults and kids alike find an outlet that works for them – sports, performing arts, visual arts, whatever it might be – and the only way to find what works for you is through exposure. That’s the great part about the variety of offerings Kettering has for its residents.