Mrs. Gail Morton joined the staff of Blue Mountain College in the Fall of 2017, and with her, she brought a fresh new perspective to this school’s art classes. As a young girl, Mrs. Morton grew up in the country around people who used their hands often. She noticed the way that people created and wanted to find an outlet of her own which led her to a love of visual art.
Two and a half years ago, Mrs. Morton retired from her job teaching art to the students of North Pontotoc. She knew, however, that she would prefer to go on teaching in some form, and it was not much later that she met Dr. Enzor. Together with Dr. Waddell, Mrs. Morton and Dr. Enzor began a vision for a renewal of Blue Mountain’s studies in art, starting with Creative Expressions for Elementary Teachers with Dr. Brooks.
Since then, Mrs. Morton has pushed for greater creative opportunities for students in the form of new art classes. There are now several different classes to take for those interested in art: Creative Expressions, Art Appreciation, and Ceramics I and II. Mrs. Morton is currently working with Dr. Enzor to create other classes for drawing and painting as well.
For these and more classes to be added, however, it is imperative that students who are interested make an effort to join them.
When asked why she found art to be an important aspect of education, Mrs. Morton responded, “The process of creating supports 21st century skills such as creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. Art teaches students to connect the dots between subjects, and it gives confidence to try new things. [Art] speaks what cannot be spoken; it is part of being human.” She went on to say that art teaches students to ask questions they never would have before, that it brings both joy and healing.
While higher education in things such as Biblical studies, teaching, and business has always been a prime and admirable focus of Blue Mountain College, it is always important to remember the impact of the arts. Art stirs something in us, and it challenges us to solve problems in new and creative ways. Now here on the BMC campus, there are budding opportunities for students to take these skills in hand and reach new heights.