The Rewards of Teaching at Valley Art Center

Tricia Kaman demonstrating in her oil portrait workshop. Photo by Michael Steinberg

Tricia Kaman demonstrating in her oil portrait workshop. Photo by Michael Steinberg

While students and parents often thank VAC instructors for changing their lives and making the world a better place, their teachers say they receive as much as they give. “I give my students everything I would want to receive from a teacher,” says Kim Mettee, “while I also encourage them to cultivate their own authentic identity and aesthetic.” Ms. Mettee says that she is often inspired by her students’ personal approaches to design problems and mindful solutions to technical challenges. “Their responses to my instruction can be very creative and unique. Back home in my studio, I will revisit my conversations with students to inform my own creativity.”

Valley Art Center is often the place where students and teachers first discover their callings in art occupations. Children’s art instructor Emily English started as a volunteer when she was a teen and quickly became a substitute teacher for a Saturday children’s class. That course was soon passed on to her and, like many other instructors in VAC’s history, she turned it into a career, a profession, and a brand. “My experience teaching at Valley Art Center is why I decided to go to college to be an art teacher,” she says. “I used my VAC summer camps as part of my student teaching.” Ms. English continues to teach at the center as one of a strong team of children’s art instructors. “I can’t believe I’ve been here for fifteen years!” Emily says. “I’ve stayed here because it’s family.”

Valley Art Center is always looking for ways to expand offerings to students young and old. If you want to share your experiences and talents teaching workshops and classes, please send your inquiries to Jeni Yonker at

Mother Earth

The maestro behind Mother Earth is composer Pamela Illanes-Tatsuoka. Utilizing poems by Chilean writer, Antonio Skármeta and Chilean poet-diplomat, Pablo Neruda, Pamela creates music for voice and instrument. World-class musicians have performed the music, and utilizing those melodic sounds as inspiration, American and Chilean visual artists interpret the poems to create memorable works of art. Mother Earth brings the power of multiple art forms to Chagrin Falls for guests to hear and see, and to be immersed in Chilean culture.

VAC Sells Art

Chagrin Falls has always been an artistic village and Valley Art Center keeps finding more ways to get art into the hands of collectors. Between two onsite galleries, a gift shop, and an outreach gallery, an art connoisseur can frequently find a selection of over three hundred works of art for sale through Valley Art Center!

Are you interested in offering your art for sale in Valley Art Center’s gift shop or outreach gallery? Email Kate Bruner at, and please include information about you and your work, images of the art, and price points.

EARLY BIRD ART & CRAFT SHOW | 10AM–5PM MARCH 3 | Lowe’s Greenhouse

MOTHER EARTH | MARCH 23–MAY 2 | 155 Bell Street with Chagrin Arts

Reception 6–8pm Friday, March 23

SPRING CLASSES | APRIL 16–MAY 26 | 155 Bell Street

ARTSHOP | MAY 4 & 5 | Chagrin Falls Village

ART BY THE FALLS | JUNE 9 & 10 | Riverside Park

Valley Art Center

155 Bell Street

Chagrin Falls, OH 44022