Local art teacher drew from FMBAA student scholarship show
When Alison Rice entered her photograph of a scene at Naples Beach featuring a pelican and the pier at the Fort Myers Beach Art Association student scholarship show, little did she know her first serious entry into the art world was the start of her career.
The Estero native’s career involves teaching Fort Myers Beach students art each day as a full-time art teacher at Lexington Middle School.
A 2013 graduate of Cypress Lake High School’s Center for the Arts, Rice earned a second-place award for her entry into the student scholarship show. She went on to earn a degree in studio art from the University of South Florida with a certification in graphic design.
The picture that Rice entered at the student scholarship show in 2013 which got her started down the road as professional art teacher was the product of a class at Cypress Lake titled “Real World.” It focused on teaching students how to make a career in the arts.
“It was the first time that I realized that ‘wow,’ people come and see art and it’s exciting,” Rice said of her introduction to the Fort Myers Beach art gallery. “It made me feel like a professional.”
Rice was drawn into photography in high school, where she learned to develop film. She enjoys taking portraits of friends and family.
Now in her first year as a full-time teacher, Rice said she likes to show students how art affects their lives and how it surrounds them.
“I love the fact that I can try to at least get these kids to understand that the arts are everywhere. It’s not going to go away.”
Rice focuses on teaching painting, drawing, colored pencils, pastels and ceramics with her middle school students. She likes to communicate the subjective nature of art.
“You don’t have to be good. There is no limit to what you can do,” Rice said.
This year’s student scholarship show will take place at the Fort Myers Beach Art Association gallery from April 4 through April 7. The association will hand out scholarships to the winners.