Humans of Blair: Crafting Lives

Feb. 6, 2024, 1:20 p.m. | By Sudhish Swain | 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Frank paints a picture of how she got involved in the arts and teaching

“When I hear students laughing, it makes me smile... I feel like if your hands are busy, the music's going, good conversations are flowing, it transforms that demanding workload into something more motivating.”

Jennifer Frank, a Fine Arts teacher at Blair, led us out of Room seven, turned right, and walked straight down the art hallway to her cardboard sculptures. They were protected in a miniature cabinet, surrounded by glass walls on all four sides. As we walked, she greeted her daughter, a freshman at Blair. With a big smile, she posed against her cabinet of creations which lives next to Blair’s Colesville entrance.

Jennifer Frank with her Cabinet of Creations Photo courtesy of Riana Earle.

Frank didn’t know she wanted to be a teacher, let alone involved in the arts when she started college as an international studies major. But after taking and excelling in a crafts elective, she decided to switch to studio arts. “It was the best decision of my life. They say your vibe is your tribe, and I definitely found my tribe in the world of art,” she said. Frank also emphasized balance in her student’s lives. “Beyond just arts, I love music and dancing…I love to have fun and I try to pass that on to my students. They should have a balance between work, love, and play.”

Born in D.C. and raised in Prince George’s County, Frank originally had her eyes set on becoming a professional sculptor and moved to Naples, Florida after receiving her Bachelor's Degree. Starting a family led her to shift into education, though, and she taught for ten years in Florida with Master's degrees in Educational Leadership and Fine Arts in Installation Art. Then, she came back to the D.C. metropolitan area.

Frank reads a letter from one of her previous students Photo courtesy of Sudhish Swain.

Frank is in her second year at Blair and teaches Ceramics/Sculptures and Functional Fine Arts and Crafts. Over the summer, she coordinates MCPS’ smARTSummer program for rising juniors and seniors to do real-world art and music education internships for elementary students.

Frank has found her calling in teaching and urges her students to pursue what they love. “A lot of times people may be pushed or urged towards more practical degree paths instead of pursuing what they're drawn to naturally and [what] makes them happy. I say take a risk. Do what you love. Life is too short not to find your passion.”

Last updated: Feb. 6, 2024, 2:12 p.m.

Sudhish Swain. Hi! I'm Sudhish (he/him) and I'm one of the sports editors as well as a videographer. I often record videos at games, write beats, post recaps/galleries/videos on our social medias, and more! Besides SCO, I love running, listening to music, and learning new languages! More »

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