Close-up of the study for Monet's Impressionist painting.

Marlene Krueger also did art therapy while she was an Art Instructor for the Chicago Public Schools servicing high risk students. In her art therapy experience with others, Marlene recalls:

“I had an unforgettable art experience when I worked with a student at Pritzker Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois. On my first year teaching art, I observed how an art student covered his head at his desk not wanting to participate in my art class. I quickly arranged the various colors order on the student’s desk. I asked him to remember the color arrangement and close his eyes. Then I said, “pick the colors that you see and paint what you see on your paper keeping your eyes closed.”

He stared with a blank look and closed his eyes, choosing colors he felt. I observed the student painting tiny particles of colors side by side, as if it was a kaleidoscopic art piece.

My student’s art work reminded me of a stained glass piece for a cathedral, reminiscent of Chagall’s America Windows at the Art Institute of Chicago.

When he finished, I asked if I could show his art to the class. I raised his picture high so the whole class could see. I excitedly said, “class this is a masterpiece, a work of art! This piece belongs in the art museum.”

I suddenly felt a surge of positive energy as the students raved in awe.

Ever since that time, I noticed how happy and confident he has gotten in my art room. The following year he won 3rd place nation-wide in an art contest for the U.S. Post Office. He was invited to attend an awards ceremony at the Chicago City Hall. His mother, Governor of Illinois, principal, and I were present. When I met his mother (at the far left of the photo below), she seriously looked at me and said, “You are the greatest teacher my son has ever had.”

Photo taken at City Hall with Jim Edgar, Governor of Illinois, 1993.

City Hall with Jim Edgar

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