2017 Arts In Education: Gabriel Lovejoy

Arts In Education Criteria: Arts In Education category is open to individuals and institutions whose primary function is arts education.

“Many students begin studying the visual arts with a love for creating, unaware of the true potential for lucrative career options that not only provide an outlet for their passions, but also a vibrant and profitable business.”  — Gabriel Lovejoy on teaching students at Coastal Christian High School

Gabriel Lovejoy has been an art teacher at Coastal Christian High School in Wilmington for ten years. He was the first full time art teacher hired at the school. At Coastal, Lovejoy is seen as not only a teacher, but role model, which has resulted in many students pursuing post-high school studies and careers in the arts.

Lovejoy takes art students on an annual “inspiration trip” to locations outside of Wilmington. Lovejoy notes that students receive “valuable wisdom from working artists, curators, gallery owners, and entrepreneurs in the arts and create industries.” Arts professionals and working artists are able to instill in the students the amount of hard work and discipline it takes to make it as an artist or in the creative workforce.

In addition to the inspiration trip, Lovejoy has students execute their own gallery exhibition which allows them to learn about the intricacies and work that goes into staging an exhibition. Lovejoy encourages those who never imagined themselves as artists to find and develop talents they didn’t know they had. Many have gone on to study Art, Urban Design, Architecture, Fashion Design, and Graphic Design.

Lovejoy said of his students, “Many begin studying the visual arts with a love for creating, unaware of the true potential for lucrative career options that not only provide an outlet for their passions, but also a vibrant and profitable business.” As one student wrote upon gaining a job at High Museum of Art in Atlanta, “I’m not sure where my path will take me next, but I do know that wherever it is, I’ll be carrying all the lessons Gabriel Lovejoy taught me.”

While teaching at Coastal, Lovejoy has gone on to earn his MFA from the Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD).  He spent last summer teaching at SCAD.  In addition, Lovejoy also teaches at the Museum School at the Cameron Arts Museum and serves as the curator for the Arts Council of Wilmington at the exhibition space at Wilmington International Airport.  These activities help enhance Lovejoy’s work in the classroom.

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