Finding balance for creation

WHS art teacher has work selected for Maryhill museum exhibit

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WHS art teacher Evan Rumble discusses painting in the post-impressionist style with a student recently. Rumble's work is featured in the Teachers as Artists juried exhibition at the Maryhill Museum of Art this month.

There’s never a dull day as an art teacher.

“That’s what I love most about it,” says Evan Rumble, who teaches the subject at Washougal High School. “There’s always something going on to keep me on my toes and, most of the time, it’s something exciting about student work or really engaging questions. This is definitely not a desk job.”

Be that as it may, Rumble says he sometimes struggles to find balance between teaching his students and making time to create his own art.

“It’s still a work in progress,” he explains. “I’m still figuring out little tricks to get my time in while I still have energy.”

Rumble’s dedication seems to be paying off: He was recently selected as a featured artist at the Maryhill Museum of Art’s “Teachers as Artists: Washington Arts Educators” exhibit.

His piece, “Shattered Sandstone, Table Rock, ID, 2017,” is an acrylic on aluminum composite panel.

Teachers as Artists is a juried exhibition, showcasing the statewide talents of Washington’s arts educators.

The exhibit acknowledges that art teachers work long and hard to bring out the best in their students, often at the expense of their own creative work.

In an artist statement, Rumble said he struggled to carve out chunks of time to work on his own craft, and felt responsible for overcoming the same demands he asks of his students.

“Painting in this manner allows me to break the project down to fit my schedule, a few shapes a day, and still strengthen my own artistic problem solving,” Rumble says. “One of the things I have started doing is setting an alarm on my phone to leave school by a certain time every day so I can get home. Then I still have the energy to jump in.”

The subject of his painting was pulled from a black and white photograph taken of a 12-foot high boulder located at Table Rock in Boise, Idaho.

“As a teacher, I am really interested in how things get made,” Rumble says. “I wanted there to be something in the painting that showed layers and shapes, where people could see how it was built through close inspection.”

Although the exhibit concluded yesterday, Rumble still has something to look forward to: one of his students, sophomore Mira Wiebe, will soon show her work in an art exhibit.

“I think it’s pretty exciting that we were both selected for different exhibits,” Rumble says.

Aaron Hansen, WHS principal, notes that Rumble is a talented artist and outstanding teacher.

“I am very impressed with the guidance, support and structure he has established within our arts program,” Hansen says. “Evan’s passion for what he does not only reflects in his creations, but also in our students’ work.”