The Artstor Blog, Artstor sessions at the 2017 AP Annual Conference,, 2017

Article in the Ashley Hall publication, Perspectives

Written by Catherine Newman, 2012


How appropriate that an artist whose work is focused on the history of time and place has come to Charleston to excitedly step into the very big shoes left by Meyriel Edge’s retirement. Rebecca Stone-Danahy is a multi-media artist whose work explores the history of place and the changes that time brings to it.  Her most recent work explores her family’s long history as tobacco farmers on an area in Pennsylvania that is now mini malls and suburban sprawl. If history is what fascinates her, she will surely feel right at home bringing her 20 years of experience as an arts educator to the Holy City.

 Raised in a rural town, Rebecca did not have the advantage of a strong arts program in her local school system, often finding her creative outlets through her participation in 4H programs sewing and creating furniture.  She did, however, have an incredibly dedicated and talented art teacher, who, without the benefit of a sizeable arts budget, inspired and mentored her love of the arts.  Combine this with parents who were both teachers and her time teaching swimming lessons and being a camp counselor, and Rebecca knew from her first day attending Miami University in Ohio that her calling was to be an art teacher.

Rebecca’s teaching philosophy was shaped during her years at Miami University as she was instructed by professors who studied under Viktor Lowenfeld, the renowned philosopher who helped to define and develop the field of art education in the United States. Rebecca’s pedagogy views arts instruction as a student driven process using the base skill level of each student to define a unique curricular path that will incrementally improve their specific skill set.  “Arts instruction begins with process, “says Rebecca. “I assess my students’ level of mastery early and develop lessons designed to refine their skill set, moving them towards creating their final best work.  Theoretically I work with my students for four years.  I start at their level in the first year and push them as hard as they will let me to improve their skill level.  This prepares the girls who want to build a career around the arts for the challenging college experience and for the expanding world of career choices that will require their skills.  Career opportunities for artistically minded graduates are exploding.  Opportunities in architecture, industrial design, animation, technology and so many more require creative thinkers who are problem solvers.  Exactly what the arts teaches. Additionally, I have built a large network of contacts across the US through my involvement in NAEA that I am able to utilize to help my students find and enter the career path that is right for them.”

Her experience with the National Association of Arts Educators (NAEA) is another benefit Rebecca brings to Ashley Hall.  Her participation with the group began while she was in college and has continued throughout her career.  She has worked with the NAEA to bring the importance of the arts in education back to the forefront of national dialogue and with the NAEA president to influence national policy. Her experience with the organization led her to found a national issue group for independent school arts teachers to discuss and shape potential resolution for the unique challenges they face.  She is also the editor for the NAEA’s publication The Advisor which focuses on interpreting new neurological research through the lens of the K-12 arts educator.  

Rebecca will begin her tenure at Ashley Hall in 2012, and the school, its students, and its arts program welcome this seasoned educator with excitement. 

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Painting by  Forsyth student will hang in the Capital for a year: