Collaboration, Cooperation, Communication

Donate To Artists Teaching Art!

Artists Teaching Art (ATA) is an arts education program developed by the Sausalito Art Festival Foundation (SAFF) to serve students K-12 in both public and private schools throughout Marin County. As California schools transition to the Common Core Standards, ATA understands that arts integration is an important part of this transition. ATA along with participating schools, teachers and professional artists collaborate to create a variety of artist-in-residence projects designed to inspire children to think differently about core subjects such as, math, science, history, geography, literature and art through project based learning. The program supports deeper learning and thinking by connecting the core subject to an art form while maintaining the integrity of both the core subject and the artistic process.

For more information visit the Artists Teaching Art:


I would even give up recess to work on the mural. I really enjoyed the art project and would love to do it again.

Willow Creek Academy Student

Tamalpais Valley Elementary School

During the 2018-2019 school year, Artist –Teacher, Debra Maddox, collaborated  with Tam Valley second grade teachers to connect Science curriculum to a long term painting and collage project inspired by the art and the whimsical world of author and artist, Eric Carle.

The students painted and designed their own colorful patterned paper. They learned about color theory and applied their knowledge by creating color families in mixing trays. Brushes and other tools were dipped into the trays to apply the harmonious paint combinations onto paper.  Textures and designs were added by scraping into the painted surface. Corresponding canvases were then painted with contrasting colors.

 Students learned about composition and sketched their Science related designs onto paper that served as a template for the final collage composition. Three classes focused on the solar system and outer space, while the fourth class chose animals and their habitats as the subject of their collage.

Bahia Vista Elementary School - 1st Grade
Core Subject: Life Sciences

The Four Habitats and their Animals

Bahia Vista Elementary School Teachers: Annie Smith, Liz Merritt, Sarah Hagerty, Cathy Argo
Artists Teaching Art teacher: Debra Maddox, Linda Weill, Tilly Nylin

Bahia first grade students, classroom teachers Annie Smith, Liz Merritt, Sarah Hagerty and Cathy Argo collaborate with Artists Teaching Art teachers; painter Debra Maddox and ceramic artists Linda Weill and Tilly Nylin to create four habitats: Redwood, Salt Marsh, Desert and Ocean habitats. Each habitat consisted of a background mural, painted by the students with Debra Maddox along with the animals that are indigenous to each habitat. Artist teachers Linda Weill and Tilly Nylin worked with the children to create habitat animals out of clay teaching form and glazing techniques. “The students made good use of their time and heeded suggestions to create stronger pieces of art. I was impressed with their focus and following directions. Each piece of clay reflects their personality.” Linda Weill  

Bayside, Martin Luther King Jr. Academy, 6th, 7th & 8th Grades
Core Subjects: Visual Arts

Altered Books Project; Theme "This is ME!" 

Bayside, Martin Luther King Academy Teacher: Ellen Franz
Artists Teaching Art Teacher: Virginia Simpson-Magruder

The objective of an altered book is to not only transform an existing book into a creative work of art but also affords on the opportunity also explore the “stories within” as one would explore the stories in a book. “During the sessions Virginia spent with our class, students were engaged, persistent ….I saw the level of engagement grow over the course of the five sessions, noticing a shift in something as seemingly subtle as the sound level between the first and last class.” Classroom Teacher Ellen Franz

Davidson Middle School Grade 7 
Core Subject: World History 

Mosaics in the Mosque 

Davidson Middle School Teachers: After School LEAP Program Director Jake Pollack 
Artists Teaching Art Teachers: Tilly & Zero Nylin 

A fascinating tour through the history of Islam, the Davidson Middle School students worked with Artist Teaching Art teachers Tilly and Zero Nylin to create colorful mosaic tiles, a journey back in time through a timeless art form. Students designed cemented and grouted the colorful tiles revealing sparkling works of art as they wiped the grout away, they were awed, amazed and surprised by the beauty that was revealed through this artist process. “I learned I am creative!” Davidson Middle School Student

Marin Horizon School Grade 6
Core Subject: Math 

Shipyard Mural Project 

Marin Horizon School Teachers: Greson Torchio and Mark Sherburne
Artists Teaching Art teacher: Daemon Guthrie
Educational Tall Ship coordinator: Kim Kouri

Marin Horizon School (MHS) 6th grade students, Artist Teaching Art (ATA) and Educational Tall Ship (ETS) collaborate to create two 4’x4’ outdoor murals depicting the Ship Yard and Tall Ship sailing activities. Artists Teaching Art, artist teacher Daemon Guthrie along with classroom teachers Greson Torchio and Mark Sherburne created an in residence art project addressing the core subject of 6th grade math using ratios to create the Marin Horizon School / Educational Tall Ship mural. During the project the MHS students were invited to visit the ETS ship yard to do observational drawings. The students then collaborated and painted  two murals depicting 1) “The construction of the Tall Ship Mathew Turner inside the Ship Yard” 2) “A Tall Ship Experience on the San Francisco Bay.” Be sure to visit the Educational Tall Ship site to view the murals.

Willow Creek Academy Grade 4

California Map Project

Willow Creek Academy Teachers: Lori O'Brien & Julia Mohit
SAFF Artist Teachers: Tilly & Zero Nylin

Artists Teaching Art teachers Tilly and Zero Nylin team up with the Willow Creek Academy 4th grade students and classroom teachers Lori O’Brien and Juliet Mohit to create a 6’ x 4’ topographical map of the state of California. The 4th grade Social Studies class is studying the geographical diversity of the state of California. The students, along with Tilly and Zero, design and create individual tiles that represent their part of the state. The students experienced a deeper learning and understanding of both the map making process and the diversity of the state from the great shoreline of the Pacific to the golden sands of the Mohave Desert

Willow Creek Academy Grade 3

Production of "It's a Wonderful Creek" Video and Mural

Willow Creek Academy Teachers: Anne Siskin and Maya Creedman
SAFF Artist Teachers: Michelle Guieu (video) and Alan Hopkins (mural)

Willow Creek Academy Grade 5

Colonial Mural

Willow Creek Academy Teacher: Meegan Devol
SAFF Artist Teacher: Debra Maddox

Willow Creek Academy Grade 6

Tile Making Project

Willow Creek Academy Teacher: Matt Helmenstein
SAFF Artist Teachers: Tilly and Zero Nylin

Brandeis Hillel Day School Grades 7 and 8

Paint Sewn Books

Brandeis Hillell Teacher: Lisa Levy
SAFF Artist Teacher: Leah Virsik

Bayside / Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy Grades 3, 4, and 5

Bookmaking, Printmaking, and Photo Montage Transfer

Bayside Elementary Art Teacher: Danielle Denton
MLK Academy Art Teacher: Danielle Denton
SAFF Artist Teacher: Mark Lindsay and Susan Wolff