Among new faces at East this year is art teacher Tim Rowland. He is currently teaching Intro to Studio Art and Drawing 1. Next semester, he will also teach Drawing 2.
He previously taught at Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts, Renaissance Academy of Environmental Science and Math, and Success Academy. However, he was not always been a teacher. He used to solely be an artist— in fact, he still considers himself a professional artist.
“I think it’s my professionalism that helps me teach and the teaching that helps me be a better professional,” Rowland said.
He began drawing as a child as soon as he could pick up a pencil and paper. He won his first competition in kindergarten, and then he kept winning. That helped intensify his passion and lead him to pursue art as a career, despite the fact that his family is mostly made up of teachers and nurses.
Painted at age 26, “Autoportrait” is Rowland’s favorite piece out of his own works.
“I’ve always just been the artist in the family,” Mr. Rowland said. “It’s just a great way to express yourself and to understand the world around you.”
Rowland received a BFA at the University of Central Missouri, before going on to study abroad at museums and galleries in London and Paris, where he graduated in 2002.
Fresh out of college, Mr. Rowland was a successful artist, until the economic downturn put a strain on his career. He started to work a variety of side jobs, serving at Asian restaurants and delivering bread, until he finally became frustrated with that way of living.
“I wanted to do something with art, and I wanted to make a living with something that I loved,” Rowland said.
So he could pursue his beloved art again, Mr. Rowland returned to school for a degree in education. Now he juggles teaching at East with keeping his own artistic career active. Even though he has less free time on his hands now that he’s a teacher, Rowland still manages to display works at a variety of galleries throughout the year. He’s had pieces on display at the Late Show Gallery, the Jones Gallery and he recently took down a display at Nara in the Crossroads.
Rowland is used to his double life now. Growing up, he had never expected to become a teacher. Now, given the chance, he would never give up this career and return to being just an artist..
“I don’t think I was living right. I think I live right with teaching,” Rowland said. “I get to be a good example. I’m in bed early, I wake up early, I’m on schedules. I actually get to involve and teach future generations.”