Stay Passionate, Mrs. Lopez
Story By: Ashley Choi and Kristina YouYoung Kim Editor: Paul Kim Web Designer: Li June Choi
Mrs. Caitlin O’Neal Lopez has been part of the SIS community for five years as both the Middle and High School Art Instructor and as the head of the Art Department as well. She has been making and learning about art ever since her childhood. She gets inspiration from her mother, who is an artist. She also gets inspiration from experience accumulated from teaching in various places. Mrs. Barnett, a fellow teacher and a close friend of Mrs. Lopez, shares the opinion belonging to many people in the SIS community regarding her. She described Mrs. Lopez as “passionate. About her students, about her artwork, about her life”.
As a teacher, Mrs. Lopez states that the most she can do is “to create a safe space where people feel that they come and express themselves, no matter who they are.” But evidently, not only has Mrs. Lopez provided her students with an outstanding art facility, but she has also introduced and guided her students through wider ranges of art. “She allowed me to realize my strength and weaknesses by encouraging me to explore many forms of art,” says Li June Choi (8). Mrs. Lopez’s guidance has also acted upon Mina Huh (12) who was focused on using blank ink and two dimensional drawings before taking Mrs. Lopez’s class, but felt as though she was able to branch out more and develop an appreciation towards the usage of color and three dimensional arts like ceramics after taking Mrs. Lopez’s class.
Mrs. Lopez tends to be very neat when it comes to her classroom and teaching style. Despite her cleanliness, she is able to set aside her neat character and choose to “let loose” when she begins to create an art piece herself. Her creative and open mind has led to many great projects and pieces such as her collection of handmade mugs, pots, and paintings that portray her brilliance. Art is something that requires more than just an organized list or schedule.
Next year, Mrs. Lopez, along with her husband, will be moving to Moscow, Russia to start a new lifestyle in a very different environment. She will be teaching art to many other students and will continue to inspire many with her creativeness. Though she is leaving, Mrs. Lopez will always be a part of the SIS community and someone to be remembered by many.