Artist-in-Residency programs are a way to have art taught in school, by professional artist, without having to have art teachers, which in most elementary schools impossible with the current Federal and State funding. Also Artist-in-Residencies do not have to follow state standards or be credentialed.

Mark Lewis Wagner, Founder of Drawing on Earth created a year long pilot artist-in-residency program at Franklin Elementary School in Alameda CA. For a year he was the art teacher, he taught 8 lessons to each class, a total of 96 classes, a total of 270 children in the school. The program was funded by private donations and the PTA. Mark also held a class for the art docents and had the year end with a gallery show. You can see the year of student work and lessons at Franklin Artist-in-Resident.

Mark is available for an artist-in-residency locally in the San Francisco Bay Area and  internationally. He would paint, draw, make digital art, murals, and be seen working as a professional artist, sharing the creative process over time. The artwork generated will be donated to your school with the idea that they can be auctioned off to continue fundraising for the arts, perhaps paying for your next artist-in-resident. 


Alan was a quiet asian boy, when I went to work in his class he creatively froze. Other children said he likes to draw but when I worked with him, tried to get him to just draw anything, even scribble to get into a drawing… he just stood there like a deer in the headlight. I finally got him to move by asking him to help with with the next part of the project, he became my helper and that worked. But next class, same thing, he was totally locked out from doing any of our warm up drawing exercises, I had to leave him staring at a blank piece of paper. The teacher came over to me and said, “Mr. Wagner, I have some quiet classical music I could put on for the children while they draw.” I reached into my pocket and pulled out a cassette tape and said, “I have some not so quiet music that I would like to play for the children.” And we put that one – rave/trance music. Within minutes Alan tapped me on the shoulder and wanted to show me what he had done – which was 3 drawings! I said, “Alan, what happen?” and he said, “it’s the music, it gave me ideas!”