Surel’s Place PARTNER Schools Program is a collaborative initiative between Surel’s Place and local schools. Two of our ten annual artists-in-residence engage in coordinated outreach with a local school including elementary, junior high, and high schools. Artists are selected based on the quality of their own work, interest in the program, teaching experience in both academic and community settings, and their PARTNER project proposal. This opportunity provides students in the community the benefit of working on a unique multi-session art project guided by an established professional artist.  For our artists, it’s yet another chance to steep themselves in the roots of our local art community.

Currently, to be a participant in this program, artists must be accepted as an artist-in-residence at Surel’s Place. On the Residency Application, artists must indicate they are interested in the program and submit the requested accompanying materials.

Are you a classroom teacher or school representative?  Please email our staff assistant for more information about collaborating with us as a PARTNER school.


MARCH 2022
Artist-in-Residence Alissa Ohashi and the Frank Church High School

One of the reasons we find the pARTner Program so important is that it can bring professional artists into schools that might not have the kind of opportunities that other schools do. The Frank Church High School is a school that seeks to support students who have dropped out or who are at risk of dropping out of traditional school. Alissa Ohashi joined teacher Dave Adams who teaches art, ceramics, photography, yearbook, and video broadcasting to lead a project with students taking a newer course: multi-media. This was a perfect fit with Ms. Ohashi’s work, which is materially steeped in lens-based mixed media. The students attempted a deep-dive into their own history, considering their life memories and their visual iconography/identity. By working with papier-mâché, they built vessels that were adorned with significant photos or other images and text that represents their past, present, and future selves.

Artist-in-Residence Fran Hoepfner and Borah High School

Ms. Hoepfner interacted with more than 250 students at Borah High School through our pARTner Schools Program, thanks to Borah creative writing teacher Chuck McHenry. She spent the entire day at the Boise school, talking about her approach to writing to large classes, like that pictured here, and in intimate settings with smaller groups of writing students. Mr. McHenry even interviewed her for the school’s podcast.

MAY 2019
Artist-in-Residence Lynn Webster and the Morley Nelson Community Center

Not every school is able to include art in their curriculum, as is the case with Morley Nelson Elementary. However, this deficit is supplemented nearby at the Morley Nelson Community Center, which provides a wide range of programming to students – including art! Artist-in-Residence Lynn Webster worked with students on simple-fold origami techniques to create falcons while teaching them about the cultural and environmental significance of birds-of-prey. This project demonstrates the power of art for students beyond regularly scheduled scholastics, and the importance of community as a fulcrum for education.

Artist-in-Residence Greta Rybus and Fairmont Junior High School with Photography Instructor Jessica Clark

Under the guidance of  Ms. Rybus, an accomplished photojournalist, the 8th and 9th grade photography students at Fairmont Junior High worked on a photojournalism project to research and tell a visual story about someone in their lives. Having just embarked with photography in this introductory course, the students practiced taking several types of photos. After photographing their near environment and editing their work, the students realized their photo story in a digital presentation that was displayed at Surel’s Place during Ms. Rybus’s final event.

MAY 2018
Artist-in-Residence Marguerite Gignoux and Anser Charter School with Visual Arts Instructor Anne Moore

While working with Anser Charter School, Ms. Gignoux, a practiced community and textile artist from North Carolina,  led and inspired 6th grade students to create “Secret Room” pop-up art books. The eight-page illustrated pop-up books included the structural design of an interactive portal, allowing readers to look into the interior of the book, glimpsing the illustrator’s central theme, which was connected tot he students current academic curriculum. The fruits of this collaborative project was then exhibited at Surel’s Place, allowing the students and their families and our patrons to witness the power of a fully realized, formally presented student art project.