We are fortunate to have recently welcomed to our Board of Directors Aselin Lands, a visual artist, award winning educator and AOB alumna. Currently, Aselin is in her second year as an art and computer applications teacher at Parkland Magnet Middle School for Aerospace Technology in Rockville, Maryland. A member of the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Arts Collaboration,* Ms. Lands recently received the Maryland Art Education Association’s award as Novice Art Educator at the Middle School level for MCPS.
This artist who “thinks with her hands” and has been inspired most by Jackson Pollock, believes collaboration is the skill she learned during her time at AOB that is most applicable to her current work. “It is also a personal value of mine and it is embedded into my teaching philosophy,” she explains. In her classroom, she often discusses how art can be used to transform a community. In addition, she endeavors her students with several collaborative projects to be installed around the school. Lands’ students work hard to be part of “something larger” and enjoy knowing that a great deal of people will see their work. Most recently, using her past travel to Athens as inspiration, she guided her students on creating an inspirational graffiti wall. As part of the design process they collaborated on one-word goal strategies — such as hardworking, focus, believe, and try — and held numerous discussions about graffiti and how it affects communities.
Ms. Lands’ message to today’s Pour Your ART Out apprentices is “Never doubt your abilities and always be open to taking the initiative.” She fondly remembers the large commission project she worked on while an AOB Apprentice Artist, the second phase of the expansive “Silver Pass” project in Silver Spring. It was one of AOB’s first major public art projects, and encompassed much more work than the apprentices had anticipated. They made it through — often by singing plenty of songs — an insight worth sharing next time one navigates the underpass! She stays in touch with her former AOB apprentices through social media and AOB events.
Prior to her work with MCPS, Lands spent several years at the Gary Rosenthal Collection in Kensington as a pivotal member of the glass art production and design team. She was “discovered” while an AOB Apprentice, after working with Suzanne Gartner and other Collection artisans, whose high praise is boundless. During this time she also volunteered at Washington’s Children’s National Medical System in the Creative and Therapeutic Services Department, creating artwork with the patients in the emergency waiting room and dialysis ward. Lands also taught art to children of The Arc in their Town Hall Educational Recreation Center in a free Corcoran School of Art-sponsored after school program.
A Baton Rouge, LA native, Ms. Lands attended Benjamin Banneker Middle School and graduated from Springbrook High School in 2008 before obtaining a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts and Master’s of Arts in Teaching at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, DC in 2013. When not inspiring today’s youth, Ms. Lands likes to travel, take hula, kickboxing and yoga classes, and of course create her own works of art. We are so happy to have her expertise and enthusiasm as we continue to help young people shape the future one art project at a time.