RHS Teacher Spotlight: Mr. Hester

Mr. Hester Enriches Students’ Lives with Art Education


Melissa Mendoza, Staff Writer

Many people around the world enjoy the use of Art. Art has impacted many lives to relieve stress, look away from the negativity around us, and most importantly it’s a way to communicate feelings that are within a person. Art is the foundation of expressing yourself through the works of artistic factors of the artistry universe. Art is a good use of communication and inspiring others. It shapes our everyday lives. It makes a significant social statement and is enjoyable for aesthetic beauty.

No one knows this more than RHS art teacher, Mr. Hester who succinctly explains “Art is everything.”. Mr. Hester loves to inspire his students with the use of art. He feels that he can relate to students as he has had a very similar childhood and life. In this week’s teacher spotlight, Mr. Hester discusses the ways in which art and education take shape in his life. 

MM: What made you want to become an art teacher?

Mr. Hester: Well, since I was very young I was very creative at a young age and when it came to asking “what are you going to be when you grow up,” I realized I wanted to be someone who can help people with my creativity. Not only making cool art but helping young people discover their talents and what they’re good at and that led me into teaching. I take it seriously and it’s something I care about.

MM: How do you feel about art in general? 

Mr. Hester: Art to me is the center of everything. This is how as a learner, I understood the world around me. It helped me discover the different cultures and introduce them to me. Like studying the paintings of Europe, the sculpture of MesoAmerica. History made sense to me because I understood the objects people were making like the historic events they were talking about, religion, different ethics. Art is everything. It’s a cool way to see the world.

MM: What type of art do you create and can you show some?

Mr. Hester: Art to me is based on the idea first and the concepts. That tells me what material or how it should look like. My first kinda artworks are drawings cause that was like my first introduction.  I don’t stand in one lane. I try to always do something different. Like some are drawings, some are paintings, sometimes it’s photography, sometimes it’s music. I play guitar. Art comes in so many forms. I just feel like the idea, the emotion, that you’re trying to communicate kinda tells you. And sometimes it’s just a mix of all of those things.

MM: How exactly do you express yourself with art?

Mr. Hester: For me it’s a way to show my thinking. My outlook of the world. I think it could be easy to see negativity in the world but art kinda shows us the beautiful things that are possible. We can make our own possibilities in art. If you can paint a picture that is better or improved I think again when you talk about inspiring there’s something to work towards. I think that’s what I try to do with my art.

 MM: What do you want your students to learn about the true meaning of art? 

Mr. Hester: This is what I hope for even if you don’t think you’re an artist or can make an art piece or you think you don’t have a creative bone in your body. I want to show that anyone can be creative. You can learn a skill, you can express yourself, you can think critically about your surroundings, you can learn your process and hopefully it’s fun. They’re not going through life taking things in but they’re actually thinking about what they’re doing. Thinking about what can be added or improved. And hopefully they can take that to an aspect of their life. They can be an athlete, they can be a tech, they can be anything.

MM: How do you encourage students to make art even if they don’t want to or say they can’t do anything? How do you encourage them?

Mr. Hester: We all have our days, some are more productive than others. I challenge students to push themselves to see what they can do. A lot of students ask how they can pass. I always ask what’s your best version of what you can do? Even if you like something you’re doing, you should constantly keep trying until it’s better. Doing many other versions, seeing from other angles or colors.  I want to try to find the best response. I challenge students to make most of their time because time goes by quickly. If they can do that even when it’s hard work and when you realize the hard work pays off it was worth it.

MM: What classes do you teach?

Mr. Hester: I teach drawing, painting, foundations in art which means the basic core elements of making art and to think. I teach a hip hop class. This is a kind of music arts culture, we do a lot of writing, we do research and connect with kids with how they communicate and dress. And how that changes or moves society.

MM:What advice would you give a student who wants to get more into the art world? 

Mr. Hester: My advice to not only art but to any field of education is to dedicate focus, concentrate, set goals, meet the goals, set the next level. Learning does not stop in school.  You graduate and learn more when you go to your job or career. You are still learning, still improving. Always set the bar for the next accomplishment.