"Katherine England Guides School Children Through Artistic Endeavors"
by Joshua Sudock - Orange Country Register
May 30, 2013
continued from PRESS
Designed to inspire
Anyone who has roamed around town is probably familiar with Katherine England’s artwork. Her creations are all over:
- A mosaic in the shape of a guitar spans a 20-foot-long wall in front of a shop once used by iconic guitar inventor Leo Fender.
- Mosaic butterflies fill a 17-foot-long, 2-foot-high wall in Lemon Park.
- In 2010, England was among 20 artists who each created a 5-foot-tall heart-shaped ornament; most were auctioned to raise money for art programs in the Fullerton School District.
- Most Fullerton public schools are adorned with at least one piece of England art, often the result of collaborations with the students.
- The artist embraces her roots as a child of the ’60s who grew up on the outskirts of San Francisco.
- In addition to leaving her mark with several public art pieces, the muralist has been teaching students in the Fullerton School District for 18 years.
- England conducts art workshops for children and adults on a variety of disciplines throughout the year.
Through a Fullerton non- profit group, All the Arts for All the Kids Foundation, England, 57, shares her creativity with school children throughout the district. “Kids don’t have the freedom to experiment and be self-expressed,” England said. “The arts allow for that, and it creates a space of safety-to-express that is so lacking in the other disciplines.”
Every spring for the past 14 years, England has organized and directed 120 sixth-graders at Golden Hill Elementary School in staging a Shakespeare festival. She writes the scripts and directs the students, who perform in costumes she’s accumulated and sewn.
“She brings such enthusiasm and energy and intelligence to every project,” said Lauralyn Eschner, All the Arts founder and president. “She does a great job in tapping into the creative spirit in others.”
England’s creative energy, in part, comes from her childhood. She was born in Palo Alto, the oldest of six. Her father was a professor at Stanford University, and her mother was a musician and artist.
“We were taken to plays at a really young age,” she recalled. England wasn’t motivated in classes such as math or science. But she flourished when embracing her creative side. “It was fun, and I was the one that got to create it,” she said. “It was not about having to learn another person’s thing. I had control over it, because it was all mine.” England’s 80-year-old house, where she has raised four children, is decorated with paintings, photos and installations – some her creations, others crafted by friends.
Every room in the two-story house is painted a different color, chosen by one of her children.