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Art teacher adds color to community

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Art teacher adds color to community

Art teacher Betsy Kaufman painted this

Art teacher Betsy Kaufman painted this "Ninth Grade Academy" sign that hangs in one of the LCM High School hallways.

Marie Vezina

Art teacher Betsy Kaufman painted this "Ninth Grade Academy" sign that hangs in one of the LCM High School hallways.

Marie Vezina

Marie Vezina

Art teacher Betsy Kaufman painted this "Ninth Grade Academy" sign that hangs in one of the LCM High School hallways.

From teaching art to students during the school week to working on various art projects around the community, Betsy Kaufman helps make Orange, Texas a little more colorful.

Not only does she teach art classes at LCM High School, but she works at JSCOTT’S AFLORIST occasionally when the help is necessary and she creates art pieces for local businesses and organizations.

“It’s nice to have an artistic challenge,”Kaufman said. “I just enjoy painting and creating.”

Kaufman has painted for a variety of people and businesses over the years and most of the projects she has been asked to work on have been through word of mouth. According to the 20-year LCM veteran, she has also painted several things for the flower shop windows and helped with some of the floral presentations.

“I happen to know the people that own and run two of the local businesses in town and I have done paintings for each of those businesses,” Kaufman said.

She said the shortest amount of time she has spent on a project is 30 minutes to an hour, but sometimes she can spend countless hours, days, weeks and months completing a project.

“Some things I can draw or paint fairly fast, while others take a lot more time,” Kaufman said.

As all artists know, creating a masterpiece takes time and a great amount of passion – which Kaufman has plenty of. If she is not teaching and helping students in the classroom, then she is working on a painting or drawing project.

“I have always loved art and it makes me feel good to be creative,” Kaufman said.

I have always loved art.”

— Betsy Kaufman

Kaufman said working on extra projects outside of school has its share of challenges, which include coming up with an idea or just trying to figure out what will look good or what colors to use.

“I have painted one inside mural that I had to climb up and down a ladder,” she said. “Then I painted a mural on a brick wall, so I had to deal with climbing on the ladder and the weather. It gets hectic at times, but if you know me well, you know I like staying busy.”

Between working at the floral show and other additional projects, Kaufman has painted two big murals. She painted both the Hornet Mascot on the inside wall of the St. Mary Catholic School gym and the Virgin Mary on the outside wall of the school chapel.

“(It) took one weekend and several hours a day in the evenings for about a full week,” Kaufman said of the amount of time it took to complete the murals.

Kaufman also painted the logo on the wooden fence at The Hut BBQ on 16th street in Orange in 2014 and said it took her about four days to complete in the summertime because she could only work a few hours every day due to the heat.

“I have three large canvases hanging at the Body Workz Gym, in Orange and one large canvas at the Body Workz Gym in Bridge City,” Kaufman said. “I really enjoyed painting those because they have lots of bright colors and movement in them. I also have a canvas hanging in the Hard Drive Electronic Store on 16th Street in Orange.”

I need to use that gift.”

— Betsy Kaufman

Kaufman said since she has taken on several challenging art projects, her confidence in painting has grown. Her grandfather was also an artist who painted in oils and owned an art gallery in San Antonio.

“I am the only one of five kids that draws or paints,” she said. “So I feel like his gift was passed on to me and I need to use that gift.”

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Marie Vezina, Writer

I'm 17 and I enjoy long romantic walks to the fridge.

1 Comment

One Response to “Art teacher adds color to community”

  1. Nikki Peveto on June 7th, 2016 4:14 pm

    Ms. Kaufman was my art teacher starting in Junior High until I have graduated high school. Me and three of my girlfriends were always in her class. (Angie, Stephanie, and Summer) When we moved from Junior High to High School we were extremely excited that we were going to continue to be in her class.
    She taught us a lot, and put up with us too. She is an amazing teacher, any student to have her will get more than learning about art. I am glad to see she is still at LCM. She is a wonderful mentor with a great heart! I can definitely say there aren’t many teachers like her anymore.

    Nikki Peveto

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