John Burton ("Johnny B.")

Why teaching?  I teach because collaborating and brainstorming with kids generates the most powerful, joyful and consistent response of any group of people. As a professional artist & designer, I create for a living, putting pieces of the world together in new creative and playful ways. I enjoy the challenge of making sure students walk away from an experiment or project understanding what we’ve just done, proud of their creation/effort, AND curious and questioning what else they could do with more time and materials.

What makes Walgrove a special place?  Walgrove is special to me because of our community spirit and ability to manifest our ideas! Not only do we have and foster many incredible artistic and cultural programs here, the students share the enthusiasm and project an appreciation and sense of ownership of them: edible garden, Wildlands, Studio Lab, both STAR performing arts and after school theatre programs, Strings music program, Library, Game Day, etc.

Who/what inspires you?  Land artist, Andy Goldsworthy; Glass artist, Dale Chihuly; Pop-up artists and engineers, Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda; Improvisers, orators and social activists.

If you were not teaching, what would you be doing?  Teaching is a part-time career for me; when not in the classroom, I’m a visual and theatre artist. I do scenic and prop design for live theatre throughout the city, as well as high-end retail window displays. Without teaching, I would fill the time with more design.