Winter Commencement 2022: Art education graduate hopes to share the joy of creativity through teaching

Miriam Jones '22

The goal of just about any artist is to create something. They also usually hold the hope their work will, in some way, enrich the lives of others.

Miriam Jones, who works in oil painting, ceramics and digital photography, is about to embark on a career that will accomplish both of those goals – she’s graduating with a degree in art education and, later this month, begins a new job at Auburn Middle School in her hometown of Riner, Virginia.

The move marks a natural progression for Jones, who grew up appreciating art and said she always scored high on the “creative” zone of career aptitude evaluations. But she also knew she didn’t want to become a graphic designer or try to work exclusively as a studio artist.

“Many people in my family are teachers, and I grew up in that atmosphere," Jones said in early December. "I looked up to my middle and high school art teachers, and I’ve also worked a lot with kids. So, art education seemed to be the right choice for me."

Miriam Jones' "Warfare," a 4' x 5' oil painting on cradled wood panel.

Some of her senior-year projects included ceramic dishes; a digital photography portfolio examining nature; and "Warfare," a vivid and elaborate 4-by-5-foot oil painting that depicts a wounded soldier given aid by his comrades.

That image is based on Ephesians 6:10-18 but, she said, is also symbolic of modern-day battles against anxiety and depression. 

From doing that kind of work, Jones explained, she realized that art "is where everything comes together," including history, science, math and language. Students of art learn such important skills as problem solving, perseverance, creativity and other attributes that become valuable tools in any field. 

“I hope that I will be able to guide students in building these skills and in seeing the beauty of everything," she said. “I’m hoping, as an educator, that I’ll help students be excited to continue learning as they grow and to continue to find unique ways to share their passions.

“What could be more fulfilling than sharing wonder and hope and joy with others?”


Dec 8, 2022
Neil Harvey
(540) 831-5150