Sculpting on the Side

English teacher engages in artistic hobby

English teacher Paul Barth practices art as a hobby.

Amir Malcom / Legacy Media

English teacher Paul Barth practices art as a hobby.

Paul Barth heads to his sketch book stashed away in his squeaky desk drawer, hoping to sketch his way to relaxation. Barth’s classroom displays his work. Acrylic paintings hanging on the walls and his very own handmade coffee mug siting on his desk, give the room a light touch of artistic energy to inspire his students.

Barth, an English teacher, shares his artistic passion by using English as a form of art to relate with his students.

“English is a form of art,” Barth said. “I feel that visual learners are neglected, I really try to reach to them.”

Barth said he began to explore his creative side in grade school with art forms such as sculpting, painting and writing.

“I’m an art junkie,” Barth said. “My first [artistic] memory was not being happy with what I had. I would burn my [toy] cowboys and Indians to give them extra arms.”

When it comes to sculpting, Barth said clay is his favorite medium. Barth said he uses horror movies and cultures as his inspiration.

“I took ceramic classes in college and became really good at it, so I started to teach the class,” Barth said. “In return I was able to use the kiln. I would make mugs and sell them out of my car and at parties everyone [would] have a cool mug.”

According to Barth horror movies and different cultures were sources of inspiration and living in Mexico for four months and the greatly impacted his artistic style.

“I have to make [the sculptures] my own,” Barth said.  “I got to see art culture in person and being in the culture I got to see how art was being done and an outlook in life. Being drawn to it in person made it real.”

The cultural inspiration and real world connections present in Barth’s art was interesting according to junior Devon Pennington.

“[Mr. Barth’s work] intrigues me,” Pennington said. “He makes real world examples and connects [me] more to that.”