Educator Uses Art To Showcase Journey Through Pandemic

Educators, like art teacher George Galbreath, whose art is shown above, continue to face decisions in the classroom
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Photo: George Galbreath

ATLANTA, GA - Educators, like art teacher George Galbreath, whose art is shown above, continue to face decisions in the classroom that could literally cost them their life.

According to a recent study by the RAND Corporation, nearly one in four teachers said that they were likely to leave their jobs by the end of the 2020–2021 school year, compared with one in six teachers who were likely to leave, on average, prior to the pandemic. This number is even greater amongst Black and brown educators.

Meet George Galbreath. He currently serves as Art Department Chair at Westlake High School and teaches hundreds of young people each day in his role. “As an educator, I'm used to being overlooked, under-appreciated, and taken for granted," Galbreath said. "I didn't get into the field for attention nor the gratitude of others. I worked my first day as a high school teacher in 2002 and from that moment on, I was fulfilled knowing that the work I was doing made a difference in a child's life.”

Galbreath, like many in the field of education, is passionate about pouring into young people. That is evidenced when you speak to the many students that he has impacted over the years.

According to Galbreath, “The arts are a gateway to all of the subject areas. Students exposed to the arts have a better understanding and are more creative in their learning.”

Galbreath has leaned into his art as an outlet to relieve stress during the pandemic. Throughout his eighteen years of classroom teaching, including fifteen years with the Fulton County School District in Atlanta, Georgia, he has maintained a career as a working artist. In fact, his next solo show will take place on October 8th in Atlanta with his inspiration centered around being an educator during the pandemic.

George Galbreath currently serves as Art Department Chair at Westlake High School. His work has most recently been featured at the 2018 African American Art Exhibition at the Actors Theatre (Louisville, KY) – awarded the Roanne H. Victor Merit Award; Juried Plein Air Exhibit at Rice Gallery (Kansas City, MO); and several exhibits throughout the city of Atlanta. He was awarded Best in Show in 2015, and Honorable Mention in 2016, at Georgia Art Educators Association (GAEA) exhibit. George was also a 2016 and 2018 Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series semi-finalist. He is the co-founder of non-profit UAE Youth Artist Program and Urban Art Expression; and co-founder/co-curator of ARTiculate ATL in Atlanta, GA.

Galbreath is an active member of the Castleberry Hill Neighborhood Association and finds inspiration living in the historic arts district with his wife Esohe. George and Esohe are members of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church.

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