Indiana’s 2020 Teacher of the Year Unveils Statehouse Art Exhibit

Image of Katie Pourcho standing in front of exhibit featuring student work

Katie Pourcho stands in front of the exhibit in the Statehouse rotunda. Photo by Brian C. Paul, Indiana Department of Education.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                        March 7, 2022 

Indiana’s 2020 Teacher of the Year Unveils Statehouse Art Exhibit

(Indianapolis, Indiana) The Indiana Arts Commission announced today that an exhibit featuring 2020 Teacher of the Year Katie Pourcho has been installed at the Indiana Statehouse. The exhibit, The Art Teacher Goes to Washington, was created by Pourcho and made possible with support from the Indiana Arts Commission, the Indiana Department of Administration, the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites, and the Indiana Department of Education, with special design work being completed by Bailey Hinton of the Indiana Statehouse Education Center.

“This showcase demonstrates how the small hands of KID-designers can create a big impact," said 2020 Teacher of the Year Katie Pourcho. "When our art programs flourish, our youngest Hoosiers can harness the dynamic power of the arts to shape the way our communities connect, converse, and cultivate. My students experienced this first hand as their designs became the bridge for them to meet Secretary Jenner and Governor Holcomb.”

Katie Pourcho was named the 2020 Teacher of the Year by the Indiana Department of Education. Pourcho is an art teacher at North Elementary School of the Danville Community School Corporation. After being named 2020 Indiana Teacher of the Year, Pourcho commissioned her students at North Elementary to design a wardrobe for her to showcase during her trip to Washington, D.C. as Indiana’s Teacher of the Year.

Last Wednesday, Pourcho had the opportunity to visit the Indiana Statehouse with the students whose work is on display in the exhibit.

“A teacher’s impact extends far beyond the students in their classroom,” said Dr. Katie Jenner, Indiana Secretary of Education. “Miss Pourcho’s unique artwork shines a spotlight on how our students are developing skills in creativity, collaboration, communication, leadership, and beyond through art education. In addition to these skills, art is an important avenue in promoting mental health – in our schools, in our communities, and beyond. We know that great teachers change lives, and Miss Pourcho’s exhibit places that impact on full display – both in her classroom, and now in the Statehouse rotunda.”

Pourcho’s clothing became her students’ canvas, and she became a walking art gallery. These pre-kindergarten through 2nd grade wearable designs were seen by Indiana Senators, National Teachers of the Year, the PBS Kids media team, the First Lady, and the President of the United States.

These designs, as well as the story of how they came to be, are on display in the Statehouse rotunda through the month of March. This exhibit also serves as a celebration of Youth Art Month, which runs through March and celebrates art education programs in schools.

"Art educators like Miss Pourcho play a vital role in helping Hoosiers lead creative lives,” said Miah Michaelsen, Indiana Arts Commission Executive Director. "We are so grateful for her contributions to our state, and appreciate her sharing her talents and the talent of her students at the Indiana Statehouse."

Watch a video of the exhibit installation and student visit, and hear from Miss Pourcho. 

Access b-roll of the installation and student visit here.


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