Sarah Krajewski: Empowering Expression

By Katie Vaughn | Photography by Hillary Schave

At the beginning of each art class she teaches at Cambridge Elementary School, Sarah Krajewski leads her students in reciting a mantra: I am positive. I am creative. I am mindful. I am amazing. I am an artist.”

Those simple but powerful words set the tone both for the day’s lesson and for students’ lives outside the classroom.

“I really try to encourage weirdness and fun and acceptance of who I am so they can be their most authentic selves,” says Krajewski, who often dons a tiara and glittery wings.

Krajewski’s colorful approach earned her the Wisconsin Art Education Association’s Teacher of the Year in 2019 and more than 37,000 followers on her Instagram account, @artroomglitterfairy.

While Krajewski dreamed of being an art teacher when she was a second grader, the quiet yet creative girl she was back then couldn’t have known the confident leader she would become. Today, she teaches 430 students, runs the school’s art club and organizes its annual Creativity Expo.

The UW–Eau Claire alum is also a regular keynote speaker at arts education conferences, hosts weekly Instagram Live art-making sessions through the Art of Education University, and in 2020 published a children’s book. “Exactly You: The Shape of Your Feelings” helps explore and normalize big feelings and topics like self-esteem, anxiety and depression.

And Krajewski maintains her own art practice, using paints, inks and more to create abstract works.

“I just love colors and seeing how they interact with each other,” she says. “I like playing and experimenting and overlapping materials.”

But the teaching component remains essential, whether it’s leading kids in a classroom or adults on social media to try a new technique, express themselves or appreciate the art all around them.

“My brain just sees things in a way that’s artful and creative,” she says. “And I get an immense amount of joy in seeing others get excited about getting to create.”, @artroomglitterfairy

Read more artists’ stories in Portraits of Creativity here.

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