TWO RIVERS, Wis. (WFRV) – As we come to the end of Teacher Appreciation Week, one Two Rivers art teacher received quite a surprise after winning a prestigious award.

St. John’s Lutheran School’s Beth Messman has been named as one of only 15 art teachers nationwide to win the 2023 Artsonia Art Education Leadership Award, which honors pioneers in the art community who continuously inspire their peers and engage students.

“I’m honored to share ideas, lessons, and methods for exhibiting our students’ artwork in the community with my coworkers and friends,” Messman said. “I’d compare this recognition as a leader in arts education to the sprinkles on the icing of the cupcake.”

Messman is in her 29th year as an art instructor at St. John’s Lutheran School and says she’s loved each and every second of it.

“I love to teach art in a way that connects students to the world around them,” Messman said. “We learn so much about nature, our community, the environment, cultures, and peoples from all over the world through the arts. Learning through art reaches students in ways that other traditional methods of learning cannot.”

Artsonia, the world’s largest online student art museum with more than 100 million pieces of art, allows family and friends of student artists to create and purchase organic keepsakes from the student art and then gives back 20% of all revenue to the local art classroom.

“I like that the artists can create their own statements to explain their artwork,” Messman said about Artsonia. She added that “families and friends enjoy purchasing gifts that showcase their children’s artwork.”

The leadership award serves as a way to honor the passionate and dedicated instructors who teach their students to create and value art.

“Artsonia strives to provide art educators a platform to inspire one another,” said Jim Meyers, CEO and co-founder of the company. “We could not thrive without the commitment and ingenuity of teachers like Beth who use their online gallery and lesson plans to motivate others. This Art Education Leadership Award is a way for us to recognize the hard-working, passionate people who help our children cherish art and cultivate their creative side.