New Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Sandrea Lovelock-Williams


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Ms. Lovelock-Williams

Azusa Lippit, Assistant Managing Editor

In her third total year of teaching and first at CRLS, Ms. Sandrea Lovelock-Williams is teaching painting and an inaugural “Art History of the World” course. 


Register Forum (RF): What inspired you to become an art teacher?


Sandrea Lovelock-Williams (SLW): When I was in school I didn’t have any art teachers that looked like me. I only had one year of art in high school, and then I went to a Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) after-school program. I grew up in Boston for the most part and [the program] was for Boston Public School students. We got a chance to go to the museum three days a week, while everyone else was in school. Because we didn’t really have an art program, particularly in the high school that I went to, the MFA provided that for us. We would get assignments, go to exhibitions—it was pretty amazing. The MFA is like my second home. But for the most part when I went to the after school program they were lacking in representation. I got to be in a lot of cultural spaces from the program, but usually when I was in those spaces I was in them by myself. Even when we were in New York to visit the Met it was lacking in a lot of representation, so one of the things I wanted to do was give students that look like me the opportunity to see women of color in positions where they don’t normally show up.


RF: If you could teach any course, what would it be?


SLW: I think this year I actually got my wish of what I would like to do. Painting is what I do, I’m a painter first. I dabble in other things like sculpture and printmaking, but painting is what I love to do the most. And then in my art history class, Art History of the World, I introduce students to artists that they wouldn’t ordinarily be introduced to: people of color, women, LGBTQ+ people, and indigenous peoples, so it’s been quite an interesting ride. Most of the time I’m getting to learn about these artists along with the students when I do my own research, and that has been amazing.


RF: Why did you choose CRLS?


SLW: I did my student teaching at CRLS a couple of years ago, and I loved it. I loved the community of the teachers, and the students and how hardworking they are. I just fell in love with the community so I decided, “That is the place where I’d love to work.” When the opportunity opened up, I applied. 


RF: If you could visit any place(s) in the world, where would you go?


SLW: One place I would love to go is to Europe, just because of painting. I would want to see some of the masters’ work[s] up close, there’s some here but not as much. Another place I’d love to go is Africa. There are so many amazing things happening in Africa right now, and I’d love to go back home. I’m Jamaican, and I would love that opportunity. My family is planning a big reunion which probably won’t happen with COVID, but it’s been about ten years since I’ve been and I’d love to go back.


RF: What has been your favorite quarantine activity?

SLW: I’ve been binge-watching Netflix, which I probably wouldn’t have bothered getting into without the extra free time this year. On the weekends that’s what I do: a lot of documentaries on weird topics, so my “recommended” [section of shows] really doesn’t know what to do. I’m watching foreign movies, which is awesome. I love seeing how they interpret the world so differently, it’s been so interesting. I love watching movies in all different languages. I watch them with my family and we get to talk about them. 


RF: What advice would you give to your high school self?


SLW: Because I took such a crazy route to get back to what I love, I would say trust in what you love and do it. I remember thinking that there was no way I could make money by doing art. No one really told me what I could do with it. If someone sat me down and said, “These are the paths where you could use art as a profession,” I definitely would have seen it as a viable profession instead of writing it off as being poor. I thought everyone would see that you were going to be struggling, and no one wants to struggle. And then, thinking that money was the one thing that would make me happy, and not thinking about how destructive not being in your purpose is. It is better to follow your heart and what you love than just … chase after something that will always be there. Chasing after money will not bring happiness, but doing what you love will.