The Artist In Residence Program or Fresh A.I.R. Program, officially started in 2004 when Timm was invited to visit Dave Smith's classroom at McCarty Elementary School in Indian Prairie School District 204. Prior to that, Timm hadn't done an official program teaching kids about art and his life experiences since 1989 at Prairie Grove Elementary School. This changed EVERYTHING!
Since that time, tens of thousands of kids have heard Timm's story, seen his murals, and learned to use the airbrush, the primary tool he uses to paint his murals.
Over the years, Timm developed the framework of the program that evolves with each school he visits. He is honored to be able to teach students about his career as an artist, demonstrate the airbrush, (a tool they usually don't get a chance to use during their years in school), and encourage them to find their talent, strength, and path in life regardless of whether or not they wish to become artists.
This exciting event best serves the school as a 5-DAY Program, although 3-DAY, 2-DAY, and 1-DAY Programs are available to meet your time and budgetary requirements. Please feel free to contact Timm using the button below for more information on pricing and scheduling.
I am currently targeting openings for 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years.
Timm Etters spent a week with Prairie School in 2015 and shared his A.I.R. Program.
It was a huge success with parents, students and staff!
His inspirational message about following your dreams, persistence and doing what you love was a positive message for all of our students. Students were engaged and loved learning about the tools that Mr. Etters uses to create his fantastic murals. All students were able to be "hands on" with the air brush and we created some beautiful school artwork out of this fun experience!
Mr. Etters went above and beyond sponsoring a parent after school workshop that was well attended by our community. Mr. Etters spent time in each art class over a one week period and was able to cater his presentation to the developmental needs of our students. I would highly recommend this experience for all students!
"We had Timm at our school for the Artist in Residency program and our students and staff loved it! Timm talked with our students about how he got to this point in his career and, not only is that fascinating, it's inspiring. The assembly was well-received and the actual hands-on portion of the residency was great. The students really enjoyed using the air brush and working with Timm on our final project. I highly recommend Timm coming to your school!"
The word inspiration can truly be used to describe Mr. Timm Etters as well as the message that he delivers to young children through his Fresh A.I.R. program. As an elementary art teacher of grades 3-5, to persevere through challenges at school, socially, and in a rapidly changing world is an important theme within our learning community. Timm speaks to this as he shares his reflections of family, learning, and health challenges that made growing up extremely difficult for him. He also recounts experiences in school and of special people that have had an impact on him and that helped to shape him to become the successful artist that he is now. He communicates his beliefs: hard work, learning from mistakes, fighting through difficulties, and following your dreams – all of which he says makes you better at what you do, and a happier person all around.
Mr. Etters and this message has been so well received by our student body and staff, so inspiring, that we have hosted Timm twice in the last few years at Mechanics Grove Elementary School in Mundelein, Illinois! We have had full assemblies where students are mesmerized by his life story and the slide show presentation of his striking murals. He has also customized a full day of airbrush sessions to provide each and every one of our students the opportunity to use this unique tool. The students thoroughly enjoyed creating a community banner in which each of our 500+ students were able to airbrush on their names in layers. Timm topped it off with one of our school slogans – Be Kind. As he works with the students to hold and paint with the airbrush, one can see his compassion for children and his passion for his art.
You asked me the other day which was more important. [the mural or time spent with kids]
Obviously, I'm going to say you had far more of an impact on my life than the mural, but without that mural, I never would have had the privilege to meet you. That mural brought you into our community and not only changed my life, but the lives of everyone you spoke with. You stood up in front of everyone in the gym and shared what you could of your life story. As I was listening, I looked around and noticed everyone in awe with your presence. Even the kids who never fail to goof off during assemblies. That's when I realized that you being here would change this town forever.
I wish you could have seen our old school. It was dirty, run down, and nobody knew how it remained standing after so long. But even so, it had so much sentimental value that seeing it be torn down triggered a lot of emotions in this town. I watched parents from other schools stop and be on the verge of tears during the process. My grandparents said they didn't even want to step foot in the new school.
But Timm, what you did is create a new beginning in that gymnasium.
Although we've been in the new building for about four years, there was never anything that made it special to us. But now there is. Now we walk in the gym for practices, games, assemblies, to listen to public speakers, and gym class, and see that mural on the wall and we think of you, and how you've made a huge impact on our student body.
All of the long hours you put into painting are simply inspiring. Not only did you paint, but you were at every game, you stopped and talked to the students, you even gave up valuable time to sit and talk to me for hours.
You weren't just there to paint. You were there to make an impact, and you sure did do that. You cared about our small little town, which is something nobody does.
We know how little we are in the world. We know that our school, which has about 500 kids K-12, means nothing to the rest of the world. We know that we're not even a tiny speck on the map, but you made us feel special.
You made me feel special. You still do. I miss every moment I ever spent with you, and I regret the times I didn't. But I know I'll see you again soon, and I'm counting down the days.
So with that, I'd have to say the mural made a bigger impact on my life. Simply because without the mural, we wouldn't have been able to meet you. You would have never strolled into our small town.
I look at the mural every day and miss you.
I'm not saying it has a bigger impact than you as a person. I hope you understand. I'm saying without it, I would have never had the honor to get to know you.
Something I'll never in my life forget.