Inside Enloe’s Art’s Department: A Q&A With Ms. Klenow


Art and non-art students alike have all heard of Mrs. Klenow, the famous art teacher that brings out the color in Enloe. Her work has been featured in over 85 shows and has received a dozen awards for both her art and education. Recently, Mrs. Klenow authored an article entitled “Big Portraits” that was published in an education magazine, discussing her students’ process for creating larger-than-life self-portraits. Upon reading it, I pulled her out of a class one day to delve into her teaching style and the magical happenings of her art classes. 


Why did you decide to go into teaching rather than just pursuing art alone?


“Well, when I was in high school, I got to be a tutor. And one day my art teacher was out and the sub just let me teach, and I taught all these little 8th grade children and they listened to me, it was amazing. I had so much fun and right there I knew: THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO DO FOR MY LIFE.”


What is your favorite aspect of Enloe and why is it unique?


“I like all the nerds, I have to say. I love that you can set the bar as high as you want; someone is going to meet it. And they might fight someone to get there. It’s amazing.”


How have your students grown in your class?


“I think taking risks, I push them to try new things, invent new things, and they just keep doing it, and I feel like there’s no rules. If there are we break them and change it and it’s really fun.”


How has the art program benefited students?


“I think art is really good for everyone (I’m really biased of course). I think you could be an engineer and you would benefit from this class because it makes you observant, it makes you a problem solver, and a critical thinker. I think it’s good for heightened observation skills, which could benefit anyone anywhere in life, and…it’s product based and process based, so instead of lecture and memorize, its solving problems.”


How do you encourage students to pursue art outside of high school?


“Oh my GOSH! So, a whole bunch of my students went to portfolio day which is really cool, there was one in Charlotte and one in Virginia, and all the art schools in the country are in one place, and they get reviewed and one student got accepted based on that, which is really neat. We also had a guest artist come in on Friday who is SICK, this guy named Dan Dos Santos, who is like LEGIT the real deal. We also had Rhode Island school of design come and present to us, and we talk a lot about college and other options.”