Sharon Willcutts-Havel

Studio Arts Teacher
National Art Honor Society Co-Advisor
(713) 512-3459 | Email

B.F.A., Kansas City Art Institute
M.F.A., University of Houston

At EHS since 1998
Teaching Advanced Painting, Drawing, and Painting

How would you describe your teaching persona or style?

Teaching in the field of visual arts requires great openness and flexibility as it is a paradigm that is constantly evolving. I bring a foresight and ability to recognize and adapt to changes in the student, materials, technology, and the social climate of the art world. As a visual arts instructor with over thirty years of experience, I offer each of my students the opportunity to engage in self-discovery, creative problem-solving, and critical analysis, while fostering the feeling of success. It is in finding one’s unique voice that a student is able to communicate passion. Making art and teaching have always been my passion. When I am not in my own studio, the next best thing is to be creatively problem-solving with my students at EHS. I firmly believe that to be a whole person we must engaged in creativity, and I feel that everyone has the power to create. It is my mission to bring this understanding to all my students.

Who (or what) has been a major influence in your life and how?

The biggest mentor in my life was my high school art teacher, Mr. Jimmie Crown. He not only taught by example in act, deed, and art, but also provided a space that was safe to create, make mistakes, and discover my artistic voice. He was a teacher, friend, and comrade who would be there for me whenever I needed support. Mr. Crown’s art room was the place where and my friends and I would gather before and after school. I hope to provide that same sense of “place” for my students.

What is a personal story that you’d like to share?

I was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, and I am proud to be a Texan. When asked in kindergarten, “What would you like to be when you grow up?,” I replied, “An artist!” My mother’s maiden name is Millet, and her ancestry links back to the painter Jean-Francois Millet. In 1961, my family moved to Galesburg, Illinois, before my first birthday. I grew up saying pop instead of soda, gym shoes not sneakers, and frontage roads instead of feeders, in a land where basketball was bigger than football. I was one of two girls who ran with the boys’ cross-country team because Title IX under the Civil Rights Act allowing equal opportunity for women’s sports had just been granted. During high school I earned money detasseling corn and painting old farm houses. My nickname was Cutts, and my initials are SAW—perfect for a visual artist.