March 2021

T E X A R K A N A M O N T H LY

Nicole explains the process for creating her self portrait on this month’s cover… “I created this self portrait as a homage to working mothers. I chose to represent a more contemplative pose where my head turns in one direction but I look back the other. Reflected in my face are my twins Ava Gray and Christian as they are each a part of me. The portrait begins with a blue undertone wash and later is washed with soft pastels and peach tones. Small dots freckle the page interconnected across my visual sky as a reminder of the God that holds me together with a strong bold feather that in native cultures represents strength and balance which is the definition of mom who is given the strength to do both.”

Chris, Nicole, Christian and Ava Gray Brisco in 2019.

senior art show, which was a requirement for the completion of her college degree, a professor from her school bought one of her paintings. She felt a lot of pride and validation from the sale of that piece since it came in the foundational stages of her quest to become a professional artist. More recently, Brisco showcased about 90 pieces in a solo exhibition at Texas A&M University-Texarkana. Even though the challenges of putting together a show on that scale, with a job and children, cannot be denied, it was really quite relaxing and fulfilling for her, and she accredits God with guiding her. The art students at Pleasant Grove High School also have the opportunity to showcase their works in state and national competitions. The school hosts a yearly student exhibition of five to six hundred student art pieces in a one- night show. These young artists learn the business aspect of the art world and gain the experience of putting together a

professional presentation. The National Art Honor Society recently selected eight students from Pleasant Grove to present their art at a show highlighting exceptional student achievement. Out of only 90 students selected nationwide, almost ten percent of this year’s honorees are Pleasant Grove students under the guidance of Brisco and her co-teacher, Melissa Manning, who is also a former student. That cannot be coincidence. These ladies are truly extraordinary teachers. Another major contribution Brisco has made to education has been the writing of published classroom curriculum. After years of teaching, traveling, and seeing other classroom procedures, she has learned the tools that work. She has authored curriculum that is now part of textbooks used across the nation that spotlight Pleasant Grove High School’s art program. Brisco’s creative genius has earned her a multitude of well-deserved awards. Among those was the National Secondary

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C OMM U N I T Y & C U L T U R E

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