Pam Marquette O’Krent sees art everywhere — even in dumpsters. “It’s not unlike me to get excited about a piece of trash I found on the ground in a parking lot,” O’Krent says. She then sews these random bits of everything — from gift bags to clothing tags — together, creating unique prints and collages. She crafts these pieces in her North Dallas dining room, always organizing her supplies neatly on shelves and in plastic containers. “It makes working at home doable,” O’Krent says. “I’m pretty tidy with my work.” But after teaching art to preschoolers at The Lamplighter School in Preston Hollow for 17 years now, O’Krent says she’s learned that sometimes it’s OK to not be so tidy. “Art-making for kids is so automatic because they are less inhibited, and I’ve noticed that working with small children over the years has made my own art work looser. It’s more free now. So my students have actually taught me something about art.” And the school administration also does its part to further her art education. Last summer, The Lamplighter School sent O’Krent to study art in Amsterdam. “I’ve always been well supported here,” O’Krent says, “both as a teacher and as an artist. The administration sees them as inseparable — I’m an artist and a teacher.”
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