WHS Art Teacher Miss B.: “I just like making art with teenagers.”

Lola Hudnall '24, Contributing Writer

WHS 3D art teacher Emma Bellacino started her journey to become an art teacher at just nine years old. Growing up in Old Lyme, Connecticut, Miss Bellacino (more commonly known as Miss B.) always had a love for playing with air-dry clay.

“I took my first pottery class on the wheel when I was nine but had always loved playing with clay before then,” Miss B. shares.

While taking her first official class for pottery, she had more exposure to handbuilding. Throughout her school years, the pottery wheel intrigued her, so once she went to college she focused more on pottery.

Years later, one of her first pottery teachers in college still has a positive effect on her. The teacher, Ben Ryterband, has still influenced her teaching today.

Miss B, often likes to recall how, on the first day when he was going through the syllabus, when he stopped the class to let a trapped dragonfly out the window.

“I just knew that that was what a teacher should be,” Miss B. comments.

While she went to school as an educational art major and minored in ceramics/pottery she knew she wanted to teach. While she leaned more towards teaching drawing, she now describes this job as her “dream job.” and states, “I got lucky.”

While never having a dull moment, she does admit to disliking grading.

She says, “I just want to make art with teenagers.”

Miss B describes herself as a clay nerd. “I like it all. I think probably just some of the logistics… I hate recycling slips, but it’s not the worst part of it. It’s like not wanting to sharpen your pencil. I’m a real clay nerd, I like everything about it.”

This kind of job also gives her unique opportunities in the art world. She recalls her favorite moment during a pit firing that took place last year. Students were able to put their pieces into a controlled fire with unique things like horsehair, banana peels, and sawdust. This traditional method created different designs on the clay, that you wouldn’t get out of a regular kiln.

During Covid-19 of last year, it was harder to find clay.

Miss B. says, “I felt like I wasn’t offering you guys enough.”

Discussing lighter topics such as her free time, Miss B. enjoys hiking, listening to music, as well as working on her own artwork in general.

Miss B. shares, “…I’ve met so many people in me making my own art, and I’ve met so many people in Westborough and other schools that have continued art as well.”