Marbie Kollath

Marbie Kollath

Upper School Art, Visual and Performing Arts Department Chair
Upper School

Marbie Kollath is the art teacher and the Visual and Performing Arts Department Chair in the Upper School at Carolina Day School. She started at CDS in 2005.

Get to know Marbie Kollath:

In what ways can you teach/engage children at CDS that you couldn't at other schools?  I can have a student all four years of high school and really create a program geared for that specific student. The first half of their first year of art, I get to know their interests and strengths, and then cater to those to try to engage their interest so they have the tenacity to see a project through to completion. If I’ve had a student for 3-4 years, the growth is incredible!”
What do you like most about your job at CDS? I love sharing my passions with people. I think having passions is what makes life worth living and when someone is enthusiastic about something it can be contagious. We’ve all know people who make things look like they are enjoyable so we want to try them too, and I hope I do this with art. I also love sharing my passion for animals, and having Piper in the classroom is a great conduit for this, as well as drawing and painting animals, or sculpting them in clay.”
In your opinion, how does the CDS community inspire students to be courageous and curious, wonder about things that they don’t understand, try new things, and develop individual passions? CDS is a very safe place to try new things because it is a very accepting environment. Instead of teasing someone for being different, people embrace differences here.  So many teenagers are trying to figure out who they are and they can try on a lot of hats at CDS. I would encourage them to do even more risk-taking and to learn by experimenting and trying new things without fear of failure. Sometimes, when something doesn’t work it is the best lesson possible!”
How would you describe your classroom? “My classroom is a hodge podge of things since so many different things happen here. There is pottery and studio art, so there are always projects in the process of being created as well as the supplies needed to do so.  It is a safe haven for students who need a break from studying and want to exercise the right side of their brain. The door is always open even if students aren’t taking an art class, though they can’t disrupt the art students. Piper is also a nice diversion from any problems as she is always willing to play or have her belly rubbed, and this is a great stress reliever for both parties!”
What books and authors inspire you? I love reading and will read 30-50 books a year. The variety is what I enjoy the most, and the thrill of finishing one book is the thought of getting to choose the next book for the stacks of books in the house. I like a mix of fiction and non-fiction and also spend a lot of time researching art ideas and techniques.”
What is your favorite quote about education, mentorship, children, and/or learning?  “Only the curious have something to find” by Nickel Creek
How would you describe yourself and/or your approach to your job in 10 words or less? Be authentic and teach by example.”
Which classroom projects/events are you known for?All of the art projects are “learn by doing” and the process is more important to me than the finished piece. I want students to be curious about something and willing to take a risk, even if it doesn’t come out well. Students learn so much more by trying things on their own rather than being hand held through the whole process and guaranteed to succeed. I may help a little here or there to build confidence, but they need to do it themselves – like riding a bike or learning how to roll a kayak.”

What personal passion brings balance to your life? Animals, flowers, hiking, art and reading are all passions that bring balance to my life.”