Frank Fitzgerald is an artist and teacher who lives in Lindenhurst with his family and has been teaching art at Spaulding School in Gurnee since 1996. He was born in Chicago in 1969 and raised in the northern suburb of Libertyville. From a young age, Frank loved to draw and paint stories from his life and imagination. He is a member of the Dandelion Gallery in Waukegan, and recently launched his own cable access/YouTube show, the Mr. Fitzy Painting Show, to bring his art teaching to families throughout Lake County and beyond.
Mr. Fitzy’s Painting Show
What inspired you to create the Mr. Fitzy’s Painting Show?
Mr. Rogers Neighborhood and the television painting shows of Bob Ross and Bill Alexander.
Why should kids check out the Mr. Fitzy painting show?
Kids should check out The Mr. Fitzy Painting Show to learn some art-making techniques and have the time and opportunity to practice creating art. It shows that children can watch by themselves, or the whole family can give it a try. It is important to show kids that real people actually make paintings. That may seem obvious, but it is actually a concept that takes a while for many children to understand because they have no model for them.
Why do you feel art education is vital for today’s children?
Art gives children a reason to go to school. It is also the perfect opportunity to provide children with hands-on, collaborative learning that they need to progress academically. For some students, art is the only time each week that they look forward to. All teachers need to incorporate artistic expression into their lessons.
You are also a member of the Dandelion Art Gallery in Waukegan. Can you tell us a little bit about Art Wauk Waukegan? Is it a family-friendly event?
Dandelion Gallery, where I am a member, is part of an artistic movement that is revitalizing Waukegan and making Lake County a destination for arts activities for the whole family. We even have a children’s activity table, so no need to get a sitter. Art Wauk is a family-friendly celebration held every third Saturday from 5 to 9.
How do you find time to work on your own art?
I have learned to manage my time more efficiently, and I have a very supportive wife and family. I learned a few years back that I could actually accomplish more and have more energy for teaching if I made sure to give myself a little bit of time each day for my own painting. Of course, this can prove difficult with a toddler, so also, having time in the summer helps.
Has your perspective changed in the classroom now that you have a family of your own?
Well, I am happier now that I have a family of my own and grateful that my art-making lessons can be recorded for future generations through my new show. Lately, I have been eager to use the iPads that the children in my district (Gurnee District #56) have to create more technology-based interactive art projects. I am also very excited to develop a program that allows me to make my creative work and spend time with my family. It is an area that I hope to develop more as my show progresses.
Where can we find Mr. Fitzy Painting show?
The Mr. Fitzy Painting show is on Comcast Waukegan 17 and McHenry 17 in Lake County on Fridays at 4. We also have a Youtube station for those towns not covered by this provider. The channel is at : Mr. Fitzy Painting Show
Connect with Frank Fitzgerald and the Mr. Fitzy Paining Show:
Website | Facebook | YouTube Channel
I hope to visit his you tube channel with my kiddies this summer as some “scheduled” time! Great idea!!