Inspiration comes from many places, but Carol Rydel, art teacher at Benchmark School, believes it comes from the students.

"I love their spontaneity, their wacky color sense and their willingness to take risks. Because Benchmark students have learning differences, I've also had to learn how to express myself in many different way to be able to better communicate the lessons I've created for them. Many times they take an approach to an art problem that I would never have imagined; this has led me to make art pieces of my own that wouldn'thave come about if not for them."

Mosaic tile murals captured Carol's interest when she had an artist in residence come to Benchmark School and create them with the students. While working closely with the tile artist, Carol learned the techniques of making tile murals, gaining enough skill and confidence to make some of her own with students at school and several in her house. She also used tiles in two public art projects: a tiled dog for "Art Unleashed" for the Mainline Center for the Arts, and a tiled dinosaur for "Dino Days" in the city of Wilmington, Delaware

Outside of the classroom, you can find Carol at various craft shows throughout the greater Delaware County area selling her work. If you're interested in learning more about carol or her work, feel free to contact her at: hippiechicktiles@gmail.com

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."

-Pablo Picasso