Prodigal Magazine

Art Room Parables

Matt Appling has been writing his blog, The Church of No People, since 2008. In that time, his writing has been featured and syndicated on numerous culture, leadership and spirituality sites. Matt has worked in ministry for ten years, and is a pastor and a teacher in the Midwest.
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Art Has An Image Problem

Art Has An Image Problem

Art has an image problem. I was reminded of that over the last few months, as I tried to lead a classroom of teenagers through several hundred years of art history. To me, it is a labor of love to lead children in creative pursuits.  And the same is true in opening young eyes to... read more

December 11, 2012 Matt Appling Art Room Parables, Featured Content 4

How I Became a Creative Genius

How I Became a Creative Genius

“He’s copying me!” Teachers hear that phrase a lot.  It’s usually spoken in a whiny, nails-on-a-chalkboard sort of way. We usually teach kids not to copy others. Don’t look at someone’s else’s test.  That’s cheating. Don’t mimic others’ behavior.  Whenever a kid accuses another of mimicking them, I tell them to just sit quietly, and... read more

November 27, 2012 Matt Appling Art Room Parables, Featured Content 15

Choosing to “Make” in a Season of “Take”

Choosing to “Make” in a Season of “Take”

As we enter the holiday season, the attitude at school changes. The excitement grows. There is anticipation in the air. Kids are always a little bit antsy.  A little bit extra squirrely while we teachers try to make them continue to work and learn. Why do the holidays bring out such a change in children?... read more

November 13, 2012 Matt Appling Art Room Parables, Featured Content 4

When Parents Are Embarrassed By Their Child’s Art

When Parents Are Embarrassed By Their Child’s Art

Remember the days when you went to school.  Probably once a week, you had art class.  You drew and painted and explored and created. And then you took your work home, proud and eager to show Mom.  And she would gush over it and tell you how proud she was of you.  She might even... read more

October 30, 2012 Matt Appling Art Room Parables, Featured Content 25

Create a Plan ‘A;’ Stick to Plan ‘B’

Create a Plan ‘A;’ Stick to Plan ‘B’

You would think I was teaching a room full of potato-headed children. Seriously, self-portraits are a tough thing to teach kids.  We invite them to look at themselves, and recreate what they see.  Most of them end up with potato shaped heads…and a lot of other bizarre physical maladies.  A couple of them look as... read more

October 16, 2012 Matt Appling Art Room Parables, Featured Content 11