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The Educator’s Lair: What’s in a name?

Have you ever wondered why we named our blog The Educator’s Lair? Hopefully, the educator part is self-explanatory but why lair? Seems a strange word to describe an educational space…

If you’ve visited the museum you probably remember a ceramic dragon on a pedestal near the entrance.

That’s The Wiregrass Dragon, who we have named Irwin after her creator, Kevin Irwin. Kevin is based in Birmingham, Alabama and works in many mediums such as flame-worked glass, ceramics, jewelry design and construction, pen and ink, and watercolor painting. She is inspired by her love of nature and historic architecture. When asked about her work, she had this to say:

“If I had to define how my Art affects my life, I would say that it leads me to beauty, joy, and laughter, which I want to share with others. And it is the language I speak best. If my work inspires you to this, then we are on a journey together. That not only gives me great joy, but it makes it all worth it.”

The Wiregrass Dragon is part of our education collection, which consists of works that the education department can use in instruction during tours, camps, and classes. We have around 100 pieces in the collection that contains work from all over the world. This collection helps to fulfill the museum’s mission of Excellence in Education by providing “direct interactions with visual art. “You can learn more about Kevin Irwin and The Wiregrass Dragon during our Brunch and Learn this Thursday on our Facebook Page but let’s circle back to our name: The Educator’s Lair. Irwin the dragon has grown into the mascot for the education department, so we have unofficially named the studio/classroom at the museum, the lair. So, when you sit down and read our blog, we’re inviting you into our classroom/lair. Irwin even guards the door to the classroom and if you look over to the right when you walk in , you might spy Irwin in Bob Ross cosplay letting students know that “Mistakes are okay as long as you are learning.” Infact, you’ll see Irwin the dragon everywhere in the classroom, if you keep an eye out for her! Irwin doesn’t hoard gold in her lair, but it is filled with inspiration, imagination, and FUN! However, Irwin never hoards any of those things; she is happy to share with all who enter.

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Irwin’s lair might not be your typical dragon’s lair, but it is our home at the museum. So, if you could design a dragon’s lair, what would it look like? What would your dragon friend “hoard?” Take an art break with us today and design your own dragon’s lair! Be sure to share and tag us in your creations on social media!


“Kevin Irwin.” Kentuck, Kentuck Art Center, www.kentuck.org/kevin-irwin.