Warner Center – Alternative Private School Educator Stays True to Her Art

By day, Linda Lay is a studio art and creative writing teacher at Fusion Academy & Learning Center Warner Center, an alternative, college-prep private school offering one-to-one classes, personalized teaching methods and flexible scheduling for students in grades 6-12. By night, she’s a writer, painter, blogger, graphic designer, fashion designer and performance artist. For the passion and love for the arts that she brings to her classroom each day, Lay was recently named Fusion Academy Warner Center’s PERSONality of the Month.

Lay received a Bachelor’s of Fine Art in painting and also studied digital film at the Kansas City Art Institute. She then went on to earn a Master’s of Creative Writing from Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, where she would eventually serve as a tutor to other students and discover she had a knack for teaching.

“I was initially attracted to Fusion Academy because I related well to how the students learn there,” said Lay. “I learn differently myself, and the learning tools I’ve acquired on my own, such as a form of brainstorming called ‘mind mapping,’ are tools the students here use every day. Art is a tool to settle myself and help me find balance.”

Lay believes art should be used as a method to further the understanding of other academic subjects, and embraces a multi-media approach using technology and the sharing of information to enhance artwork.

“Linda’s method of teaching is based on the notion that all areas of study can be investigated through various art projects,” said Brad Astin, head of school. “This philosophy is used to engage her students in the art world, as she personalizes assignments based on their personalities, academic and extracurricular interests.

In addition to her work at Fusion Academy, Lay is very involved in the local art and fashion community, selling her own fashion designs at Runway Boutique in Los Angeles. Additionally, she’s exhibited her illustrated work across the country, including in the New York-based Tompkins Project, a contemporary art gallery showcasing compelling work by emerging and mid-career artists.

A talented writer, Lay’s fictional short stories have been published in literary magazines, and she performs local readings integrating costumes, props, and set elements to her stories. She views her readings as a performance and is a frequently featured artist at Stories Books & Café readings in Echo Park. Lay has also contributed video art and writing to the online magazine Slack Lust, and writes a column for a pop-culture blog Fruit Fly Life, interviewing artists, filmmakers and musicians.

Lay is also no stranger to the film industry. She recently worked on Dust, a film funded by the Andy Warhol Foundation, and can be seen on the 2011 musical comedy film The Muppets, which has inspired much of her work. To learn more about Lay’s work, visit her personal webpage www.LindaLay.com.