New art teacher hopes to bring creativity to Sevier

NEW ART TEACHER. Hilton helps a student with artwork.

Laura Murphy

NEW ART TEACHER. Hilton helps a student with artwork.

Laura Murphy, Staff Writer

Hunter Hilton is the new art teacher at John Sevier Middle School. He has replaced Minta Fannon, who retired last school year.

This is Hilton’s second year teaching. Last year, Hilton taught at a high school in North Carolina. He got his art degree from East Tennessee State University.

“I’ve always loved art,” he said. “I wanted to share my passion with others in hopes that they may find a way to express themselves through art.”

Even in his free time, Hilton spends a lot of time on art.

“It sounds a little lame, but I do what I do at school,” he said. “I like to draw, paint, and sculpt. I also like spending time with my family and friends. Some of my other big hobbies are listening to music and playing video games.”

If he wasn’t a teacher, Hilton would maybe work in a gallery, in graphic design, or maybe be a concept artist for video games. He believes teaching art is the perfect job for anybody wants to share their enthusiasm for art.

“You get to be surrounded by art all day long,” he said.

Although he has not been a teacher long, he already has a favorite moment from his teaching career.

“If I had to say one, it is definitely when I competed in lip-sync battle with two of my students when I taught high school,” he said. “I got to dance around, act goofy, and make students laugh. It was a 16 team competition, and we came in first. My dance moves became a school-wide phenomenon.”

His music collection is also unusual.

“I love early 90s Hip-hop,” Hilton said. “I have a pretty considerable record collection from that era of music, and I always love to learn more about it. There were some really positive artists in that genre and time, and I think hip-hop these days has strayed away from that positive message.”

Hilton also recently got married.

“My wife is great,” he said. “She has a great sense of humor, and we are always laughing together. She’s smart, hardworking, and beautiful. I’m definitely one lucky guy. She won’t like me saying this, but she likes and knows a lot about anime. However, she probably wouldn’t readily admit it.”

Teaching art in middle school means that Hilton teaches about many different art topics. Teaching students how to draw faces is his favorite skill to teach.

“After students learn how to draw a face, something clicks and they really begin to be able to draw well,” he said.

His least favorite thing is one-point perspective. It’s important to know, because it improves an artist’s sense of how things exist in three-dimensional space, but it isn’t very interesting to him.

Hilton enjoys teaching middle school students, even though older kids have a more sense of humor and can be more fun to be around. He believes younger kids have a more vivid imagination so they try new things easier than older kids.

Hilton has several favorite artists.

“Most of my favorites are illustrators,” he said. “I would say James Jarvis. He’s an illustrator from the United Kingdom who does some great minimalistic illustrations. Another is named Scott C. He’s a concept artist for Double Fine Productions, which is a video game company.”

Hilton has some advice for the students of John Sevier Middle School.

“Be kind,” he said. “Even if someone is being mean or disrespectful, meet negativity with positivity. It’s easy to be negative. Once you start being positive and changing your outlook on a day to day basis, you’ll see your life change in so many great ways. Everyone has problems, but not everyone has someone to lift them up. Be the person that people seek for positive input.”

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