Alumni Errin Corstange has a full-circle moment returning to LN as a new art teacher


Art teacher Errin Corstange focuses on grading while class creates artworks of beautiful patterns and colleges. The students focus on incorporating skills Corstange have taught them.

Aanjé Greymountain, Graphics Editor

Artist, teacher and Loy Norrix alumni Errin Corstange has gone from being educated at Loy Norrix to being an educator here.
After graduating Loy Norrix in 1998, Corstange then went on to attend Hope College for her undergraduate to major in art, with a focus on drawing.
Then Corstange joined Kalamazoo Public Schools and became a teacher at Kalamazoo Central for two years. At the same time, she decided to get her masters in Art Education at Western Michigan University, this time focusing on ceramics.
Corstange has worked with KPS for 21 years, spending her first two with KC. For the next 17 years, she taught at both Lincoln Elementary and Milwood Middle School.
Corstange found her time at Milwood enjoyable because she got to see the kids grow.
“They are kinda at that stage in life where they are trying to really learn who they are and that came out a lot in their artwork,” said Corstange.
As a loyal Kalamazoo Public Schools teacher, Corstange is dedicated to the growth of her students, no matter the grade level.
Mara Vander Beek attributes her growth in creative thinking to Corstange’s graphic design class.
Vander Beek said, “My creativity has really come out in this class. Normally with other classes I’m just sitting there with a notebook and a textbook, so this allows me to think outside the box. I see this class as a break from other classes.”
Vander Beek admires Corstange’s empathy towards students.
“She’s very compassionate and understanding of everyone and things they’ve been going through: like I’ve emailed her once and told her I had a really rough week and I needed an extension, and she was very understanding about it.”
Beginning to grin, Vander Beek said, “She’s also just super nice, like everytime I submit an assignment, she always comments something like ‘this is amazing’ or ‘nice job’ and ‘it’s just so nice.’”
Rayna Sorrentino, eager to talk about her graphic design course, enjoys Cortanges communicative teaching style.
“She’s very helpful in explaining the programs,” Sorrentino continued. “She’s really good at helping the students understand confusing problems.”
Taking the graphic design class gave Sorrentino more confidence in her future plans and is excited to put her skills to practical use.
“I’d say it’s really helpful if you definitely want to do that [graphic design] as a career in your future,” Sorrentino continued. “Some of the work is a bit difficult to grasp, especially learning newer programs and trying to figure out how certain elements work together, but I feel like it’s definitely helpful to learn.”
Cornstage’s own art teacher at LN, Karen Kendall, was the one who inspired her to become an educator.
“She allowed me to come up with my own projects after I completed the project going on in class, and she allowed me to explore different art mediums,” Cornstage said. “This is what ultimately started me on my path to become an art teacher.”
Corstange prides herself in her creativity and artistic skills and that drawing is her favorite form. The artists that she admires most are Vincent Van Gogh and Banksy.
“I really like Van Gogh. I just love his play of color and the emotions that come out in his artwork,” said Cornstage. “If we’re talking about someone more recent, I really love the street artist Banksy. The statements he makes with his art work are just very profound and I admire that.”
Corstange identifies herself as a right-brain type of person: embracing creativity and the exploration of her craft, while avoiding things like math and science
“Making things has alway been something I’ve been good at: right side of the brain stuff,” Corstange continued, “but my math and science skills are not the same. I absolutely love working with kids, so it’s always been something I wanted to do.”
She has taught at nearly every grade level and views her job at Loy Norrix as a wonderful opportunity for change.
Corstange also works as a digital art teacher at Kalamazoo Valley Community College and has three children at home. Being this busy, she doesn’t have much time to make artwork for herself, but that doesn’t affect her drive to educate her students on art, artists, art forms and art history.

Sam Graham and Jasim Almufti work diligently to complete art class assignment. The students incorporate the use of layering to add visual interest to their art pieces.