Valley Art Teacher Named Clive Citizen of the Year

Valley High School art teacher Tom Murphy is being honored as the Clive 2014 Citizen of the Year at the Clive Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Celebration. Murphy served as the Public Arts Advisory Commission (PAAC) chairman for the City of Clive from 2011–2013.

murphyto“That was an opportunity to bring art to the community through a public art program,” Murphy said. “Clive was one of the first to set up a fund that would be used, along with grant money from Bravo, Prairie Meadows, and local companies, to put artworks on display in the community. “

Murphy’s leadership of the Clive PAAC helped sustain the Clive Public Arts Program during a transitional period and led to two new programs: an annual art contest for children attending art classes called “Kids for Art in Clive” and the widely recognized “Art Along the Trail” program.

Murphy has taught with WDMCS for 26 years. He earned his associate’s degree from Grandview College and his bachelor’s degree from Drake University before graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1988 with a master’s degree in arts in education.  He then worked as an art teacher at Western Hills, Phenix, and Jordan Creek elementary schools until 1994, then moved to Valley High School. He has now worked there for 20 years teaching classes in drawing, painting, digital graphics, and animation. He was instrumental in starting the animation/TV and radio lab at Valley in 2008.

He is also an instructor at the Des Moines Art Center and active in the WDMCS youth sports community. He has coached soccer and Little League and is a board member with Opportunity on Deck, a Drake University sports clinic for disadvantaged children in Clive and Des Moines.

The Annual Celebration will start at 5:30 p.m., with dinner served at 6:30 p.m., on Tuesday, Feb. 17. The celebration will be held at NCMIC Group, 14001 University Avenue in Clive. The program will follow dinner and will include the presentation of the Clive Citizen of the Year award to Murphy.