September McGee

September McGee and a student
September McGee and a student

September has taught art classes to children and adults for over twenty-four years. Much of her teaching involves reaching out to others, especially to children, to motivate their lives through artistic expression.

September has taught special needs children in conjunction with the Very Special Arts in Arizona, an international organization that creates learning opportunities through the arts for people with disabilities. Her classes received national and local media coverage and one of her students who was blind had her painting presented on the national calendar. September has also worked with other charitable organizations such as City Hearts, Childhelp USA and Children Uniting Nations.


Painting for America - United We Stand
Painting for America - United We Stand

After the tragedy of September 11th, Ms. McGee wanted to help America heal. Believing that art can be very healing, September came up with the idea of using children from different nationalities holding hands in front of the American flag and from this idea created a very special painting titled, "Painting for America - United We Stand." This multicultural and patriotic image has graced the invitations and programs for Children Uniting Nations and The Hunger Project, as it relays an important message of peace and tolerance.

Childhelp USA, the largest non-profit organization for abused children, used this wonderful painting for the invitation to their annual Humanitarian Awards Luncheon and also featured it on the front cover of their program. September McGee was personally recognized for her art contributions to help children and she was specially honored by Mrs. Lynne Cheney at the event who requested a personal print of the painting. The luncheon, hosted by Cheryl Ladd, Leeza Gibbons and other celebrities, raised a huge sum of money for the treatment and prevention of child abuse. September contributes each year to this organization because it is her wish to see child abuse eradicated in her lifetime.

September's wonderful way of interacting with children is reflected in the amazing paintings that emerge from her classes. She has designed several unique programs for children which enable them to quickly learn how to master subjects such as portraits, landscapes and flowers. Her classes are filled with fun and creative ideas to help bring out the students' artistic potential and allow each child to evolve at their own pace.

September's classrooms adhere to two important rules:

Rule #1: "NO NEGGIES!" This of course means that students are encouraged not to say negative things to themselves as they create: e.g., "I can't," "It's too hard," "I don't know how." September believes that when we create, it is important to stay in the creative right brain zone because negative suggestions take us out of the creative side of our brains.

Rule #2: "HAVE FUN!" September emphasizes listening to your intuitive self and staying open throughout the creative process. September strives to make the entire class FUN!


September just completed an eight-year project of both writing and illustrating a motivational book for children entitled, YOU CAN BE ANYTHING YOU WANT TO BE. Her book teaches children to believe in themselves and reach for their dreams. Both the high quality illustrations and uplifting words help children to look at the world from a different perspective as they enjoy exploring the variety of professions. The book's innovative concept portrays children from many different nationalities and walks of life in authentic adult occupations painted in fun "Norman Rockwell-style" illustrations. The uplifting and informative narrative tells children about each of the careers and then offers fun suggestions on how they can begin to become what they want to be, not only in the future, but right now while they are young.

The fun roles depicted in the book include: The Baker, The Teacher, The Artist, The Writer, The Talk Show Host, The Actor, The Veterinarian, The Musician, The Police Officer, The Athlete, and more. Many successful people and celebrities in the various careers are quoted in the book to help inspire readers, young and old, because sometimes it takes just one word from someone special and a child's life is changed forever. Some of the celebrities include Jane Seymour, Leeza Gibbons, Richard Simmons, Henry Winkler, James Keach, Betty White, Patch Adams, Monty Roberts, Art Linkletter, Jack LaLanne, Eli Wallach, Ted Taylor, Nancy O'Dell, Jaclyn Smith, Barbara Eden and many more.

It is September's ultimate goal to share her book with children everywhere and help them realize that it doesn't matter where they now live, what color they are, or their physical ability; it's what lies in their hearts that is important and this book helps unlock the door of the unlimited possibilities that are available.


Beach Painting of Mother and Daughter <br> September McGee<p><p>
Beach Painting of Mother and Daughter
September McGee


Believing that a true artist can paint anything, September is versatile in oils, watercolor, pastels, charcoal, mixed media and sculpture. Her passion for painting is boundless.

September's work can be seen on her website,


September McGee says her hero is Oprah..."Because she's a woman, African-American, grew up in abject poverty. She was abused and I think she shows everybody that you can do it."

September noted this quote from Oprah: "Think it, believe it and you can do it! Nothing is impossible."

Page created on 6/9/2004 12:18:22 PM

Last edited 1/4/2017 10:04:57 PM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

September McGee - The website of the acclaimed artist, September McGee.
VSA arts (Very Special Arts) - is an International organization that creates learning opportunities through the arts for people with disabilities.
City Hearts - is a non-profit organization which has offered free visual and performing arts classes to children in Los Angeles for over 16 years.
Childhelp USA - exists to meet the physical, emotional, educational, and spiritual needs of abused and neglected children.
Children Uniting Nations - is a progressive voice for children to express their concerns about the current status of the world's political realities and rapid globalization.

Author Info

In Spring 2002, My Hero was introduced to a children's after-school art class. The art instructor, September McGee, had her students watch the My Hero video tape and then discussed the concept of heroes with her students. Following their discussion, September McGee coached her students as they created pictures of their heroes.

One student drew a picture of her hero, September McGee. This student shared her portrait and her thoughts with My Hero:

"September McGee is my hero because she brought me into art and taught me not to say 'I can't do this.' She told me never to give up."