Sunday, November 03, 2013

31 Days of Thanks Day 2 Another teacher and artists inspired and shaped my future

31 Days of Thanks Insight into who has influenced us, our art, and our business throughout the years.

My last post was about taking an art class at another school.

Right away after starting to take classes at the other High School I heard about an art teacher in yet another school who had an evening adult art class which I started attending. There I met a woman who would become my great friend and mentor for the next 20+ years.

First, that teacher was Tom Thiery.

Tom has taught at Lenawee Christian School since 2009. He currently teaches various art and multimedia classes. Prior to LCS, Tom taught at Adrian High School and Onsted High School for a total of 44 years.

He is a member and exhibitor at numerous state and national painting exhibits. Tom graduated from Moody Bible Institute, has a B.A. from Western Michigan University, and a M.A. in Fine Arts Education from Eastern Michigan University.

Tom is an excellent watercolorist. I didn't really go back to doing watercolors until we moved to North Carolina and my style is nothing like his or what he was trying to teach me, but he introduced me to the materials and most importantly to Frances who got me started taking my work to art shows early on.

He is also a great inspiration to his school students. Back in 1967 he decided that "there must be a better way to teach kids than just standing in a classroom." Along with a fellow teacher he took a group of students on a tour of Civil War battlegrounds. Other educational, historical and cultural trips followed and in 1968 Overlanders Association was founded with Thomas Theiry as president. Through the years they have taken trips all over the country, in a bus with Tom at the wheel. The costs were minimal to the students, Tom pays the rest with the money he makes from his paintings.

They do mission trips and trips to help after national disasters, he has touched so many lives, artists, collectors, children and their parents, and those they have helped, he touched mine too.

Frances and I went to dozens, of art shows together, maybe even a hundred, more about that in another post. Oh yes, the other lady in the class was the mother of the guy who eventually introduced me to my husband!

Thank you Tom Theiry for inspiring me to pursue art, to Frances for your great company, and Evelyn for Michael!

- Jan Francoeur      Day 3 of 31 Days of Thanks will publish at 11 am est on November 10 and I'll write about my years at Siena Heights and the professors and their works that gave me a foundation.

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