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Engage with March's Mentor through the NAEA blog!
Michelle Montierth, Teacher/Artist
Michelle Montierth was deeply influenced by her father, Max Stander, who was a high school art teacher for 34 years. She feels blessed to have grown up in a home where the creation of art and the pursuit of those talents were highly valued. She started drawing at a very young age, but fell in love with all types of wet media from the first moment she held a brush and dipped it in paint.
Michelle has always felt an affinity to nature and she believes there are parallels in the life cycle of plants and flowers to various aspects of human experience. She is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and her experiences and spirituality are often mirrored in her artwork. Some of her works include original poetry that she paints and then obscures because it is very personal and not meant to be read. She zooms in close and contrasts the organic shapes of the flowers with geometric rectangles of color and text. She most often paints, preferring watercolor and oils, but enjoys printmaking as well. She has also worked with many three dimensional mediums from small metals to pottery.
Michelle received her Master of Arts in Fine Arts from the University of Montana, after receiving her BA in Art Composite Teaching from Weber State University. She has been teaching High School Art classes at Fremont High School in Plain City for 13 years. She teaches many types of art including traditional as well as digital media. Her favorite classes to teach are Painting and AP Art, because the students who take these classes usually excel in art. But she also truly enjoys working with students who are just learning to draw and helping them realize that anyone can create art if they work hard and really try. She believes that drawing is a skill and something that can and should be taught to everyone.
Michelle has been married for 28 years, has five children—three of whom are married, and two grandchildren. Aside from taking care of her family, she spends countless hours taking care of her students. She is always looking for things for them to draw, new ideas to catch their interest, new mediums to try and better ways to teach. Six years ago, she started a week-long summer art camp for district students to attend. Many students say it is the best thing they do all summer. Michelle loves going to art galleries, palette club meetings, education conferences, and collaborating with other teachers. She is the Past President of UAEA and also serves as the Webmaster of this organization. She is the Fine Arts Facilitator in her district. Michelle is also the recipient of the 2014 NAEA Pacific Region Art Educator of the Year Award.
She exhibits her work regularly in galleries and feels that being an artist herself is the best example she can set for her students. She is constantly trying to improve herself as an artist, a teacher, and a person.