Careers In Art: Anna Stewart

Term: 3 Term Year: 2009

Visual Communication Teacher

Anna Stewart, Visual Communication Teacher, Mackillop College, Swan Hill

When you were little what did you want to become?
An Art Teacher or a Missionary!

What did you study at school and university?
My focus at school was Art and Music. At University I studied Textiles and Visual Art amongst other fields.

What attracted you to a career in teaching?
A love of learning. Being able to utilize my skills across a variety of disciplines. Working with people was also important to me.

Any career highlights?
The fantastic students and staff I’ve worked with at different schools who have made the job worthwhile. Also teaching accelerated art students and Religious Art as a subject.

What’s your favourite piece of art work?
A fresco by Fra Angelico [c.1387 –1455] called The Transfiguration.

What period in art history inspires you the most?
Two periods in particular; The Renaissance for all the artistic discovery and Australian Impressionism for the application of paint on canvas.

What book are you reading right now?
Refuse to Choose; What do I do When I want to do Everything? by Barbara Sheer.

What do you do to unwind?
Painting, gardening, yoga and meditation.

What is your favourite medium to work with?
Oil paint without a doubt.

What are some of the negative aspects of your job?
Time constraints, increasing class sizes, the low status of the Arts in many schools.

What is something you would love to do that you haven’t already done?
There are so many…to learn the cello, fly an aeroplane, a Vipassana meditation retreat to name a few.

Where do you get most of your inspiration?
Observation, the Australian landscape, experimentation, quiet thinking spaces.

What is your favourite piece of clothing in your wardrobe?
It varies depending on the weather.

Who would you most like to sit next to on a flight to Europe?
Someone intelligent or humorous such as Oliver Sacks, Phillip Adams or The Dalai Lama.

If you were speaking to a secondary school student who was showing interest in following in your footsteps, what advice would you give them?
To pursue their goal most definitely. However, I would want them to understand that teaching is more of a vocation and not just an occupation.

Supporting teachers in creative education