Instructor, Home School Classes, Traditional Drawing & Painting
MARY KLEIN has always pursued art as an interest. "When I was young I wanted to be able to draw what I saw in the world around me. If I wasn't sketching I spent my time looking through art books. Soon I fell in love with the works of the Old Masters and the Impressionists. I wanted to learn to paint like they did. Unfortunately, when it came to taking classes I was in for a shock: there wasn't a single arts program for children or teenagers that taught even the most basic drawing skills. Everything was centered around learning crafts. No one was interested in showing kids how to draw realistically. It was frustrating, and my life soon turned into one long quest to find decent instruction."
Mary's search finally led her to study at Atelier Wicker-Howell and Atelier Lack, where she received training in traditional drawing and painting methods. She completed her studies at The Bougie Studio in Minneapolis and has supplemented her education by taking additional classes and workshops. This Fine Arts background, coupled with a Commercial Arts degree from St Paul Technical Institute and classes in Layout and Design from the University of Minnesota Extension, gives Mary a well-rounded basis from which she creates her artwork.
After Mary completed her schooling she spent ten years working in production, design and illustration for Daytons, Merrill Corporation, and Palmer Printing. As her family grew and her painting demands increased she abandoned commercial work in favor of teaching. "I wanted to make a direct contribution to people's lives through sharing what I love."
Mary explains her desire to pass on her knowledge to the next generation of artists:
"For me, teaching kids is an important part of being an artist. So many children have a strong desire to reproduce what they see. They have this need to identify with the people and events in their surroundings through pictures. It's a way to show off who they are and explain how they fit into their world. As a teacher I get to de-mystify the process of drawing and painting and enrich my students by helping them fulfill their dreams.
"This is a great program and I'm proud to be a part of it. We take children at every level of ability and show them that they can draw and paint well if they just try. It's really amazing and exciting to watch. Kids come to us without knowing how to hold an ink pen and in a few short years they're completing major watercolors, working in oils, and winning awards. All this is coming at a time when they have this wonderful future ahead of them. Who wouldn't love encouraging potential in this way?"
In addition to being an instructor in our evening classes, Mary also teaches in our Homeschool Program and Adult Classes. These are all daytime activities that take place at our location. The specific times of these offerings can be found on our Class Schedules page.