“Be brave and try something new.”
Being one of the first art teachers hired at Bedford High School, Mrs. Tuttle has mentored a vast variety of students over the years. However, one aspect of Tuttle’s career remains untouched by time: her determination to show students how to find inspiration and creativity through all different parts of life. Through her Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, and IB Visual Art classes, she hopes to encourage students- even those who may not have a strong interest in pursuing art as more than a hobby- to take a closer look into the world around them and find the beauty in nature.
Even expanding past her tenor as a teacher here at BHS, Mrs. Tuttle has a successful career in creating her own works of art. Her paintings can be found in a variety of places; from the school’s main office, to the home of an American ambassador based in Yemen! How did her work get featured in such a unique place? Her connection with a New Hampshire art gallery enabled her to have this opportunity. The ambassador’s wife had visited the gallery and asked to take paintings of water with her, as she was going to a desert country. While telling this tale, Tuttle humbly states that she was simply “lucky to be one of those artists picked” to spend two years in Yemen. But, it is clear that Tuttle’s inclusion on the overseas trip was more than a coincidence of ‘right time, right place’; as, the educator is a formidable artist in her own right.
“I love to be out in nature, and I love to go to beautiful places. So, I feel really lucky that we’re near the White Mountains.”
Where did Mrs. Tuttle begin her creative journey? “I took some art classes when I was a teenager from a couple of different women that I really admired;” she says, “they were good artists, and it was just really interesting.” From there, she continued painting throughout her teenage years. However, in her later years of high school, she quit art and moved on to college to study Wildlife Management at UNH. The things that she did through this program- watching birds, studying trees, and generally looking at nature with a closer eye- taught her to be observant of the world around her. When she changed her major to art, these skills contributed to her paintings because of the lens that she used to look at the world.
“My dream for the art department is to continue to grow and that we are able to expand the number of kids that come to the program.”
Because of the numerous art classes available to all BHS students, Mrs. Tuttle hopes that every student takes the time to try one out; she hopes that “kids have more opportunities to take more art classes; all you guys are able to take Painting 1, Painting 2, Ceramics…whatever you can fit in your schedule.” Bedford requires students to earn a half credit in some sort of art class, which is a perfect opportunity to discover and try something new.
Mrs. Tuttle’s advice for all those who are interested in beginning art but have no idea where to start is simple- just look at art that inspires you! She gives an example, “add something to your Instagram feed that you think will inspire you; every day I get these beautiful pictures.” Even better, she says, is to go to a gallery to see the art in person. Becoming inspired is only the first step; the best way to get into art is to take classes, either through school or classes with a museum or professional artist.
As is the usual with Unleashed Teacher Features, Mrs. Tuttle answered the question of which fruit she would be if she could so choose. “An apple…a local fruit with a lot of history and diversity…each seed is quite different genetically from the next..so if you plant them you get weird plants- not like regular apples..” This answer reflects her close observation of the natural world; everything in nature has its own story.
So, try something new and change the way that you see the world around you, or pick up a pencil or paintbrush and create something beautiful.