The first Art teacher at St. Pius X was Mary Hutchinson. She was one of a small number of lay teachers that were hired during the beginning years of the school’s history and was a member of the faculty from 1959 to 1967.
In the Fall of 1967, Carol Sutherland joined the faculty. Her memories of those first days as the art teacher at St. Pius X show how far we have come as a department. Located in the Freshman hall, the Visual Arts room was painted gray and had a raised level at one end, which acted as a podium of sorts for still life arrangements. With the exception of a stack of magnolia drawings left in a cupboard, there was virtually no equipment.
During her time at St. Pius X, Carol Sutherland helped to expand the arts program; installing our first kiln for pottery classes, and also setting up the Fall Arts Festival which ran for a week each year. The festival brought together both the Fine Arts Department and other classes throughout the school in a celebration of the arts. For example, in 1976, the Home Economics class sponsored a fashion show and cooking demonstrations and an appearance by The Vagabond Marionettes.
In 1986, Sharon (Devaney) Mueller was hired She initiated many changes, giving much of her creative energy to help develop the Visual Arts at St. Pius X. Sharon Mueller started the Advanced Placement class, and developed a curriculum based art program. During her time at St. Pius X, the visiting artist series was also started, helping to enrich the students’ learning experience. The art room also benefited from the in-put of other teachers who taught alongside Sharon Mueller on a part-time basis. Among these were Susan Arenson (a St. PIus X alumni) and Carol Sutherland who returned to teach for a time.
In 1998 the art room was expanded and many new features were added, including a larger kiln and beautiful tables and countertops.
In 2000, Ms. Corinna Brannon joined the faculty at St. Pius X and on January 3, 2005 the art room moved into the new Fine Arts wing. The Visual Arts classroom had finally joined the rest of the Fine Arts’ classrooms and is now situated in the room with the large glass windows at the corner of the school. In the spring of 2005 the St.PIus X Annual Juried Art Exhibition was held for the first time. Artists and professionals from the art world within the Atlanta community are invited to judge the students’ work each year. This has become an annual event at St. Pius that showcases the best of our students’ work.
Each teacher has brought their own expertise to bear in the instruction of the students and have shared their gifts. It is on their shoulders and those who have so generously given that the new Fine Arts wing firmly rests.