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Teacher displays work in First Friday Art Walk

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Danielle Pancoast

More stories from Danielle Pancoast

Everything, Everything
October 24, 2017

Every first Friday of the month, North Topeka puts on a First Friday Art Walk open for the public to walk around and look at art, go to antique shops, try new foods and listen to street music.

Photo imaging teacher Mary St. John has been involved in making art all of her life and recently decided to display her work at a First Friday Art Walk.

She and her husband first went to an art walk after a friend mentioned it to her. Since her first experience there, St. John has had her artwork shown in Haven Arts Gallery, Yeldarb Gallery and Creations of Hope Gallery.

“A couple of years ago, I decided I wanted to be more a part of the art community, and I was also looking for a studio space,” St. John said. “A photographer friend of mine told me about the active art community that was growing in North Topeka. I decided I would go check it out.”

After going to the Art Walk, St. John saw a vast amount of support for the arts and has become friends with many of the artists there in the district.

Since she has started displaying her work, she has done a variety of photography, painting, fiber art and ceramics. This past summer, she got the opportunity to become a featured artist in the exhibit at the Creations of Hope Gallery.

It’s really important to me to be an advocate for mental health”

— Photo imaging teacher Mary St. John

“It means a lot to me that I get to be a part of the Creations of Hope Gallery,” St. John said. “It’s really important to me to be an advocate for mental health.”

St. John was unable to attend the opening of that gallery due to an illness, but followed the event on social media and received updates from her husband, who displayed his pottery in the gallery.

She saw a great turnout of people including the mayor to cut the ribbon. St. John has been involved in art most of her life and has developed a passion for it. Her parents were both involved in different types of art and got her to start off when she was young.

“Art has always been there. I was just not sure what I was going to do with it until I got to college and realized I wanted to teach it,” St. John said.

Currently, with St. John being a photo imaging teacher, she is most active in photography, but also enjoys painting in her free time.

“I probably create a new painting every couple of months,” St. John said. “I’m getting ready to create a new painting call ‘Soul Food.’ It’s about two of my best friends.”

St. John currently has four photographs on display at the Creations of Hope Gallery, and hopefully will be creating new stuff for the next First Friday Art Walk.

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Teacher displays work in First Friday Art Walk