Mary Crum Spalding

Elementary Art Teacher

Ms. Mary Spalding was born in Topeka, Kansas, but grew up mainly on a farm in New Market. She has been teaching for over 40 years, many at St. Joseph. Ms. Mary has a grown son, Clark, who along with other family members, is featured in many of her paintings. After graduating from St. Charles High School, in Marion County, Ms. Mary earned a B.A. from Morehead State University, a M.A. from the University of Kentucky and a Rank 1 from the University of Louisville. She is also a fellow in the Louisville Writing Project. Ms. Mary is certified in Art, English, Linguistics, Secondary Reading Specialist, and AP Art History. She has received numerous awards including Nelson County Teacher of the Year, Campbellsville Teacher of the Year, and St. Joe Prep Teacher of the Year. She has also received three National Endowment for the Humanities study grants.

Ms. Mary describes herself as an artist who focuses primarily on painting (rural people, genre scenes, and landscapes) and fibers. She also writes poetry and is an avid reader, especially history and historical fiction. Favorite activities include gardening and walking. Ms. Mary loves all animals, but thinks dogs are among God’s greatest creations because of their loyalty and unconditional love. Her strangest job was waitressing at Kunz the Dutchman Restaurant where she learned that service people see the true nature of customers. Her favorite trip was spending a summer in Italy studying Italian Renaissance Humanism. Another favorite is when she and her family drove an RV down the entire Pacific coastline. Her favorite childhood memory is of growing up on a farm with her wonderful family. In 1963, her father took her to his birthplace in Inez, Ky. to see then-President Lyndon Johnson “kick off” the War on Poverty.

Ms. Mary believes that using our creative side is vital to being a complete human being. She credits her father, who once taught in a one-room schoolhouse and her mother, who was a public health nurse, as having a positive influence on her life. “Both have such a passion for the value of education,” she said. She describes the best part of teaching for her is having gotten to spend her career doing something that makes a difference in the future. Her favorite quote is “Art washes away the dust of everyday life from the soul.” Pablo Picasso