Mandy Steward has considered herself an artist since 2005, although she vividly remembers drawing heart people in kindergarten and being in grade school when she wadded up her first piece of paper and threw it across the room because the Winnie the Pooh characters she was drawing didn't look quite right.
She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Milligan College in Communications with an emphasis on Journalism and a minor in English. Writing is where she first learned to creatively express herself and it is still one of her favorite mediums. She has worked in various graphic design jobs and as a writer, blogger, freelancer and zine producer. She is an active artist, eyes alive, always in pursuit of her next project.
As Art Student
Mandy is determined to follow her curiosity and always be learning. In 2018 she spent the year focusing on growing her skills of pen and ink drawing and got three pieces featured in the Comix OK art show at Oklahoma Contemporary. In 2019 she is exploring painting and colour as well as what it means to be an artist in residence.
As Art Teacher
She is in her fifth year of teaching art to kids as a teacher for Edmond Fine Arts Institute.
Besides teaching Summer art camps she gets to teach third and fourth graders at two Edmond, OK public elementary schools - John Ross and Ida Freeman. At Ida Freeman she co-teaches an Art Club for 5th graders. She also does art therapy at Pepper's Ranch once a week with various ages of children.
As Art Curator
Art is everywhere and Mandy seems to draw it to herself like a magnet, collecting secret messages in all sorts of mediums along the journey of her life. A day does not go by without her exclaiming, "This is art!" Construction workers painting arrows on the road? "This is art!" Sushi chef preparing a meal for her while she watches at the bar? "This is art!" Barista preparing a latte? "This is art!" Living life IS the process of curating art. A spider spinning her web and pine needles being blown by the wind into the web? "This is art!"
In addition to art curation being the way she sees the world around her, these are other intentional art curations she gets to be a part of:
At Ida Freeman the school has devoted the hallways as an art museum and Mandy enjoys getting to feature students' art.
Metal storage cabinets in the art rooms at both schools often becomes a curation of extra art pieces students have made outside of regular assignments.
At Pepper's Ranch the Art Therapy room has walls with giant metal boards for hanging art up with magnets. Mandy feels it is very rewarding for an artist to complete a piece of work and see it hanging up, and she loves seeing how very different the art looks when displayed together, even if all the students were working on the same project.
She treats her Instagram like an art curation.
Mandy also created a small art gallery in Wholeshot Coffee in The Village in Oklahoma. She loves meeting local artists, especially artists who feel a little timid about sharing their art with others or artists who haven't touched their art supplies in years, but feel a pull to dive back in.
She believes having artists involved in the shop brings a warmer and more personal environment for the community to hang out in. She is always on the lookout for artists to feature.
In addition to curating art, she considers herself a curator of community as well. She enjoys the challenge of hosting meaningful events that cultivate creativity, stir the mind and heart, create conversation and inspire individuals to come alive.
She has helped bring in events like book clubs, Urban Sketching, Comic Books, Fashion Launch Parties, Board Painting, Halloween Art Walks, Art Demos, Live Music, Board Games, etc. She also helps lead Cycling Group Rides that start and finish out of The Bike Lab OKC. Follow the Wholeshot Events on Facebook to catch the next one. Join the rides by checking out The Bike Lab.
Support My Artistic Endeavors
If you find what I am creating beneficial and would like to support my work, I appreciate your one-time donation or recurring monthly donations. Thank you!