My education at the College of Saint Teresa was like a gift that keeps on giving. I would like to share my memories of one of the most impactful sisters, Sister Janel Crumb. Her enthusiasm, talent, and knowledge of her discipline of Art and Art Education opened up new worlds to me, which has added so much richness to my life. As a first-generation college student, I had little exposure to the arts prior to arriving at the campus. Art Appreciation was one of my first trimester courses. Two years later, I would take her course for teachers, Art for Elementary Education. After having such a positive experience with Sister Janel’s first course, I anticipated another great opportunity to interact with her and to deepen my awareness and skills.
Sister Janel’s passion for art, her high expectations for her students, and her manner of challenging us to see the world through the eyes of creative approaches all spoke to me. In the two years since we had shared the classroom together, I was able to travel to my roommate Joan’s home and visit the Art Institute of Chicago – my very first art museum experience. Paintings and sculptures that we had studied in the class came alive; this was the start of my lifelong interest in art. Wherever I have lived and wherever I have traveled, I pay a visit to an area art museum, sculpture garden, or gallery. Each time I enter, I am thankful to Sister Janel for igniting that interest and curiosity for art that has brought understanding, historical and cultural perspectives, and joy to my life. Since my days at CST, I have supported area artists by collecting their art for our home. When Sister Janel arrived at Assisi Heights, it was wonderful to reconnect after several years and to share my appreciation to her for inspiring this lifelong passion for creative arts.