At the Evening of Stars at Fontbonne Academy, Sister Nanine Tuller received the 2011 Stellar Award for dedicated work and talent as the Art teacher (1966-1994).
Sister Nanine Tuller devoted 28 years of her life to teaching art at Fontbonne, a time which she proclaims, "the happiest of my life." Arriving in 1966 in full habit and bearing the name of Sister Kenneth Marie, she set up shop in what had been the home ec room, transforming it into an art room where students felt encouraged by her praise of their endeavors and nurtured by her calm and caring personality. "I always tried to introduce them to wonderful things, but 1 didn't expect everyone to sit down and draw a masterpiece," she explains, adding, "I wanted to show each one that she had potential and encourage her efforts." That encouragement of each individual's gifts led Sister to teach her students to explore not merely painting or drawing, but all forms of art, including printmaking, batik, weaving, stitchery, poster design, calligraphy, and sculpture.
A multi-talented artist, Sister Nanine seems to have come by her gifts quite naturally. Her maternal grandfather was a cabinetmaker and her mother was a fashion editor for Bonwit Teller who as a stay-at-home mom, created miniature stained glass windows, oil paintings and jewelry, which Sister still wears in her memory. She states, "I always wanted to be an artist. Art was always a part of who I was."
One of Sister's favorite quotes is taken from Frederick Franck, an art educator, who wrote, "I see the way of the artist as a kind of pilgrimage. When you go on a pilgrimage you set out from where you happen to be and start walking toward a place of great sanctity in the hope of returning from it renewed, enriched and sanctified." We are truly blessed that Sister Nanine's pilgrimage led. her to share her talents with the Fontbonne community.
Congratulations to Sister Nanine!