Garat Pushes Girls to Experiment in Art

Meet Elizabeth Garat, Middle School Art Teacher

After 26 years of teaching at St. Mary’s, Middle School Art Teacher Elizabeth Garat says she finds joy in teaching girls to express themselves artistically. “I love teaching girls because they are eager to learn and try new things,” Garat said. 

In all of her art classes, Ms. Garat hopes to teach her students the importance of experimentation in art. “I want my students to see that it's fun to find your own way to draw or paint a thing, and there is not one right way or answer in the arts,” she said. Ms. Garat values her students’ curiosity, and her classroom serves as a space for students to try new techniques, learn about interesting artists, and explore the role of art in different cultures. Ms. Garat is one of four people who teaches the Ensemble course to 8th-grade students, where students learn how to express themselves through various creative mediums.

“There are so many SMS traditions I enjoy that bring our community together,” says Ms. Garat. As an 8th-grade Ensemble teacher, one of her favorite St. Mary’s traditions is attending the program's quarterly showcases, where students present their creative work in dance, drama, film, and art. “I am always surprised and energized by what has been created,” she says. “I have enjoyed watching my students grow into capable, independent, confident young women.” 

 A native Californian, Ms. Garat attended UC Santa Barbara before receiving her Master of Arts from North Carolina School of the Arts. She began her career as a professional artist and designer before joining St. Mary’s. “I grew up in a creative family that was involved in a lot of art activities. Teaching art sounded like something I would like and be good at, so I applied,” she said.

  • Middle School

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