Art teacher shares passion

Erin Foley speaks on her first year at Park


Erin Foley

Nicole Sanford

After hearing great things about Park, new art teacher Erin Foley took the opportunity to teach at the school alongside her husband, Christoph Nordmark.

Foley said practical reasons fostered her switch to Park.

“My husband is (English teacher) Mr. Nordmark, and I knew there was going to be a (job) opening. I’ve always worked very, very far from my house, so this was definitely an improvement on the commute,” Foley said. “Nordmark loves the school, speaks very highly of it, loves the students, loves the staff, so it seemed like a really good community (and) a good place to come.”

According to sophomore Ashley Ceverson, Ms. Foley’s class is the first drawing class she has taken at Park.

“I’m really into arts and drawing and all of that and I wanted to further my knowledge in it,” Ceverson said. “I’ve taken art classes before but this is the first time taking a drawing art class that’s focused on that.”

Foley said before she decided to become an art teacher, she thought she would pursue a career in the retail industry.

“I originally thought I was going to be an entrepreneur and I thought I was going to have my own shoe store,” Foley said. “Then I realized I didn’t want to work weekends (and) I would be on call all the time. That didn’t really work for me anymore.”

Foley said she attended Minneapolis Community Technical College after graduating from Burnsville High School, and later got her art degree at Augsburg College.

“I knew I liked working with people, but I just didn’t want to do retail anymore. I did it for about 10 years,” Foley said. “I went back to school, to Augsburg, for my teaching license and my art degree. I don’t really remember how I picked teaching to be honest, I picked art first and then I picked teaching.”

Ceverson said she enjoys how Foley teaches her class.

“She’s really outgoing and fun and makes class fun so I like how she ties that in with art,” Ceverson said. “She does help a lot one-on-one and she’s all over the classroom helping. She does sit down with us and she’ll draw something out for us, and she gives interpretations of stuff, so that’s nice.”

According to Foley, art finds a way to be a part of her everyday life.

“My knowledge of art forms a lot of the way I experience everyday life. I see art everywhere, it’s hard for me to ignore it in the rest of the world,” Foley said. “While I don’t personally create a lot of my own art, I think the way that I just experience the world is different because it’s such a part of my life.”