Professor Galizes and What Art Means to Her

Painting class students working on the final touches to their acrylic self portraits

After about five years, William Peace University has brought back painting as a class that all students can have the opportunity to experience. The painting class is also taught by a fellow WPU Alumni. 
Ana Teresa Galizes, also known by students as “AT”, graduated from Peace in 2011. Although Galizes graduated with a communication degree and a minor in English, she has always had a passion and love for anything art related. She also teaches an art appreciation class this semester.
Galizes started taking private art classes when she was in fifth grade. Since then, she has continuously made art a part of her life inside of school or outside.  
“I love all things art,” Galizes said. 
Developing as an artist
When she first started in college, Galizes started at Wake Technical Community College. There was not an opportunity offered there for her to take art classes. She focused mainly on the classes she needed to complete in order to transfer. Once she became a student at Peace, art classes were only offered to the graphic design majors at that time. 
Even though art classes were not at first a part of her class schedule, Peace opened a door for her to begin learning about photography and video, which are also branches of art she enjoys. 
“I stopped doing a lot of traditional and visual arts once I came to college because it was just so much pressure to perform well in school and I was learning very much in depth about photography and videography,” she said. 
Galizes credits those classes for helping her develop a successful photography business, which she started while she was in graduate school. Classes in graphic design were also “absolutely imperative” in creating her business, she said, allowing her to create her own marketing materials and website. 
Since the painting class has not been offered at Peace for several years, Galizes is excited to see it come back, as she believes it can be very helpful to students. 
“Art is basically like therapy and people are able to step outside of themselves when they’re immersed in the process,” she said. 
Bringing back painting
Students who are in the painting class made their very own sketchbooks at the beginning of the semester. Galizes loves these sketchbooks because she believes it’s a great way for students to practice mindfulness. 
While she is teaching her classes, Galizes tries to treat all her students the way she was treated by her professors when she was a student here. She brings that friendly and comfortable environment that she experienced as a student into her classes she teaches now. 
“That’s just the way Peace is,” she said. “It’s all about that nurturing caring environment, and I am trying to continue that.” 
Galizes wants art to be accessible to her students and to nurture their creativity.
“I think that everyone has an innate desire to create and I think it’s important to provide support for that,” she said. 
If people have dreams and goals of being an artist or another creative endeavour, Galizes has a passionate belief that they should not let the negative comments discourage them. 
“I really want to be a positive voice for having creativity in your life,” she said. “Whether or not you’re making money from it.”