Do you remember being in high-school and there being that one teacher who just jived with you? He or she was cool, seemed to understand you, cared about you and others around you and helped you excel. I envision Christine Tremblay-Sloan to be this type of teacher.
Christine was a couple of grades behind me in high school and although I didn't know her super well then, I started to get to know her spirit and personality through Facebook all these years later. I know, I know. You're thinking that's just Facebook, who knows what's going on behind the screen. But Christine has been really open about her life, successes and challenges over the years. She makes you feel like you're in her inner circle. You're part of her crew.
She's super inspiring: she's an art teacher, she's done triathlons, she's co-organized runs and walkathons for a best friend she lost in the Haiti earthquake, and most recently, she opened up an art gallery Galop Gallery where she showcases local talent and teaches art. I wanted to interview her because I think she's a fantastic role model to her students and people around her. Find out more about Christine below.
Tell me about Christine Tremblay-Sloan. What do you love to do, hate to do, wish you could do?
Love: Love love love to play sports, cycle, and be artistic (paint, sculpt, photography).
Hate: Hate hate hate to clean (my husband can attest to this), oh and I also dislike driving at night, especially in the rain.
Wish: If I could do anything it would be a full-time artist who travels with her kids and hubby around the world.
How long have you been a teacher? How has it changed your life? What do you love most about it?
I have been teaching for 10 years all at the same highschool I attended (which is kind of neat) and it has changed me by allowing me to balance my life with a young family and as an active member of my community. I love teaching and sharing artistic experiences with my students. It is always an adventure and I always have a smile on my face.
What are you passionate about outside of being a teacher?
Just to inspire people and to promote the arts for all ages. Expressing yourself artistically is such a lovely way of finding an inner peace, everyone can find some way of expressing themselves in a creative way.
Tell me about your new venture as an art gallery owner. Why did you choose to open the gallery?
What a dream come true for me. We moved to Cardinal, Ontario over a year ago and right from the get-go I was so inspired to create (I'm thinking my view of the beautiful St. Lawrence River every morning when I wake up has something to do with it). I discussed the possibility of doing something creative for the community and my friends Tammy and Karie were sort of thinking along the same lines, but more on the artisan/crafters side of things. So we decided to come together and create a creative space that would act as an art gallery, artisan market and creative meeting spot. I get to follow my dream of selling and displaying my own art, and that of the creative people in this community, as well as bringing artists from all over to educate and inspire.
What is your favourite form of art?
I enjoy so much, but currently I'm playing with watercolour and ink mixes non-stop. They work well together and I enjoy seeing what I can create. But if I had the time, I would play with clay non-stop.
What has been your biggest challenge in your life?
Having a hysterectomy and being sent into early menopause because of tumours I had at the age of 31 was quite a bumpy road. My children were 2 and 4 and I could not have gone through this without the love and support of my husband, my family and friends. The healing after surgery was a big challenge, but it was the anxiety and the depression that came with it that was the most challenging. I am so thankful for the support; I could not have gone through this without them. Three months after my surgery I raced in a triathlon for "fun" and it was the most amazing feeling ever. Art, sports and adventures with my boys are what keep me grounded and I am so thankful for the three of them every day.
Bananas, strawberries and kiwi....together or separately!
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Hmmm...well next on our list of places to visit are The Czech, Austria and Eastern Europe. Then New Zealand and Faroe Islands...maybe not in that order, but definitely on my list of must sees.
Thank you so much Christine! For more information on Galop Gallery visit its Facebook page here.