VIRGINIA K. FREYERMUTH, M.F.A., PH.D.
Artist, Illustrator, Holistic Educator, Author
1994 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year
1995 National Outstanding Art Teacher, Walt Disney American Teacher Awards
2014 Rhode Island Outstanding Higher Education Art Educator
Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Painting
Master of Fine Arts Degree in Painting
Ph.D. Interdisciplinary Studies, Concentration in Art Education
Certified Art Teacher
Award-winning publisher and artist
Welcome! By way of introduction, these are my professional interests:
The open-ended process of drawing, painting, and inventing has captured my imagination since early childhood. To this day, I must create. It is not a choice; it is who I am. I embrace a wide variety of media and approaches, but always, art is a way of seeking a connection between inner and outer worlds, between the everyday and the divine, and between the self, others & Nature. As Elbert Hubbard said, "Art is not a thing. Art is a way." I find that to be exactly true, and I believe that many pursuits in our lives can be elevated to an art. The ways of art have the capacity to transform our lives, and as creative beings we are all artists.
I'm a holistic educator--one who honors the whole person, mind, body, spirit. A holistic educator serves as a catalyst for transformative growth. In my classroom, the artistic process has always been a powerful way for each individual to make important discoveries about themselves, each other, and the world. Currently, my teaching is expanding beyond the walls of my classroom in exciting new ways. I've given hundreds of keynotes and presentations nationally, statewide, and regionally. I enjoy public speaking and conducting professional development workshops.
As a child, I endlessly wrote stories and poems. My deep love of--and need for--writing persisted. I believe in the humbling power of the pen, the value of story, and the importance of uncovering & exploring one's inner self as words meet the page. It is a process that can be filled with surprising treasures. Professionally, I have published scholarly, peer-reviewed work. For many years I wrote art reviews for a statewide newspaper. I am currently working on publications for adults & children.
It seems natural that the integration of my love for word, image and teaching has carried me to my current professional pursuit: I co-own an independent publishing & education company with gifted daughter, Julie Steines. It is an honor and joy to work as a kindhearted mother/daughter team with her. Polly Parker Press® provides us the opportunity to marry written and visual expression in ways that we hope will make people smile and create a positive difference in the lives of those touched by our work. Julie's dog, Norbert®, a 3-lb. therapy dog, is the star of our first three, award-winning picture books. We adore meeting both children and adults through our book signings, presentations, and workshops. Norbert's social media followers number over 1.25 million people worldwide.
I earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree and a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Painting from Boston University, and a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies with a Concentration in Art Education from the Union Institute and University in Cincinnati, Ohio. I have also studied at the Rhode Island School of Design.
This site will continue to evolve, so thank you for visiting today, and please drop by again!