Staff Artist: Petra Maton

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Staff Artist: Petra Maton

Madison McGuire, Staff Writer

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Petra Maton, an ETHS art teacher of 13 years, takes her passion for art far beyond the classroom and career in education. Maton is not only a ceramics, AP 3D, sculpture 2, animation and cartooning teacher, but works outside of school to refine and explore her personal love of art.

“As far as my own work goes, I have two loves, one is ceramics. Another thing I really love is ink drawing, probably from teaching cartooning for so many years,” Maton says.

The graphic design program at The Art Institute of Chicago is what originally drew Maton to the Chicagoland area. In her time at the Art Institute, she enrolled in a ceramics class her junior year to explore other areas of art, and in doing so, stumbled upon her passion.

After graduating from The Art Institute of Chicago in 2000, Maton became a gymnastics coach, specifically because finding work with art was challenging at the time. Coaching sparked a new calling within her – teaching.

“I ended up being a gymnastics coach because of the economy at the time. But I thought ‘wow, I really love coaching. I’ve never thought of being a teacher. I’d like to do this for art not gymnastics,’” Maton says.

After getting her teaching certificate at North Park University, Maton became a teacher at ETHS. Throughout her time teaching, she has pursued art in her free time at home. From her self-made studio in her garage, Maton works primarily with ceramics and ink drawings. She chooses to create art for her own enjoyment and has had some work displayed in shows such as the ‘Land of Lincoln’ shows and some smaller art shows and sales in private homes. Maton  donates most of her work to charities such as the Empty Bowl that is held at ETHS every December.

“Outside of teaching quite honestly mostly I make for myself. Anything you have to do makes it less enjoyable,” Maton explains.

Working at ETHS has also helped Maton channel her creativity and passion for art. By teaching more than 100 kids per day, she can embrace their unique artistic visions and let them inspire her work as well.

“I wanted to do something new every day, and art and teaching had that in common. It’s always something new,” Maton says.

Some of Petra Maton’s work can be found on her Instagram, @petroidz.