St. Lucy’s art teacher follows her passion

Yvonne Martinez Ward

Artist and published author Yvonne Martinez Ward is “Living the Artist’s Life” and wants her students to consider doing the same.

Ward, who is originally from Brooklyn, but currently resides in the Bronx, has written two books, “Living the Artist’s Life” and “Nature’s Joy,” and is currently an art and music teacher at St. Lucy’s School, where she has worked for the past 16 years.

Ward said growing up in an artistic family, she always knew she would be an artist.

“My father was a musician and a chef and my mother was a designer and fashion illustrator,” Ward said. “I was always exposed to the arts.”

Ward said she was further exposed to the arts after high school when she attended Marymount Manhattan College on a four year scholarship where she studied theatrical production, visual arts production and dance.

Ward received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, and then went on to receive her Master of Arts in Psychology from Fordham University.

“I really started to see things falling into place during graduate school,” Ward said. “I went on to get my doctorate degree, where I hooked up with a teacher whose concentration was creativity. So I decided to focus my doctoral program in creativity.”

After attaining a doctorate degree, Ward went on to take an administrator directorship position at the City University of New York.

“I was there for about 10 years,” she said. “Then I had my son, I got a taste of being with a kid all day long and the creativity I love so much started to come back. That’s when I decided to leave and become a school teacher in elementary school because I enjoyed being a mom and being around children so much.”

According to Ward, now that her son is in college, she has a lot more time to work on various art projects, and has even had time to publish two books.

“Living the Artists Life” is a book about how one becomes an artist, where Ward shares her thoughts on art-making as well as her motivations as an artist.

In her book “Nature’s Joy,” Ward offers a collection of poems inspired by nature and her every day surroundings.

Ward is currently working on two children’s books, to be published this fall.

Ward said her biggest supporter has always been her mother.

“My mom was really my number one fan, always encouraging me to follow my passions,” she said. “She was the one who really inspired me to write my books. At first I told her I didn’t know what I wanted to write about and she said when you’re younger you don’t really have anything to say because you’re too busy living life and making your mistakes, but when you get into your 30s, 40s and 50s, you have something to say, and she was right.”

Ward said in looking toward the future, she hopes to continue doing what she loves to do, and also to inspire more children to pursue careers in the arts.

“I always like to use my life as an example,” Ward said. “You can build a career out of the arts, but I want to show students that what you do and create has to be excellent.”

More from Around NYC