Meet Christine Graziano! Christine is an art teacher at Whit Davis Elementary School on Athens’ Eastside. She grew up in Willmette, IL and Tewsbury, NJ, part of a big family, and found art as a way to differentiate herself among her siblings and find a path all her own. Christine studied art and education at Keene College in New Hampshire and Georgia College and State University before becoming an art teacher. Christine moved to Athens in 2011 and enjoys exploring the area and taking in all the art and culture here that she can. She loves art of all kinds, reading graphic novels and comics, and spending time with her daughter Lucca.
What inspired you or led you to your current career?
I think art was always something growing up that helped me show the world that I was intelligent. Math or English wasn’t my thing, and so this was a way to showcase who I was, and so I knew I wanted to help facilitate that for other kids and help them find their intelligence.
What’s your favorite restaurant in Athens?
I love Just Pho and More on Baxter. I love the people who own it. I love their bahn mi. A lot of people I know who are carnivores will even get their vegetarian bahn mi, it’s that good..
How long have you lived or worked in Athens?
I have lived here for seven years and worked here, this is my fifth year. I was home with my daughter those first 2 years.
If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
I have had Denmark on my list for so long because I am fascinated by how they have organized their society with everything from healthcare to education. So, I think I would just like to experience that and the people there.
What is your favorite movie?
It is called Pane e Tulipani. Bread and Tulips in English. It is an Italian movie and it is phenomenal.
If you could have only one food on a deserted island?
What is your favorite thing to do in Athens?
Take a drive. We’ve been doing that a lot on Sundays. Athens and the surrounding area is really fun to explore.
What is your favorite season in Athens?
Fall. The crisp, cool, smokey smell in the air, leaves changing, holidays. Even though I am not into football, just the tailgating and bringing people together.
What is one of your most memorable vacations?
We used to go to Martha’s Vineyard a lot growing up. We used to go right before it got to be really popular and it was always so pretty and such enjoyable time with my family.
What three words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word home?
Cozy, Lucca and alone time.
Who has had an especially strong influence on you as a person, or as an artist or as a teacher?
I would say, as an artist, Jackson Pollack. I get asked about him a lot. I am not particularly a fan of his work, but I love that when people questioned the art that he did, the drips, and why it was worth millions of dollars he said because if you want a good picture of something, you can take a photo with a camera. So, what I am doing is challenging what that is. And, if I am thinking of a tree when I do my drips, what comes out of that is it came from a tree. I like that he challenged perceptions of art…he made people think about it differently.
And my students have a huge influence on me because their enthusiasm is contagious!