An artist for nearly her entire life, Eleanor “Ellie” Fuerst first started being recognized for her art in grade school, when she was chosen as a designated class artist to design things like class bulletins. During her pursuit of higher education, she was mentored by nationally renowned sculptor Henry DiSpirito while at Utica College and completed an internship at the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs, New York. After operating her own art business for a while, she decided to seek out further education in order to better support her career as an artist. In 1972, she earned an Associate of Applied Science from Mohawk Valley Community College before obtaining a Bachelor of Education from the College of Saint Rose to teach art.
A teacher in the City School District of Albany for many years, Ms. Fuerst also taught art classes at the Blessed Sacrament School, the Menands School and Scotia-Glenville High School. Above everything, she attributes much of her success to her lightheartedness and not being too serious when teaching. She wants her students to enjoy the art they do in her class and for them to put their personality in their artwork. An accomplished artist in her own right, Ms. Fuerst’s art has appeared in exhibitions nationally and internationally, including in Paris, France, and Geneva, Switzerland. With her main focus on painting landscapes, she has done considerable work in sculpture as well as oil painting and acrylics, and when she brings her focus to a person or an animal, she often finds herself working in a more abstract style.
Alongside her primary endeavors, Ms. Fuerst was previously a member of the New York State Teachers Association and is a past president of the Adirondack Arts and Crafts Guild. On a civic level, she is a senior member of the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary Civil Air Patrol, and served to the rank of lieutenant commander in the Kadeross Unit in Saratoga Springs. She also donated her time as an elections officer from 1994 to 1995 and was involved in the New York State Police community group at the Woodstock Music Festival in 1969.
The proud mother of four sons, William, Michael, Joseph and James, and grandmother to five grandchildren, Ms. Fuerst wants to leave a legacy as someone who was lighthearted and enjoyed art. She also hopes that she has been able to cultivate a love of art in all of the students she has taught over the years. She would advise young and aspiring professionals that if art is your passion the best thing you can do is to help others enjoy it with you.