AUTHOR. ARTIST. TEACHER.
Nothing makes Amy Guglielmo happier than seeing area residents wandering through the City of Plattsburgh to take in one or more of the nine outdoor murals she helped to create. Guglielmo teaches at a North Country high school, has authored a dozen children’s books and garnered an award for her book Pocket Full of Colors. She offers, “Artists make things from nothing. If you want to make your life and your community more colorful and beautiful, talent is helpful but action is mandatory.” In addition to more books, and more murals, Amy is as passionate about advocating for the arts as she is about her art.
Current Business & Job Title: High School Art Teacher, Author, Artist, Public Art Advocate
Hometown: Plattsburgh, New York
Education: BA, The Colorado College, Master of Printing, Tamarind Institute, MST, SUNY Plattsburgh
Community Involvement: Outside Art: Plattsburgh Public Art Co-Founder; Depot Theatre Advisory Board, Saranac Review Board Member
What are you doing to make a difference in your community?
As a high school art teacher, I’ve introduced students to art and culture throughout history. As a co-founder of Outside Art, I’ve raised money and hired local artists to compose murals and beautify the city. As an arts advocate and artist, I’ve supported local arts organizations. As an author, I’ve written books with a fellow Plattsburgh native to introduce readers to strong, innovative women and arts makers. As a local artist and author, I’ve made school visits and hosted story times and art events to support the arts and education in my community.
What important lesson have you learned in your career?
Every business is a relationship business. Be a team player! I’ve collaborated with partners and teams in all my creative endeavors and it’s always more fun to share and celebrate success with others.
What can the North Country do to make this region more appealing to a younger generation?
Strong art, culture, and educational programs are essential to attracting a younger generation. Luckily, support for the arts is very strong in this region. We need to treat the arts and education as an investment and keep our cultural organizations and school programs funded. We also need to make more of an effort to show that we are serving the interests of people from diverse and inclusive backgrounds.
How do you contribute to the culture of your company?
Through collaboration, I work with my partners to create a positive culture with clear goals, strong communication, and shared values. We are good at sharing responsibilities and establishing trust in our projects and partnerships.
What’s your dream job?
I think I have my dream jobs, but I also think I can do more. I’d love to be Secretary of Education and create a national art-based curriculum.
How has COVID-19 impacted you professionally and personally? What are you doing differently?
As an artist your job is creative problem- solving, so I’m not afraid to be adaptable to change if it keeps my community safe. Luckily, we can still make art, including books and murals during this time. Teaching from home has been a huge challenge but it’s also been great connecting with students one-on-one via distance learning.
What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
I auditioned for a reality TV show and made it to the finals!
What is something that no one would guess about you?
I am super-introverted. In order to do all of the things I do publicly and professionally, I require a lot of time alone recovering.
Write a note to your younger self…
See and do all things! Keep your ‘80s dresses!