Carol Ast’s professional life has always focused on her two main concerns: education and art. After obtaining a B.S in Art Education with honors and an M.F.A. in Sculpture from Pratt Institute, she began teaching Art in New York City, then in Lansing Elementary School when she moved to upstate N.Y. During her time there, she gave several teacher workshops at local and state-wide conferences on art education for elementary school children. In addition, she pursued her interest in the relationship between art and learning through a doctoral dissertation at Cornell University (PhD, 1988). After raising her children, she finally began to concentrate on her own art in the form of landscapes, using pastels as the medium, and began teaching various art courses to adults through the Community School of Music and Arts in Ithaca, NY, where she continues to give pastel classes.
Ast’s teaching experience since has run the gamut from pre-schoolers (at the Horizons School of Ithaca) to senior citizens through the Elderhostel organization. She has also been organizing and teaching her own pastel landscape workshops in New Mexico for adults of all ages. (See Workshops” for information about this year’s workshop in New Mexico.) Though she’s officially retired from from the public school sector, she continues to teach. “When I teach, moving from student to student, it’s like watching wonderful presents being unwrapped.”
In the relatively short time she has been “painting” her landscapes with pastels, Ast has had solo exhibitions, participated in juried shows across the US, and won awards for her pastels. She is a member of the State of the Art Gallery of Ithaca, New York, and the Pastel Society of New Mexico. Her work is in private collections throughout the United States and Europe. Pastels can been seen at the Artifax Gallery and Frame Shop in Ithaca, and at the State of the Art Gallery.