mother was very young when she birthed my brother, then me. She soothed
her anxiety by keeping us in sight. A large back yard. A back yard
with a grape arbor, with chickens, with sun-warmed cherry tomatoes
and peach trees.
My mother always felt she was responsible for my wanderlust because
my early years had been circumscribed by a back yard.
But I digress…
Juanita Tumelaire received her B.A. at the University of Louisville,
Kentucky, majoring in art and English, and an M.S.Ed. from State
University College of Buffalo, New York.
After her undergraduate degree, she was a Peace Corps volunteer
in the Philippines, teaching English as a Second Language and working
as art editor of the Peace Corps magazine, Ang Boluntaryo.
She then traveled overland through Asia, the Middle East and Europe,
a highlight of which was bicycling the Angkor Wat temple circuit
in Cambodia during the monsoon.
Upon returning to the U.S., she worked in advertising in Boston,
before meeting, becoming besotted with, and marrying Ted Tumelaire.
After student teaching in Lackawanna, New York, she received New
York State Teaching Certification and a Master’s Degree. She
and her husband lived abroad for the next several years.
She taught English at Kabul University, Kabul, Afghanistan, taught
English at Language House in Esfahan, Iran, performed the role of
Joshua, the butler, in Anouilh’s Ring Around the Moon
as well as Linus in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown
as a member of the Esfahan Players. She was a founding member of
the Private Isfahan Gourmet Society.
While living in Kathmandu, Nepal, she taught advanced English classes
at USIS, was a member of the Himalayan Order of Gourmets, and completed
several treks, Everest Base Camp being the most memorable. She and
her husband returned by sea on the Stefan Batory, from Rotterdam
to Montreal, playing bingo and shuffleboard en route.
Juanita taught, then became Dean of Students at the Walnut Hill
School for the Arts in Natick, Massachusetts. She studied printmaking,
and became a founding member of Partners in Printmaking, a group
of women exhibiting in the Boston area.
Juanita set up a studio and became a full-time artist after moving to Signal Mountain TN. She taught printmaking in residencies for the Association of Visual Arts (AVA), Arts Build of Chattanooga, the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Regional Kennedy Center Teaching Arts Program for a number of years before teaching printmaking at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She is an exhibiting artist and President Emerita of AVA. She is currently the Printmaking Director for The Open Press, a non-profit printmaking, book arts and letterpress art center in Southside Chattanooga.
In addition to having work in the archive of the National
Museum of Women in the Arts, she is a Hambidge Fellow,
the recipient of individual artist grants, and has been awarded
Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation Medal of Honor in Printmaking
in 2001 and 2005.
Individual artist grant awards from Allied Arts of Greater Chattanooga
for 2005-2006, and 2006-2007 allowed her to purchase a small letterpress
and set up Impmaker Press. Building on workshops in Tibetan bookmaking
and making wooden books, she is currently creating limited edition
fine art books containing original stories and illustrations..
In related experience, Juanita participated in collaborations involving
writing and acting in “Forget Hell!”, which was performed
in Chattanooga,TN, Asheville, NC, and Lexington, KY., and has designed
theatre sets for Barking