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Fine Arts Instructor Molds Metal & Minds
Google Peg Fetter’s name and you’ll have a wealth of information at your fingertips. This instructor of art at Fontbonne University seems to be everywhere at once — creating her own art, teaching metalsmithing classes and staying actively engaged in the St. Louis art community.
Fetter is a woman of many talents, but to her students, she’s a passionate teacher and motivated instructor, evidenced by her selection as Fontbonne’s 2009 Excellence in Teaching Award for Part-Time Faculty.
“At first I thought the fine arts department was teasing me,” Fetter said. “But when I found out my students had nominated me, I was blown away. This is a huge honor. I work so hard to make my class fun and challenging, and it thrills me that I’m making an impact.”
Fetter has been an artist for as long as she can remember. Her parents encouraged her to study art, she said, because it was what she loved. Originally from South Carolina, she moved to St. Louis to attend Washington University where she earned a Master of Fine Arts in metalsmithing in 1993. She and her husband, a native St. Louisan, remained in the area. In addition to Fontbonne, Fetter also teaches at St. Louis University, as well as Craft Alliance, an organization in University City that offers exhibitions, classes and community outreach programs. She works with metals of all kinds, both raw and refined.
“I work mostly with steel, gold and diamonds,” Fetter said. “I love the juxtaposition of refined against rough, elegant against pedestrian. My work remains delicate while I use an industrial medium — the gold and steel create a perfect foil.”
And Fetter’s love of art translates to her classroom.
“The main reason I enjoy teaching is because of the moment a student ‘gets it,’ and it starts to fall into place; the designing and the craftsmanship unite,” she explained. “When a student is excited and wants to learn, that’s when I feel like I’ve done my job as an instructor.”