Ms. Matheny is the head of the Art Department at The Foote School in New Haven, CT. She has been teaching art to kindergarten, 3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th graders at The Foote School for 21 years. Karla designs her own curriculum in which she emphasizes the study of various cultures. Ms. Matheny has organized numerous school assemblies highlighting artwork being displayed, worn, danced and performed. She often invites local artists to her classes, exposing her students to people in the community who make their living in the arts.
Ms. Matheny’s interest in girls’ issues has come from observing how her female students change from the 5th grade to the 7th grade. She noticed that they lose their voices and become much less confident. To address this, she began an after-school class for girls which she called “Felicity.” The girls ranged in age from ten to thirteen years. They enjoyed various activities such as embroidery, t-shirt design and hair weaving. Ms. Matheny noticed that the girls enjoyed being with each other, casually conversing about “girls’ issues” and she noticed a positive change in their behavior over the duration of the class.
Ms. Matheny apprenticed at The Latin School of Chicago and also taught there for one year. She received her BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago. She is an artist who uses a variety of media in her work. Her specialty is the use of Polaroid photos to create intimate collages. Ms. Matheny is married and has a son in high school.