Inside King's-Edgehill School

Meet Maria (Waddington) Kaiser (1943-1950): Artist

Posted by KES Blogging Team on Jan 11, 2018 7:47:00 AM

Screen Shot 2018-01-09 at 1.33.30 PM.pngEdgehill Church School for Girls became my school in 1943 when my father, Norval Waddington, became headmaster (1943-47). I then began three lives: life as a "Day Girl" in a girl's school, family life in a boy's school and, from 1947 to 1950, life as a boarder. Given the restrictions related to girls meeting boys in those days, it was a rather privileged life now that I think back. I loved Edgehill! The sports, arts and drama, music, classes, daily walks, trips by bus to Halifax and Wolfville and all those great friends.

Leaving after graduation in 1950 was heart wrenching. My parents had moved to the States and I, of course, went with them. I left behind so many good friends and relatives. I still can feel my sadness driving away from that old building and Nova Scotia. I enrolled at Adelphi College in New York in a teacher education programme. The final six months of the program were in Europe so I went to the Universities of Strasbourg and Grenoble, studied French and visited schools. I also "fit in" travel, bicycling trips, skiing and dancing. A job as Governess for a little Italian Baron in Palermo, Sicily, was offered to me and I took it and was there for 11⁄2 years. I also met my future husband there working for the American Consulate. Once married, we moved to Cleveland, and we had five great kids who are now great adults. My working life included being a teacher, Day Care Director, Director of Child Development in an inner-city health care center and 18 years at the Society for Crippled Children, now The Achievement Centers. Once retired, I taught classes at a community college and am now teaching at a Governess/Nanny School.

Screen Shot 2018-01-09 at 1.33.53 PM.pngArt was always my interest. I drew, painted, and became a serious photographer through all the years the kids were growing up. Two trips into the far North and seeing that environment sparked an interest in learning about and creating woodcuts and etchings. That was 17 years ago. Finally, totally immersed into art, I gathered my courage and joined others in shows for the public. Now, at 84, I just had my first solo show at a Nature Center gallery nearby. Fourteen of the 30 pieces sold! I can hardly believe it. So what is my advice to KES students? I've taught many students so I don't get carried away thinking people will take my advice but I will say this: Whatever you have done, it will always be useful in some way. Any experience -- productive, thrilling, hateful, challenging -- will merge into your future in some helpful way, if you let it. Keep your eyes open for interesting things to learn or do. They're always there, but it's about whether we are open to seeing them. It's never too late to learn or do something new. Risk it!

Keep moving and keep your sense of humor!

Learn about our Fine Arts curriculum from Grade 6 to IB Art as well as countless extra curricular opportunities to express your artistic passions. 

Arts at KES

This article was originally printed in the Alumni magazine, read more alumni stories here:

Topics: Arts At KES

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