Redefining the Classroom

Local artist Jean Mannesto featured in Shouldice Gallery in September

Posted: September 8th, 2012

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Jean Mannesto, a former member of the Lake Superior State University faculty, returns to campus this month for an exhibition in the Kenneth J. Shouldice Library art gallery that features her work in pastels.

The public is invited to view "Pastel Summer" during the library's regular hours through September. Everyone is invited to meet her during a reception from 1-3 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 11, in the gallery.

Mannesto’s strong interest in the natural world has guided her artistic endeavors. She has studied winter ecology in Alberta, Mich., backpacked on Isle Royale, lived aboard a research vessel studying the ecology and biology of Lake Superior, and received five teaching fellowships through the Educator’s Science and Mathematics Institute Series. Hikes to north woods locations in the U.P. and Ontario have resulted in images that she preserves in a visual format, employing oils, pastels, watercolors, and quilt materials. This show, "Pastel Summer," features scenes that were painted en plein air with pastels; in other words, painted on location, out-of-doors.

Jean Mannesto with an originally designed, stitched and hand-beaded
leather doll for which she took an honorable mention award in 2005 at the
Algoma Festival of the Arts.

Mannesto wrote and illustrated Wolf Tracks and Moose Scat, a Visit to Isle Royale, a children's information book that was published by the Isle Royale Natural History Society and is available at the society's gift shop at the ferry dock in Houghton. In Sault Ste. Marie, it is available at Alberta House and the Chippewa County Historical Society.

Mannesto's interest in wolves and a visit to the International Wolf Center in Ely, Minn. on a fellowship from Michigan Technological University, led to a two-week teaching unit, "The Truth about Wolves," published in the National Science Teachers Journal in 2002.

Originally from the Sault, Mannesto moved back in 1994 after a 26-year teaching career in the Michigan public schools at both the secondary and university level. She has had solo exhibitions in the Alberta House mini-gallery in 2001 and 2007 and has exhibited with the Eastern Upper Peninsula Craftsmen, the Les Cheneaux Arts Council and at the Algoma Fall Festival of the Arts. She is also a member of the E.U.P. Craftsmen, the Sault Naturalists Club and the Sierra Club.

Mannesto holds a BA in education from University of Michigan, with a minor in English and fine arts, and a master's degree in reading from Central Michigan University. -LSSU-

CONTACT: Tom Pink, 906-635-2315,; John Shibley, 635-2314,; Mary June, 635-2862,