Kate Pepper has been an artist since she could pick up a crayon. Kate came from a large family with lots of nieces and nephews whom she enjoyed playing with and taking care of. Kate also spent many hours a week in her mother’s Pre-K classroom so teaching came naturally to her. Before owning her own business she was a nanny in Tacoma, WA and then taught pre-school at a private school in Wichita, KS.
Kate did not go a traditional route with her education – she was offered scholarships to several art institutes around the country, but felt she needed to take a different path. Her parents supported her while she traveled to various art centers and took intensive art courses. Kate has a wide range of interests such as large format photography, lampworking, drawing, Chinese watercolor, pottery and hand building, glass fusing, yarn spinning, mosaic, printmaking, fabric arts, batik, tie-dye, embroidery and assemblage. Who knew doing all these different workshops would one day lead to opening her own art school?
And then, in 2004 she and her husband, Charles Baughman, opened the Monart School of Art in Wichita, KS where Kate was able to combine her two favorite things – kids and art. Kate and Charles received intensive training from Mona Brookes, author of Drawing with Children and Drawing for Older Children and Teens. A few years after opening their art school they were able to expand their dream by creating a campus, The Art Park, filled with educational and family-oriented businesses. Kate is kept busy with all the details of running their campus as well as teaching art three full days a week at a small private school for students with profound ADHD and/or dyslexia. In learning about dyslexia and teaching students with language processing disorders Kate has learned a lot about herself and put pieces of the puzzle together from her own childhood and educational experience. This is part of what makes her a great teacher – she is understanding, patient, intuitive, and curious. She loves to learn new things and turn these into teachable moments for her students. Kate feels that owning The Art Park and teaching at a school uses all of her creative talents in developing programs, creating lesson plans, working with the children and running a small business.
Kate and Charles have four children together that range in age from 22 to 9 years old. They have a menagerie of animals including two dozen chickens, three large dogs, gerbils, two cats and way too many fish tanks. They also enjoy fostering puppies and kittens and getting them ready for their forever homes. Kate is an avid reader and loves mysteries, home decorating magazines, and historical fiction. Kate enjoys making large mosaic installations in her free time and donates her creations to organizations in Wichita for fundraisers as well as beautifying The Art Park campus with her work. Kate is also passionate about reducing waste and runs a marker and crayon recycling program at three schools in Wichita and 90% of her mosaic supplies are discontinued tile samples that would normally be thrown in the landfill. Kate estimates she has rescued over two tons of tile and other materials from the landfill and turned it into art.