By Murray Walker, Former Music Faculty
Gerard Martin loves art, lacrosse, and boats. Following a boat ride with the dolphins along the north shore of Monterey Bay on a sunny September Saturday, we sat down together for coffee and conversation. With summer Santa Cruzans cavorting on the beach in front of us, he told me about his life’s journey that brought him to York School, first as a sabbatical replacement in 2004, then as a regular faculty member in 2006.
The son of a ship’s surgeon, Gerard has spent most of his life on the Central Coast. He grew up in Pebble Beach, messing about in the family sailboat and any other boat he could get his hands on. He attended Forest Grove Elementary School then Robert Louis Stevenson School where he developed his natural skills as an artist and discovered his love for lacrosse. His post-secondary education was at the University of the Pacific in Stockton and the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, where he earned a B.A. in Studio Art and a B.F.A. in Illustration respectively. Youthful wanderlust took him to Reno but he soon realized the error of his ways and returned to the Pacific Coast and the Monterey Peninsula.
Prior to his tenure at York, Gerard taught at Stevenson School, Monterey Peninsula College, the Carmel Art Foundation, and the Carmel Adult School. Throughout his career he has continued as a freelance artist and illustrator and has received considerable acclaim within the art community as a plein air painter.
In the York School art studios, Gerard has inspired dozens of students to overcome their “I am not an artist” mindset and create wonderful pieces of which they can be proud. He has set before them a wide range of materials—paint, pencil, paper, canvas, clay, wood, and wire—and helped them to express themselves in ways they never thought possible.