Cheryl Bruno is Mt. Vernon’s Early Childhood Visual Arts instructor, a role she describes as her dream job, as it incorporates her two favorite things: young kids and ‘making things’. Cheryl grew up in North Augusta, SC and earned an undergraduate degree in Performing Arts with a concentration in Costume Design from Clemson. She has worked in education in many capacities and began teaching in 2014, focusing on preschool for seven years (including two at Mt. Vernon). In 2020, Cheryl graduated with a master’s degree in Early Childhood Teaching and Learning.
Young children learn best when they can connect new concepts to what they see, touch, and hear in their daily lives. As such, Cheryl works to create art experiences and introduce materials that children will recognize in the real world. This year, young Mustangs have learned embroidery and quilting, made paper replicas of the flowers they see on campus and at home, talked about the sculptures they see at their favorite playgrounds and Atlanta landmarks, and collaborated with Science to transform the STEAM wing into an interactive rainbow walkway. Cheryl’s goal for the children in her care is for them to make at least one thing during the year they did not even realize they could create. For this year’s final, culminating project, children will be creating a mixed media self-portrait using the techniques and materials they have explored throughout the year. These are 100% student driven, and it will be amazing to see them come to life!
Cheryl enjoys all things Broadway and is drawn to fashion, fiber arts and beautiful home projects. When she sees something that she considers to be an amazing piece of art, she is overcome with the desire to know, “How did they MAKE that?” It’s more of a curiosity about the process than a desire for a specific outcome that inspires Cheryl to begin a project. One of the greatest joys of her role as a Visual Arts teacher is being able to take what she learns in the creative process and make it accessible to Mustang artists. Cheryl enjoys going to the Upper Campus at every opportunity to spend time with the MV Allstars and help with costumes. For example, in January 2021, she took on the challenge of hand pleating Elizabethan ruffs the production of SHWINGIN! SHINGIN! SHAKESPEARE!
When she is not focused on nurturing future artists at school, Cheryl likes to spend a Saturday taking some beautiful textile treasures found at a local thrift store and transforming them into something new and lovely.
Another creative outlet for Cheryl is Halloween, which the Bruno household takes very seriously, with costume construction truly a family affair every October. Much to her delight, Cheryl’s youngest son has taken an interest in cosplay (the practice of dressing up as a character from a movie, book, or video game), so they have enjoyed tinkering around with some designs for DragonCon this year.
Cheryl has two sons, aged 13 and 10, and two cats that she showers with constant love and attention: Mona is an 18-year-old, one-eyed, tiny calico, and Pepper is a mischievous, one year old tabby that the family ‘accidentally’ adopted last summer. Yet another impressive member of the Mt. Vernon Art & Design faculty; thank you, Cheryl, for sharing your talents with the Mt. Vernon community!