Kim Tuohy: A New Journey


Rishi Ramesh

Ms. Kimberly Tuohy explores her passion for art through teaching Ceramics and Art 1.

Olivia Phongsa and Carina Liu

This year at DVHS is a new experience for everyone, including the new Art 1 and Ceramics teacher, Ms. Kim Tuohy. Although this is her first year at DVHS, this year will be her 15th year teaching art. 

As a child, Tuohy took to art and gained an interest in designing fashion. She would make little dolls and dress them up with the designs she created, which soon evolved into a wish to become a costume designer. This passion continued to bloom, carrying on through her high school and college years, where she would find herself majoring in art history. 

“I think it just came to what I like to draw,” said Tuohy, “and I liked to draw people and then it turned into…  drawing the clothes … I think that’s where it came from.” 

However, in college, Tuohy quickly realized that she didn’t enjoy writing papers for her art history course, and switched majors to spatial arts after gaining confidence in her art from the comments of her professor. 

“I would always, like, go off the page, and like, really zoom in to the still life. So my, like, doing things differently … [the professor] liked that so that kind of just made it where I was more confident in my artwork.”

With this newfound confidence, Tuohy changed her major to metalsmithing, where she fell in love with using torches, soldering, and putting pieces together to create designs. She especially enjoyed creating jewelry pieces, and quickly fell in love with this new medium. 

Despite all the challenges Tuohy is facing, she continues to work hard and stay passionate about art.

After metalsmithing for a year, Tuohy became a voluntary lab assistant where she helped in instructing and assisting fellow college students.

“I realized that I really felt accomplished when I helped people,” said Tuohy.

It was from here where she gained a strong passion for teaching and switched her major to studio art to prepare her for this new pursuit. After college, Tuohy became a high school art teacher in San Jose, where she taught art for 14 years before moving to DVHS. 

“It’s been a smooth transition for me because the art department is incredibly supportive,” Tuohy stated. 

However, on top of dealing with the new students and environment, teaching ceramics has been a bit of a challenge for Tuohy. Although similar to metalsmithing, ceramics is quite different and the last time Tuohy worked with ceramics was in college for only one class.

Rachel Lee, a junior in Tuohy’s ceramics class, said that Tuohy teaches slightly different techniques than the other ceramics teacher. 

“I haven’t had a huge amount of experience in ceramics,” Tuohy explained, “so this is where I’m relearning everything. It’s been so many years since I had ceramics, but it’s been fun.” 

And to add on to these numerous troubles, not only does Tuohy have to relearn ceramics, but she is also working towards completing her master’s degree in art teaching. Though juggling school, teaching, family, and the transition to DV has been a daunting task, Tuohy is still able to push through. 

“It is hard to balance, but I have a lot of support with my family,” said Tuohy. “… even the department here has been really helpful with some of my assignments and stuff that I’ve had so far.” 

Despite all the challenges Tuohy is facing, she continues to work hard and stay passionate about art.

“No matter if it’s viewing art or making art, I just love it, I’m a huge crafter,” said Tuohy. “[I’m] always looking for something new to help me grow, always, you know? [A] lifelong learner.”