Hannah Salsman joins the fine arts department


photo by Joelle Peterchak

Diana Anos and Joelle Peterchak

Art teacher Hannah Salsman joined the fine arts department this year as. Although she has not taught in a school setting before, Salsman loves the spirit of Nazareth and is enjoying her time as a teacher so far. 

Salsman began her academic career at Columbia College of Chicago, later transferring to Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles where received a degree in Fine Arts. 

At the beginning of her career, Salsman mostly showed paintings and sculptures in galleries. She later moved on to become an art therapist at a mental health and drug treatment center in California where she worked for five years. At this facility, she worked with patients suffering from illnesses ranging from addiction to schizophrenia. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic raged, Salsman’s work became overwhelming due to the great number of clients she took on. She decided she wanted to pursue a different career related to art. Salsman said, “I didn’t know what I wanted to do but I knew I had a big passion for art, I loved high school art – that’s where I found my passion for it.” 

While working as an art therapist during the pandemic, Salsman gained a greater sense of compassion for her clients as well as heightened gratitude.. 

Salsman moved to Chicago this past summer due to a job opportunity for her husband and was thrilled to accept her current position. She planned to go to Northwestern University for a Master’s program, but after being at Nazareth for five days, she decided to drop the program and focus all of her efforts on teaching. 

Salsman enjoys living in Chicago much more than in Orange County, California. “There’s a really intense perfection mentality in Orange County that just eats your soul. I’m not a size zero and I’m not blonde. Everyone wants to do the lip injections and Botox and I moved here and none of that is important anymore. People here value genuine connections,” she said. She loves the midwestern energy of Illinois and feels as if she really belongs in Chicago. 

In the future, Salsman hopes to go back to school to study bioethics and medical humanities and to push the boundaries of art and art therapy. She sees education as empowering as her mother taught her to value her education and to be as educated as possible. She also wants to get back into the gallery scene because she loves talking to others about her art.