T e a c h i n g  P h i l o s o p h y

 

My philosophy as an art educator is to motivate, challenge and enrich students’ ways of thinking about art and the world, and expose them to the historical and contemporary art dialogues as they refine their artistic voices.  

 

V i s i o n  +  T h e   G a p

As an educator, I ask questions and create assignments that expand the students’ scope of the possibilities in art. I teach that art is not about product but a process that involves obstacles and problem-solving skills to make the work happen. Throughout each course, I mentor students to see where their vision can take them. Each student brings their own set of experiences and knowledge to every creative endeavor. I strive to find strengths in each student’s work and, and through an empathetic perspective, help them find their unique voices along with the narratives they value most. This is manifested by providing tools, assigning relevant readings, and discussion of contemporary artists to dig deeper into the process of exploration. For example, looking at the way an installation artist gathers, cuts, and assembles found objects in space relates to the accumulation and finding of form in a painting. Poetry can be a model for drawing as a palimpsest. Like a poem, what remains unsaid or suggested is equally as important as what is said. Art is the residue of both individual and collective histories. 

 

C o l l a b o r a t i o n  +  C r i t i q u e

I treat the class as a community and foster a comfortable environment while expecting a high level of discourse. Within the first week of class, students work in discussion groups to brainstorm project ideas and to become accustomed to articulating and the sharing of ideas. This regular in-class collaboration becomes a model for the importance of community and communicative agility as a maker. I meet with students individually during class to offer in-process discussion of their work. Critiques provide students the opportunity to publicly share their work while learning through visual analysis, artistic reflection, and critical dialogue. Before each longer full-class critique, I prepare an agenda to guide the conversation that allows for transitions in pacing and rhythm to keep the class active and involved. 

 

S i g h t

Abstraction: to see beyond what is seen. Unlearning previous ways of seeing begins at the Foundations level with the arrangement of a still-life and permeates into the lens through which the world is viewed beyond the classroom. Soon, inanimate objects possess intangible narratives; mark-making can convey the sensation of sound and poetry. By incorporating storytelling, poetry, music, and object-centeredness, I approach each class holistically. Abstraction moves beyond the confines of the classroom and is interwoven into the systems of gleaning information from everyday environments. I encourage my students to find ways to incorporate this new way of seeing and seeking inspiration by posing questions to further inquiry. It is my great hope that my students continue to cultivate a sensitivity to the sensate within their surrounding environments. 

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