As an Art Educator, I relish the chance to foster personal growth in each of my students. I work to empower student-artists to be open to process and play, to be comfortable experimenting and making mistakes, and to actively cultivating their critical thinking skills. I believe that these are some of the most valuable skills that I can impart on my students, whether they utilize them in a future artistic practice or a different career path. Additionally, and of utmost importance to me, is the development of a safe, positive classroom environment and studio community.
At the 3D Foundations and Introduction to Sculpture level, I guide students as they begin to develop their perception of what art is and find their identity as an artist. While I have a strong focus on studio projects, I also incorporate art history and theory, written assignments, class presentations, and a variety of critique styles into my curriculum. In the studio, I stress marrying craft and concept as I believe it is important to provide students with a wide breadth of technical skills in woodworking, mold making, metal, mixed media, new media, etc. This gives them a deeper tool box to pull from when executing work, which in turn allows them to communicate their concept more clearly. Through ongoing one-on-one and class critiques students learn to develop an aesthetic vocabulary and a critical eye so that they can speak about their work and the work of others.
Advanced Sculpture students are ready to have more challenging conversations- where their art fits into the historical and contemporary art conversations and what their voice is contributing to that ongoing discussion.
MA and MFA candidates are poised to present their work to a wider audience, which means that they need to work towards refining their voice, while being aware of their direction in a way that allows them to defend their work. I believe that at this stage of development students should be encouraged to be open to growth, and even some discomfort, as they work to create and solve their own technical and theoretical problems. I also work to become aware of each of my student’s diverse learning styles as I guide them in their artmaking.
As I balance being an artist and educator I hold myself to certain goals. It is important for me to be actively pursuing my practice and continuing to pursue further accomplishments in my field. I see this as valuable personally but also believe that it is of value to my students to be aware that I am a working artist. I am highly motivated to stay up to date with advancements in my field by learning how to implement new technologies in the studio as well as staying current with new theories in the field of education. I am committed to collaborating with my colleagues to provide students with a strong, interdisciplinary, art education. Continuing to revise my curriculum to best meet the needs of my students is a challenge that I enjoy.
A selection of student work