I approach art education through three essential discourses: craft/technique, conceptual development, and application. All of these levels of study should be informed by an awareness of art history and a cross-disciplinary sensibility. I lead by example in the classroom by working tirelessly on my own art practice, meeting with students one on one throughout the semester to discuss their goals, and involving students in group critiques and writing exercises. This helps students to become well-rounded, thoughtful artists who understand their audience.
I savor process, research and the teaching of fine techniques. I enjoy getting my hands dirty and creating an interactive learning environment by using a combination of lecture, demonstration, student-run presentations and conversation. I strive to enhance students’ education by providing practical, physical experiences to supplement a mediated virtual lifestyle. By emphasizing time spent in the physical space of the studio as a part of my curriculum, a sense of community is fostered among the students. These invaluable bonds created through hard work in a community setting can last throughout their education, and even throughout their career.
A firm grounding in basic observational drawing is essential to learning how to connect and interpret image to actuality. This habit should be formed in part through dialogue about the relationship between the physical processes of drawing, and the mental processes of seeing, conceptualizing, planning, and executing ideas. I encourage drawing both as process and product by assigning a combination of observational, imaginative and structural drawings as components of each major project.
In addition to the technical aspects of art making, I emphasize critical dialogue about art—the students’ own practice, the work of their peers, as well as in reference to historical and contemporary artists through readings, visiting artists, and field trips to galleries and studios whenever possible. In education, all means of knowing should be activated: touch, sight, reading, writing, talking, thinking, planning, drawing, and so on. Multimedia presentations allow classroom procedures to reach out to students who may have difficulties learning by only one or two methods alone. I require written brainstorming, collaborative discussion, verbal and written analysis, and assign interdisciplinary readings relevant to classroom topics. I encourage the construction of mock-ups or models when students are working on larger projects so that they can get a sense of space, form and lighting. Learning through a variety of means allows art majors as well as those from other fields and backgrounds to explore art making as a life enriching experience and develop a strong personal studio practice.
I am an advocate for hands-on and digital integration. For many students today, digital technology has played a large part in their learning development throughout their education. Today, gadgets are practically an extension of our body, information and camaraderie is always within reach, and should therefore be studied as tools within and influences on our art practice. I have found through teaching online and in hybrid courses that employing interactive programs and communication via the internet is especially helpful when reaching out to nontraditional students and students with disabilities, by allowing them to keep in touch, even when attendance is impaired.
I encourage students to form Digital Sketchbooks that incorporate their own hand drawings as well as keyword searchable inspiration including databases of articles, photographs, artistic influences, and plans for future research. My intermediate drawing students create stop-motion video projects, where the student may observe the evolution of a drawing, as well as how technology can change the way we experience art. I have found that documentary style projects such as this one allow students to look at their process from a new perspective. My emphasis on technology and interdisciplinary practice prepares students for contemporary art making experiences and careers.
Student Work Archives
Please use the links below to navigate through my student work archives by medium or check out my teaching philosophy: