The presence of art in my life is central to my being, an extension of my successes and failures. I approach all the work I do in teaching with this same process of experimentation, and openness to change. With accurate self-awareness, I think it is possible to be both educator and student at the same time. I firmly believe the artistic process is indelibly a starting point. The practice provides an avenue for conscious discussion and the best art finds itself questioning both the observer and maker. My involvement with teaching, like my artistic and spiritual practice, is one of both interior and exterior exploration. Art, and the ability to teach, provides the opportunity for an individual to pause and contemplate their own sense of difference as it allows the space for growth and hopefully contributes beauty back into the world.
I find satisfaction in helping others but also in engaging my own experience in the studio. To be an effective art educator, you need to have an established practice to fully be aware and capable of engaging with the work of your students. Artistic practice provides one of the most wonderful avenues that allow for this type of individual exploration.
In terms of classroom protocol, I think that listening and understanding the intentions of curriculum are essential for a good learning environment. Different types of teaching methodologies are appropriate for different types of learning situations. Students need to find their own experience and interpretations through this subtle guiding. For learning to take place, a student must be able to feel they have the guidance and reassurance to continue their own individual research. In addition, it is essential for the teacher to set up the right system of boundaries and variables that will allow growth to occur, and provides stability and steps available to accumulate technical and craftsmanship in their work. It is important to create a structured teaching environment to allow for safe expression. In my own personal art practice I have adopted different strategies for making, project based versus process and continue to explore these same notions in how I approach introducing material to students.
Within the contemporary canon of art it is important to differentiate between preferences and problems when it comes to instruction and analysis of a students potential and the dialogue that accompanies learning. There should be a solid basis of criteria established to determine how a student is progressing within the post-medium condition. An accurate reflection of contemporary art history is essential to guide a student towards their potential. In addition, critique is a valuable tool in understanding and determining a student’s intentions and where they see audience within the context of their work. It is essential to be straightforward in communicating strengths and weaknesses that are apparent within a students approach towards conceptualizing and making their own work.
The world needs a more pluralistic approach to toward living and art making as a way to heal, communicate, and learn. I see myself contributing towards this ideology with my own work as well as how I engage with others.