As an artist and teacher, I am constantly experimenting and researching new techniques to bring students’ visions to life, whether using a book as a vessel to contain ideas, printmaking techniques, papermaking, photography, or delving deeper into the tedium of the letterpress. My goal is to enable students to communicate effectively, inventively and idiosyncratically through these mediums by emphasizing the integration of technical skills, formal strategies, and conceptual framework. As an interdisciplinary artist I expose my students to a range of forms– traditional, experimental, documentary, durational, installation, and interactive in hope they are put to a variety of uses– personal, political, provocative, confrontational, theoretical, poetic, etc. I strive to provide students with a foundation of practical and traditional skills and encourage experimentation while emphasizing the connection between content and form.
I strongly believe in focusing on technique, but also on helping students develop content and articulating their ideas through artistic aesthetics that express their own visions. One way for the students to execute this is learning a visual language as well as the language of the art community, thinking and speaking on an intellectual level. Showing multiple examples and creating discourse on artists working in relative disciplines can allow students to begin to form their own sense of self and artistic practice.
My class is a learning experience for my students and myself. It is my belief that teaching is a collaborative process. It is important for students to be able to share ideas, listen to, and work with each other. It is important that this level of engagement is also present between the instructor and the student. It is crucial that students understand the images they produce function in dialogue. There is a social responsibility implicit in being a cultural producer. A cultural producer can range from traditional fine artists, to performance artists, digital artists, multi-media artists, anyone who is creating visual documents for public dissemination.
As an artist I am interested in showing the introspective moments of everyday life. Art can reflect personal life experiences that we don’t share with anyone. Teaching art helps students learn to express themselves and gives them a broader vision of the human experience. Studying art leads to understanding your own culture as well as others. It is another process of finding a way to perceive our everyday lives.
Interpreting artwork is a personal journey, as each will have a different opinion, depending on their experiences. Most importantly students should learn how to educate themselves as artists. Artists, whether as students or teachers, grow and expand their horizons when discussing and critiquing each other’s work. Most great artwork was created in response to other artists, their ideas and their artwork. All of this is a form of collaboration, which is essential in creating art. Ultimately, I want to impart my knowledge with a new generation, helping them to tell their narratives.