We are a few weeks into the spring semester and I realized I never posted anything during the fall semester. I am going to attempt to some up my first semester in this post. If I summed it up in one sentence it would be:
Moving to a new state for a new job was one of the best decisions I have ever made although the first semester was super busy, at times overwhelming, but I was always learning from my students and director while being the happiest ever because I am doing what I love! (I think that might be a run-on sentence and you may be out of breath after reading it but you get my point) hahaha
Wells College is a very special place and I already know from my short time here that it will always have a special spot in heart. I can definitely say this was my first experience of teaching at a college of around 550 students. It is a different experience from a larger college or university and very different from my own college experience. You create a bond and relationship with your students like no other because the max class size is 10 students at least for the Book Arts classes. Teaching with students from all disciplines was a little bit of a change for me. After the first or second class I had to rethinking my entire way of teaching, realizing I only had one student as a studio arts major. I had to incorporate foundations that I thought they would know. This was a challenge but I enjoyed trying to problem solve . I have definitely changed my entire approach for the spring semester and I am already seeing better results with my students.
Learning and problem solving were the two major things that took place in the fall. I was new to the school as well as the Book Arts Director Richard Kegler. We both worked together to make things happen. Every day we found a new interesting object (books, type, prints, presses, etc). It felt like an archaeological dig site for us! Every day we were exploring new parts of the building and trying to put the pieces together from the past predecessors. We have gotten the Wells College Press Store up and running again. We also have a blog which is where I have been doing most of my posts Wells Book Arts Center Blog. Wells College Press is currently co-publishing a book with Starshapped Press called An Alphabet of Sorts. It will be released in late spring but you can check out the book on either website.
The Book Arts Center has a greenhouse attached to it and has not been put to very good use in the past so Rich and I are in the process of transforming it into a paper making garden and lab. We had April Sheridan from The Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago come out and give students a lecture about her experience of building a self-sustainable paper making at Columbia. By fall semester we will have the paper making garden up and running and offering our first paper making class in the fall! Lots of exciting things are underway at the Wells Book Arts Center. Stay tuned.
Here are a few images of student work, class projects, and other events from the fall semester