My mission is to inspire, educate, and motivate through teaching as well as through my personal studio practice. My goal is to facilitate a positive and productive learning environment for students to develop technique and critical conceptual thinking. Investigating and working with graphite, charcoal and paint allows for an enduring understanding of the power and potential of these mediums – the paradoxical nature of the tactile immediacy and permanency inherent in these mediums. I explore alongside students, incorporating our collective experience and diverse cultural backgrounds in order to encourage and facilitate a growing understanding of art making and history. Through object, space, images and language, we investigate the physical and conceptual potentials of drawing and painting.
In my studio classroom, I teach and support a thorough technical skill foundation as well as a rigorous research and ideation process. It is imperative that students leave with a strong knowledge of the physical aspects of these mediums in conjunction with the technical foundation of drawing and painting from observation, so that as they grow they have the foundation and confidence to expand and achieve their individual concepts and ideas through art. Thorough research is critical and paramount in my class structure. Students will leave with a firm knowledge of the milestones in art history, individual knowledge on artists and processes that are unique to their interests, and an understanding of where their own work fits within contemporary art practices. Expansive idea exploration gives the student confidence to develop concepts intelligently. Visual collages, thought clouds, intensive use of sketchbooks for recording and developing, and even ‘idea critiques’ allow for a deeper investigation and understanding into the message, content, as well as the process a student will use to approach their work.
Teaching is a sacred and honorable vocation, and it is an opportunity to participate in a two-way dialogue with the students. My rigorous studio practice fuels my instruction, and my time in the classroom simultaneously energizes my studio life. The creative and critical skills I pass on to my students are continuously fresh and honest because they are constantly in use within my own practice. Learning how to draw or paint is more than just honing a specific set of skills. Creating art gives students a chance to begin understanding and exploring the world around them, as well as their place in that world. As a teacher it is my responsibility to create an environment that is stimulating and challenging but at the same time a safe place that students will feel comfortable exploring outside their comfort zone, beyond their initial skill level, and that inspires risk-taking.