Teaching Philosophy
One of the most important aspects of creating art revolves around the usage of one’s own voice. Every student brings their own story to the classroom, be it through their own experiences, temperaments, or passions. In a sense, art is not just an exploration of a medium, so much as it is an exploration of the self. Because of this, I tailor the classroom to fit the needs of the students by giving them a safe place to develop their artistic voice and apply it to their work.  I have found that this connection allows students to see their projects as more than just a grade but also as an extension of themselves.
Not every student processes information or expresses themselves in the same way, so I find it important to tailor education to fit each student’s needs. In foundational courses, I emphasize the importance of exposing students to techniques, terminology, and mediums they may be unfamiliar with. Each of these skill sets are then developed through structured guidance within the assigned coursework. My classes are structured as studio-seminars, where I demonstrate different techniques and theories regarding a particular medium and then allow students to explore these concepts in class. I then make my way around the classroom to offer further guidance, or make myself available to any and all questions. This allows students to not only participate in lecture, but also apply what they have learned from that discourse to their work. Critical thinking and observation become paramount to students as they practice having a dialogue about art through critiques. Individual critiques and check-ins are set to assess each student’s strengths and weaknesses. From there, the goals of each assignment can address each student’s needs and attainable goals for improvement can be set.
My students are encouraged to further their interest in art by sharing their own influences and favorite artists with their peers. The romanticized idea of a lone artist has become obsolete in today’s social media-driven society. With this in mind, students are inspired to share their work and inspiration with those around them. Art, at its core, is a social discipline. Though I may be the instructor, I see myself as more of a guide while the students not only learn from the lessons I provide, but also from each other. This networking aids them in furthering their bonds with those around them and in helping secure a future in the art field.
It has been my experience that when students are involved in a positive, supportive environment, they excel. As a student, some of the most impactful memories I have are of interactions with former professors and teachers. Some of these encounters left positive impressions while others did not. With this in mind, it is my goal to never make a student feel as if they are not worthy of their goals and dreams and instead, greet each of their aspirations with enthusiasm and the attention they deserve to blossom.