“I see art education as a kind of thing that threads its way through every facet of academic work.” —Charles Eames. Regardless of the direction my students' move in life, the creation and appreciation of art helps to add a depth of understanding to their experiences and observations. I strive to provide students with a new means of expressing themselves, through the introduction of traditional and digital sequential art, and an inclusive environment in which to do so. Each student brings a colorful set of experiences and perspectives, along with a set of goals, into the classroom; as an educator I look to validate and expand their perspectives, while propelling them towards those goals.
Opportunities in life to express yourself and to make uninhibited mistakes are few and far between, especially in our results driven society. I am a believer in the progressivism viewpoint, that students should be involved in active learning; therefore I provide an adequate amount of buffer time to allow experimentation and for mistakes to become growth opportunities. I want to imbue students with the confidence to create independently in a meaningful way . To promote this I have found, in following with Vygotsky's theory of cognitive development, it is crucial to provide students with proper scaffolding as they approach work within their individual Zone of Proximal Development(i.e. Tasks students can accomplish with guidance, which helps bolster their cognitive development).
I believe a large factor in success is consistency; whether it be in our own habits or our interactions with others. In an effort to create an open and collaborative environment, I don’t shy away from my own foibles; it is however important to be seen as a consistently compassionate instructor, with an open line of communication. I have observed the value of peer critiques, in order to best facilitate discussion it’s important to provide students with academically appropriate terms and an environment that promotes constructive discourse.
While not every student will continue their artistic pursuits, the cultural content addressed has the benefit of cross disciplinary enhancement as they continue their educational paths’. As an art educator and as an individual I firmly believe the acquisition of skills and knowledge is one of life’s great pursuits. The skills and cultural knowledge imparted in the classroom can open opportunities for serendipitous moments, where students will find they already have a skill, knowledge, or level of familiarity to approach challenges in life.
As a formally trained Designer my sensibilities are influenced by exemplars of Modern and Postmodern Design, like Saaranin, Reitvelt, and Venturi. I interpret and fill client briefs, utilizing my expertise to help their ideas meet fruition. However, as an Artist I’m afforded both an outlet of self expression and reflection. These expressions of weltanschauung, shaped by my experiences and studies, form my artistic oeuvre; wherein I explore classic struggles of man v. society and himself. I project these struggles through a lens of absurdism, influenced by Camus and Kafka, focusing on themes of isolation and the search for meaning. In my practice I use a range of materials, from traditional to digital, selected to reinforce an idea or to pay homage to historical sources of inspiration. For example, in a stop-motion animation crafting characters in clay allows for greater expressiveness and further compliments the filmic medium's presence of human touch. Conversely, utilizing three-dimensional rendering software to animate a subject will further convey its mass-manufactured or homogenous nature. I believe material selection is a balancing act of recognizing virtues and transcending limitations. With my work I want to find a place in people's imaginations, for my curious characters confronted by all too common situations.