Educating young people is fundamental to the cultivation of an intelligent, compassionate, and responsible society. In deciding to teach, I aim to participate in the creation of social change by helping to foster an educational system that nurtures and values imagination, expression, investigation, collaboration, and critical thinking.
I am an interdisciplinary artist working primarily in the mediums of performance, video and installation and I view cross- disciplinary investigation as a foundation for dynamic learning. At the forefront of my desire to teach art is the belief that arts education not only advances the development of creative professionals and art supporters, but that art education promotes creative problem solving that can be applied across disciplines and throughout life. Art is not definable or measurable in objective terms, thus it enables, even demands, exploration and investigation. An education in the arts teaches students about spontaneity, expression and the value of process, integral components for developing innovative leaders for our society regardless of their field.
Thus, my role as an art educator is both to facilitate the development of professional artists and to foster critical thinking and creative problem solving in all students. But my interest in art education is more than philosophical or academic; it is also political. Artists have always played a critical role in questioning dominant paradigms, speaking out against injustice, providing insight about culture, and enabling personal and spiritual reflection. An art education is indicative of a culture that values freedom, and as such, artists and art educators have a critical role to play in a society so greatly in need of reform. As a teacher, I aim to develop curriculum that fosters cross-pollination between subjects, acknowledges the diversity in learning styles, and honors art education as a crucial component in making sense of our world.
My pedagogical approach balances theory and practice in an experimental, interdisciplinary and student- centered learning environment. I am interested in teaching students to think critically while simultaneously learning the foundational and technical tools to create inspired and carefully considered art. To this end, I strive to create balance in my classes, focusing on a combination of skill acquisition, introduction to a range of contemporary art, student research, individual and group art production, and peer critique. I run discussions and practical workshops, rather than lectures, so students can apply what they have learned and articulate their understanding of the material. Emphasizing process over product, I encourage students to take risks, to use their school experience to work with unfamiliar media, and to make mistakes. By working in small groups, I encourage students to collaborate, learn from one another, and use the school community as a resource for materials, knowledge, and forging connections.
The course syllabus is a foundation from which to build, but outcome of the class is catered to students’ lives, I am able to create curricula that address students’ experiences and interests. I seek diversity in the classroom- of backgrounds, perspectives, values, political beliefs, and approaches to art practice. I demand from students their commitment to learning, tolerance and respect for others, and a willingness to take risks for the creation of a supportive and challenging classroom atmosphere.