To develop a voice as an artist, a solid foundation in design and craftsmanship is necessary to communicate ideas successfully. By challenging students to perform beyond their perceived capabilities they learn to manipulate and control the medium of their choice. Once they learn to control the artistic medium they can then begin to push and stretch its limits. A combination of discipline and experimentation enriches their vocabulary leading to thoughtful and dynamic work.
A background in art history and contemporary art is important to instill in art students. Part of our obligation as successful teachers is to keep students informed and excited about what is occurring in their field. Short slide lectures, readings and small group discussions relating to the projects encourage critical thinking and foster artistic growth.
Engaged learning is fundamental to a successful art class. Problem-solving projects require original solutions, which lead students to conceptual development in their work. Demonstrating interdisciplinary links between the arts, science and literature holds the students’ interest and facilitates creativity. By offering exhibition opportunities on campus, students have a goal to strive towards, peers to answer to, and the initiation of professional practices. I believe students should be treated as professional artists in training.
EXAMPLES OF HOW I IMPLEMENT MY TEACHING PHILOSPHY
*Individualized instruction of processes and conceptual development to allow optimal
communication of each student’s unique ideas.
*Incorporating historical and contemporary precedence as it relates to class projects through museum visits, slide discussions and research presentations.
*Complimenting my teaching with examples of my own artistic research and experiences.
*Encouraging students to integrate mixed media effectively and to create an innovative context for their
work to be viewed.
*Offering interdisciplinary activities. Working with Dr Daniel McCarthy of Marine Biology, I paired Ichthyology
students and Clay Fundamentals students in a project that demonstrated the relationship between scientific
research and artistic inspiration. This culminated in a joint exhibition at Jacksonville University.
*Mentoring students in professional practices and networking through student exhibitions, community involvement, field trips to artist workshops in neighboring cities and attendance at NCECA.
Through a well-rounded mix of asking questions, developing technical skills, experimenting with materials, and learning one’s place in relation to art history and the contemporary scene, I want to stimulate innovation in my students’ thinking and work. My goal is to challenge students to break from preconceived notions of material and concept, thereby encouraging them to exceed their own boundaries, while still offering a supportive, nurturing learning environment. I hope that students complete my class with a willingness to explore and take risks, leading to a strong sense of growth and accomplishment. I wish to inspire drive and excellence, empowering students to continue challenging themselves well beyond my classroom.