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In both the studio and the classroom, I believe the process of learning comes through maintaining practice, collaboration, and critical engagement. In my own teaching practice, I maintain a flexible, project-based curriculum where teacher and student collaborate on an individual and group basis to balance course criteria with student goals. It is within this balance that I seek to provide students with the foundations necessary to pursue mastery of craft, build critical methods for engaging with their own work as well as the work of others, and support students in pursuing a lifetime of learning and intellectual development, regardless of skill level or concentration of studies.


Whether in the context of digital work or traditional media, I believe that one achieves by  first mastering the skills and materials necessary for quality craft, both physically and conceptually. Physically, without understanding and learning to work with the lens, pixel, brush, kiln, or any of the other countless materials necessary for making artwork, then there are no tools with which to address concepts. Conceptually, without understanding how to combine materials with strong ideas, we become limited to creating exercises in material infatuation. This is particularly true with the seductiveness of new media. So in working with students to create a strong foundation on which a body of work can be built, my initial goal is to engage in a dialogue about the meaning of craft with regard to the media being taught and use that dialogue to help students achieve a sense of ownership over their mastery of the media at hand.


By initiating a dialogue about the meaning of craft and beginning to understand the balance between materials and concept, the students and I can then open a wider discussion in which we can begin to build a critical context for first engaging the work of others, and then using that experience to explore systems of critique that can be applied to our own work. By encouraging students to use these systems and apply their diverse backgrounds to them, whether in fine arts, graphic design, performance, or any other subject matter, my next goal is work with students to develop a flexible critical approach that strengthens students‘ spirit of inquiry and engagement with class materials.



When we combine these material foundations and critical thinking skills, I believe that I fulfill my role as an arts educator in achieving my ultimate goal of empowering students to be effective, independent, lifelong learners. Whether students choose a career in the arts or any other path, I want students to come away from my courses with a strong set of physical and intellectual skills they can use both in the workplace and life. The opportunity to facilitate this human development is why I teach.