TEACHING PHILOSOPHY

CV

As an instructor in the visual arts, I believe my job is to help students expand and explore their own creative nature. I facilitate such an expansion not only by teaching specific techniques, but also by creating a stable and supportive classroom environment, and, especially, fostering discussions that foregrounds students’ assumptions about art. Such discussions, I find, are foundational to my students’ willingness to genuinely experiment with the techniques.

 

As a sculptor who works in a broad range of media, I feel that any inspiration, any idea, can be physically expressed – even in related, yet distinct, manifestations. Thus, the starting point of my instruction is to show and discuss with students the luxury of resources our postmodern society makes available. The internet alone provides an infinite supply of inspiring and challenging materials. From the object, to film, to sound we are at a unique point in our evolution as a species, and I want my students to take advantage of that development.

 

The parallel to developing an appreciation of such resources is encouraging students to articulate their own aesthetic of line and space, of motion and sound. Thus, as they move through the rest of their schooling, they can continue to participate in the ever-shifting discussion about what is important and beautiful, and why. This development of critical thinking never stops being important, and it is useful to all my students, whether or not they are art majors.

 

In the classroom, I create an environment that allows the student to feel safe and comfortable in expressing themselves. I do this in two primary ways. First I establish parameters from the beginning and adhere to them. This allows students to plan their schedules and balance their workload which I expect. Undergraduates are often pulled in many directions, and this simple practice of laying out and sticking to a schedule and a rubric builds a fundamental kind of trust. Secondly, I teach in a way that makes me approachable. I infuse humor into the discussions; I encourage their questions; and I reassure them when they feel they have “failed.” It is my goal that all my students feel safe in bringing their concerns to me, whether artistic, emotional, or academic. I strive to be grounded, objective, and compassionate.

 

With that said, I also challenge my students. I do this particularly in their critique sessions where I push them to articulate not only their initial ideas and their process, but also their aesthetic -even as it is developing. Pushing them this way fosters a deeper understanding of the ways in which their work is a manifestation of their aesthetic, and how their aesthetic is part of a larger conversation happening in the art world.

 

By the end of the semester, having established a safe container for this process of articulation, I will often adopt the persona of the critic, gallery owner, museum director, etc. and ask my students the difficult, point blank questions that these people will present them: Why should we be looking at this? How is this different than what's already going on in your field? Where are you going from here?

 

Ultimately, I feel my job is to teach them a variety of techniques --both artistic and intellectual. Happily for me, in this continual exploration of both these facets of being an artist, I am constantly refreshed. Even the most basic awakenings that I see in my student fuels and inspires my own work. They say that to teach is to learn. I could not agree more, and I am grateful that I get to teach what I myself love to do.

 

 

COURSES TAUGHT

 

ART 101 - Art Appreciation

This course will examine important examples of visual art drawn from a wide variety of media and cultures. The focus will be on helping students understand and appreciate how visual art works are made and how they function and communicate within their societal contexts. This course is intended as a survey of the fine and applied arts. The material covered during the semester will encompass not only a historical perspective, but a contextual one as well: Why do people make art? and What does it mean? The purpose of the study of art is the same as that of any of the other humanities -- to understand and appreciate our "humanity" -- that which makes us unique in the world -- individually and collectively.

 

ART 102 - Two Dimensional Design

This course explores the fundamentals of the formal systems and basic elements of visual organization through two-dimensional design principles and theories using a variety of media. Students' design skills are tested verbally and visually throughout the semester. The course consists of 15 problems to introduce the student to theories and applications of two-dimensional design. These class projects and exercises will cover all aspects of composition: shape, space, line, tone, balance etc. as well as perspective and color theory. In addition students will be exposed to art history and typography as it relates to two-dimensional design.

 

ART 106 - Graphic Design Fundamentals - Illustrator and Photoshop

This course introduces the use of hardware and software for production and design in the graphic arts.  Topics include graphical user interface, current industry application methods and software basics. Upon completion, students will understand the computer as a fundamental design and production tool, and will have a functional understanding of Photoshop and Illustrator.

 

ART 108 - Beginning Video and Sound

Students receive hands-on training in digital video and post-sound production from idea development to project delivery. Students are introduced to the digital filmmaking workflow and the software and hardware tools necessary for project completion. Emphasis is placed on the visual literacy necessary for crafting quality work. Students will expand the functionality of the DSLR camera they used in Art 207 to include video and will be introduced to a traditional video camera, such as the Panasonic D40. Students will edit video using Adobe Premier Pro.

 

ART 110 - Professional Development

This course is designed for the art student who is pursuing a career in the fine arts or as a production artist. Topics covered include resume writing, portfolio management, higher education and career options. The objective of the course is to introduce the student to the aspects necessary to becoming a successful production or fine artist. Through readings, discussions, written assignments and exercises the student should have a better understanding of what it means to be and successful artist in todays society.

 

COMM 208 & ART 216 - Publication Layout and Design

This course uses the hardware and software for the production and design in the graphic arts with a concentration in publication design utilizing the Adobe software program InDesign. Topics include graphical user interface, current industry application methods and software basics. Upon completion, students will understand the computer as a fundamental design and production tool, and will have a functional understanding of InDesign.

 

ART 270 - Typography

This course introduces the history of the printed word, type development, anatomy, classification, usage and legibility. Text hierarchies and type family characteristics are explored and applied to design projects. Production skills for type utilization and file preparation for print and web design are emphasized. Students work with Illustrator for the first five weeks and InDesign for the last five weeks. For this class, students will produce at least one print and one web-based portfolio quality piece.

 

ART 312 - 2D Flash Animation

This course serves as an introduction to the theory and principles of successful animation for the web, video, mobile device, app and game creation and digital publication. Students will change the properties of objects and images over time in potentially endless permutations. They will be able to generate animations frame-by-frame, along motion paths, using motion presets, or with custom easing using shape, motion and classic tweens. They will work with bone-based inverse kinematics and 3D animation. They will develop clean, scalable content that downloads quickly and plays back smoothly. Students will be able to demonstrate the application of a variety of current and traditional animation techniques.

 

ART 338 - Capstone Video and Sound

This capstone course is designed to provide students with hands-on training in digital video and sound production, with emphasis on creating video content for digital publications, the Internet, and mobile and wireless delivery. Students continue to develop video production skills, with an emphasis on advanced lighting, sound, camera operations and editing. Art 338 is the capstone course for video for the BAS degree. The final project for the class, a video journalism project, based on the script written for Art 345, will be assessed using a standard rubric, and assessment results will be used to continue the development and implementation of the video curriculum for IAD.

 

ART 411 - The Business of Art and Design

This class focuses on the administrative side of artistic business. Students will explore business concepts and theories and how they apply differently to artistic services. The theories presented will better prepare them for moving into management positions and/or running their own business. Content includes: financial issues & terminology, marketing, personnel and business organization.

 

ART 438 - Interactive Digital Publication - Capstone

In this capstone class for the BAS degree in Graphic Design, students utilize concept development, design, photography, illustration, and video to create an interactive digital publication for tablet devices that demonstrates a mastery of the InDesign Digital Publishing Suite interactive tools and techniques. Students write a creative brief, design appropriate graphics and navigational elements, develop a library of photographs and illustrations, produce video, and develop all other aspects of the final publication, utilizing the Adobe Content Viewer App to preview and test interactivity throughout the design process

 

ART 440 - Professional Portfolio Development

Students examine methods and techniques for presenting print, web and interactive design work to prospective employers and develop multiple presentation systems, including a portfolio website, a PDF, and either an interactive digital publication for a tablet, a book design or a traditional portfolio. Students print and assemble mock-ups of their work and take professional photographs in the studio for use in electronic portfolios and books. Throughout the course, they develop and design a personal branding package, including a business card, letterhead, envelope and resume, and a mini leave-behind. At the end of the quarter, students present their work in a professional manner.

 

COMM 208 & ART 216 - Publication Layout and Design

This course uses the hardware and software for the production and design in the graphic arts with a concentration in publication design utilizing the Adobe software program InDesign. Topics include graphical user interface, current industry application methods and software basics. Upon completion, students will understand the computer as a fundamental design and production tool, and will have a functional understanding of InDesign.

 

COMM 263 - Writing Copy for Advertising and Media

This course covers the fundamentals of writing copy and designing advertising for print, radio and electronic media. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to demonstrate mastery of the following objectives and student learning outcomes: create print ads for newspaper and magazines, compose print assignments in Adobe In-Design, Illustrator and Photoshop, create broadcast ads for PSA’s, soft-sell and hard-sell spots, a campaign to include print and broadcast for radio and television, understanding of social media advertising and Youtube.

 

AD 203 - Beginning Sculpture

This course deals with modern and traditional three-dimensional materials, processes, and concepts. Projects are designed to introduce you to basic sculpture techniques and methods of production.  This course is concerned with the most basic form of sculpture and that is the crafted object. We are not only concerned with the visual appearance of the object, but its ability to convey content and/or information. An array of approaches will be explored, ranging from experimental forms which question tradition, to those that project personal experiences and thought, and forms that provide a narrative.