Teaching Pedagogy and Printmaking Philosophy
I believe in reciprocity. Teaching is a means in which I can give back what has been passed down to me. At the fundamental level I believe that the classroom should be an environment where students can feel free to discover and take educated risks. I believe that it is educationally beneficial to students to learn in an environment that focuses on technical and conceptual development while learning about the historical context of the techniques being learned. A discussion and learned appreciation of material processes, enhanced by conceptual and historical knowledge, leads to deeper understanding, relatability and adeptness in the medium. This instills confidence and a willingness to engage in larger conversations about their work with their peers and audience.
Critiques focus on open dialogue, respect, and reiteration of concepts learned in class in relation to students’ work. Critical dialogue is integral to the deconstruction and distilling of ideas to build strong concepts. Using Feldman’s Method of Art Critique and Yenawine and Housen’s Visual Thinking Strategies, I guide student’s to arrive at interpretations and conclusions based on what they are seeing. Through these processes, students can develop their own vocabulary surrounding their work and find confidence in a methodology and conceptual framework that serves their own unique creative processes. This acquisition allows for an understanding of how and where they fit in the contemporary art world. As a supplement, students are encouraged to engage with their professors, peers, and artists that are locally, nationally, and internationally known. By engaging and receiving feedback from multiple sources they can nurture connections and receive information necessary to support themselves in the arts.
My role as an instructor is to be an active listener to figure out what students' creative needs are, then apply feedback that is crafted to suit their particular learning styles. This requires that I be engaged in what they are communicating visually, through observation and investigation, and through open ended questions. I make it consistently known that I am available to them for their success within and outside of the classroom. I am humbled to not only pass on information to students, but also to learn from them. With all of our unique perspectives and paths, there is something everyone can learn.
Printmaking is a media that has historically been utilized in the dissemination of culturally significant information and ideas to the collective. This has changed the course of history and still serves as an important creative medium. It is imperative to my pedagogy that the community, power, beauty, diverse methodology and it’s adaptability with new technological methods be emphasized. Rather than just being a media of it's own, it is a media of confluence. It exists alongside photography, design, drawing, painting, sculpture and installation. This quality and the advancements within traditional and contemporary printmaking technology have expanded the practice and adapted the conversation to include all other media. This expansion allows for interdisciplinary participation and places print in pluralistic relavence. As the digital age continues to evolve, I seek to explore new and emergent printmaking techniques within a broader conversation of their conceptual potential alongside other media while holding onto timeless traditions and techniques unique to printmaking.
I believe in the communal environment that printmaking naturally fosters. Specialized and expensive equipment often requires that printmakers be in a communal studio in order to create. This gives rise to lasting bonds that are beneficial throughout our creative careers. Printmaking functions on a global scale due to the portability of the print and because of this, it is possible to participate in international portfolio exchanges and exhibitions with ease. From this unique quality, local, cross-cultural and international bridges are established with other printmakers and communities which further enriches the collective. As print media continues to cross borders, bridge gaps, and participate in a larger conversation of fine art, it will continue to serve as an important tool in an ever-changing world.