Collaboration with students in the design and facilitation of a highly tuned environment that is sensitive and responsive to individual needs empowers full participation within the life and work of developing artistic practice and research. This approach closely explores myriad systems and structures of our world with opportunities to confront and challenge the coding and encodings of dominator cultures. Co-discovery of students’ passions, forged through rigorous considerations of art histories and practices, creates space for laying claim to their individual agencies within the rich realm of media ecologies, prompting better understanding for their participation within the current moment, and their critical role in shaping the world.
My pedagogy springs from curiosity-driven explorations of materials, theoretical frameworks, and evolving historical considerations. Through making--supported by reading, writing, and discussion--students are presented with a variety of skills, tools, and platforms which are useful while probing ideas. Learning and contributing to expanding critical vocabularies additionally develops student engagement with exciting possibilities for evolution through reexamination and repurposing of traditions.
Excellence in studio practice is modeled as both a response to and drive towards additional embodied research. Rigor, combined with chance/aleatoric methods, promotes daily play, prototyping, and iterative making. Interwoven with developing their practice is a thorough exposure to the traditional skills of studio art foundations.
To foster critical thinking rooted within humane responses students are encouraged, framed as a form of proactive self-care, to question corporatized systems to uncover possibilities for the use and misuse of the very tools and traditions that they are in the process of learning. Mind the glitch!
Time together in studio courses while developing artistic practices expands space and time for students to deeply consider conventions, engage innovation, and develop their creative voice through their research. Elevating and acknowledging their own material contributions and labor teaches students a form of self-advocacy that is useful within systems that are too often inhospitable to artistic praxis and engaged in damaging erasures. Beyond showing the intrinsic value of their studio research, developing a personal odometer of consistent and excellent artistic practice within each student equips them for a future beyond the walls of the university and the motivation of a grading system.
Rather than constraining artistic practices to isolated academic exercises, encouraging engagement across and outside of the institution reveals meaningful connections to communities that matter to students. Developing such opportunities for collaborations, shows, and performances exercises students’ personal drives and initiatives for continuing to build similar meaningful communities throughout their lives.
Within the classroom, full participation and engaged contribution is expected. Providing safety while protecting space and listening closely for marginalized voices is essential. A discourse informed with widely varied and diverse perspectives enhances and benefits our conversations.
The practices and tools that students develop while in school builds a highly personal resource for life-long discovery. In my experience making is essential for continued personal exploration and growth. Developing an on-going self-care during this process supports a buoyant and ever-curious view of the world. A justice-oriented solidarity with people, creatures, and environments is the desired outcome. It is hoped that this methodology ignites an impeccable artistic practice rooted in self-empowered agency that is accountable and balanced through vibrant connections with others.