2921 Ingersoll Ave.
Des Moines, Iowa 50312
515 279 9191
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"My teaching philosophy is based on my experiences as an undergraduate and graduate student, as an artist, and as a teacher. My main objectives are that the students gain fundamental skills and knowledge so that they may become adept at critical thinking and achieve the ability to evaluate quality. My role as the teacher is to ensure that fundamental information is presented in an enjoyable way so that students will learn and to create opportunities for the growth of critical thinking. My role is to teach the evaluation of art through applications of history, style, technical skill, and the analysis of formal content and conceptual intent. The students' role is to take responsibility for learning the necessary processes, methods, and materials which are then applied with their creativity and expression to their art. Additionally, they must apply their education to the evaluation of their and other's art works. After reading a recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, it seems evident that there is a current trend to provide a broad spectrum of knowledge without regard for a hierarchy. Currently, there are classes that equate self expression to an understanding of design principles and color theory. I strongly feel that this trend is in error and that students are best served through a course of education that places fundamental skills and theory at the beginning of their education. Then, as advanced students, they will have the skills and knowledge that will allow them to be fully expressive.
The creation of art can be a difficult process that requires substantial problem-solving skills. As a successful professional artist, I have many years of experience to share with my students. My class projects are designed to teach technical knowledge, visual vocabulary, and conceptual understanding. These projects are designed to allow students to gain an understanding of materials and techniques that can then be applied to and built upon in later assignments.
I am able to gauge my effectiveness by the success of students who can competently discuss visual and conceptual topics and by their ability to work on technically-demanding applications without constant supervision. Problem-solving skills are evident when students can professionally present proposals and create works within a budget. I find that studio teaching allows for constant and dynamic communication between the teacher and student. This communication is very helpful when gauging students through verbal critiques. These critiques are held with the entire class after every project.
Currently, I am very active in pursuing commissions for public art works. It has been my great pleasure to complete several works on a variety of sites and to have worked with many different committees. The input and exchange gained by working with committees made up of business and community leaders, local artists, and interested citizens has been very enjoyable and I have found them valuable."