My classroom approach is centered around providing students with design challenges based on a solid foundation of design skills, practice with materials, and exposure to aesthetic theory, historical and contemporary art. My teaching practice is built on the idea that art skills and appreciation for the arts are gained by solving design problems that expand the essential skills of a 21st century learner. Talent is certainly a gift, but the true artist is in a constant state of learning. This guiding principle is outlined in broad goals for each level of my art classes.
Level One: Form and Structure
Emotionalism, Formalism, Imitationalism, and Instrumentalism In level 1 classes, the form and structure of basic design skills are learned. The curriculum is centered around the students using the Elements of Art and Principles of Design to solve design problems. These problems provide students with experiences in traditional media, as well as, a broad spectrum of digital art. Students build a foundational understanding of aesthetic theory (Emotionalism, Formalism, Imitationalism, and Instrumentalism) then apply them throughout the year to evaluate works of art.
Level Two: Methods and Materials
In level 2 classes, the students further develop technical skills in their respective media. Whether the student's focus is in digital media, 3d modeling, or traditional media, the design challenges presented in this level of class focus on expanding technical skill to real-world like problems. Level 2 classes also begin to teach students complex mixed-media techniques that merge traditional and digital methods of art making. Students expand their knowledge of aesthetic theory to include the principles of post-moderdism (hybridity, juxtaposition, layering, appropriation, recontextualization, representin', text and image, the gaze, and obsession).
Level Three: Breadth and Voice
During level 3 classes, students begin to work on the breadth portion of an Advanced Placement portfolio. Students greatly expand their breadth of knowledge while begin to articulate an individual voice in their works. Students gain a wide experience in printmaking, digital mixed-media techniques, and advanced photographic techniques. Students begin to develop a personal voice in their work through creative writing assignments, experimental self-portrait assignments and exposure to a wide variety of art making practices. Visiting artists, career opportunities, field trips to art collections, and curatorial exhibition experiences give students a chance to see what a practicing artist looks like.
Level Four: Content and Context
Level 4 classes focus on the development of the Advanced Placement Portfolio. Students create 15 pieces of portfolio quality artwork that represent a concentrated body of work focused around a theme or technical investigation and 15 pieces that demonstrate their breadth of skills. Students are asked to place their work within a contemporary art context defining for the audience why they make the artwork they make. Several exhibitions of the student work allow them to practice how to prepare for an art show. The artist solidifies the content and the context in which they want their artwork to be placed in the world