I knew from an early age that making art would be part of my life, and part of making art is continuing to teach art to future generations. Here are some of the ways I'm working towards those goals.
My teaching philosophy has evolved from my own experience learning clay combined with techniques acquired as a teacher. I focus on process over product, not just in creating objects in clay, but learning about craft in general. I explicitly teach students to critique their approach, their process, and assess their own results. I believe everything should always connect back to a greater understanding of material and how it facilitates their artistic voice. I also strive to provide a fully comprehensive learning experience, from craft and design to conceptual art and social engagement. Not only should we think about what we make and how we make it, but for what purpose, relevance, or audience? I am professionally trained in craft techniques, critical dialogue, and pedagogical methods, and my teaching is both student-centered and community-oriented.
Another aspect of my teaching philosophy is understanding the value of failure. Accepting failure and building resilience have been some of the most difficult and important lessons that I have learned and continue to practice in my own studio, which motivates me to share my discoveries in successes and failures with others. It may hurt at first, but if we build a safe and respectful classroom community, students and teachers alike can learn to be brave and take risks and make mistakes and push through and move on. I believe that practicing art-making is just like practicing music or athletics; skills can be developed and refined through repetition, critique, and perseverance. Especially in terms of craft and material-based arts, high skills of making are embodied in muscle memory, skills which can only be achieved through regular practice. In teaching, I share this learning through engaging prompts and parameters; assignments should include just enough requirements to motivate students to fill in the rest of the blanks with their own experience and perspective, while encouraging them to think beyond the box.
I became an artist because of my teachers, and I became a teacher to honor and extend that privilege. I believe making art is always a relevant response to the present world, and looking at our environment today--locally, nationally, and globally--it has never felt more important to be at the forefront--the avant garde--side by side with the aspiring artistic voices of the future.
Portland hosts a wealth of non-profit arts education programming, thanks to the Regional Arts and Culture Council. I am a listed teaching artist for the Right Brain Initiative and Young Audiences of Oregon and SW Washington, in which we serve public schools across the Portland Metropolitan area and develop arts learning integrated with common core standards.
Grace Institute Teaching Artist in Residence
In the bustling Lloyd District in inner Northeast Portland, Grace Institute hosts several art camps for youth. Each camp is centered in mindful practice and offers storytelling, cultural education, and art workshops across a variety of media. In December of 2016, I joined the staff of Grace Institute and began by teaching their winter Peace Camp around the theme of "making space for peace." I am also collaborating with children and teen youth of Grace Memorial Episcopal Parish to develop a community-based art project centered around the themes and values of Grace Memorial Church.
I am licensed by the Oregon Standards and Practices Commission
Preliminary PK-12 Art Education Teacher | License No. 10484930
Currently working as a substitute teacher for Portland Public Schools.