As an instructor in the visual arts, specifically with new media art, I want to engage students in a multimodal learning environment, including field trips to galleries and museums, lectures with visual aids, hands-on activities, and studio projects. Through this multimodal teaching style, students gain a basic understanding of art history, which helps them better understand what is happening in the art world and its relationship to them. Plus, it allows them to create fulfilling work while learning digital skills they will utilize in their future career opportunities. Creating an inclusive learning environment is my primary objective at all times, empowering students to ask questions in a safe environment for growth that does not assume prior knowledge or rely on jargon.
Museum + Gallery visits
In many of my courses, I have the students visit museums and galleries, either in-person or virtually, where they will interact with the artwork and hone their skills of analyzing art pieces of their choice through a short writing assignment. Additionally, they will research the artist that created their selected work and explore historical events that could have influenced the art piece's creation. This assignment makes students look critically at the artwork and develop an awareness of how time and place significantly impact an artist and their work. Additionally, this research and writing assignment will allow students to reflect on how current culture is affecting their artwork. I firmly believe that everything is connected and understanding the discourses within the art community throughout history strengthens students' comprehension of how society impacts artists and their work.
Presentations + Readings
Lectures about art history, art movements, current and past artists, and fundamental art theories help students understand the process of art creation. Through lecturing, students begin to understand and appreciate how art fits within history and society. Plus, the addition of a visual aide through digital slides/images during lectures helps students understand significant artworks that are discussed and helps them better comprehend what is expected of them with assignments. Students discuss assigned readings that help broaden their perspectives on life and art during these lectures. For instance, in an introductory new media art class, students are given "The Appropriation Project," which requires them to search and gather videos from online sources. The videos they collect become their source material, which they sequence into their final pieces to convey their chosen visual narratives. While introducing this assignment, I show works of art by Dara Birnbaum, specifically Technology/Transformation, Erik Fensler's GI Joe PSAs, and other artists who work in this vein of video art. This leads to a better appreciation of the conversations discussed in this field and the individuals leading these conversations.
Demonstrations of art mediums, processes, and specific software are hands-on learning opportunities. For example, "The Appropriation Project" that I previously mentioned provides students with knowledge on correctly downloading material from the internet and learning how to sequence video on a timeline through editing, timing, and combining video clips. Students begin to understand how sequencing, timing, and merging of clips can change their video's message and emotional response. Students show their work in class and learn proper critiquing methods to evaluate their own and others' artwork.
I make a conscious effort to create and implement engaging and fun courses. I create lessons that inspire students to learn information and techniques and partake in productive dialogues that enrich them as artists and strengthen the foundations for their future endeavors. In a computer-based art class, one additional objective is to make sure that students develop a fundamental understanding and ability to utilize various softwares so that they feel comfortable using their newly obtained skills regardless of what career they end up pursuing. Ultimately, my goal as a teacher is for students to cultivate a vast understanding of the art world and a general appreciation for the process of creating and evaluating art.
syllabi and examples of teaching are available upon request