Teaching Philosophy

As an educator my attitude stems from the belief that learning occurs from the act of making. There is no easy route to becoming an artist; it requires an exceptional amount of commitment and patience. To convey this within the classroom it is my responsibility to implement an effective learning environment by bringing enthusiasm and fostering the development of visual artists.

The advancement of new image technologies and the emergence of today's visual culture places photography at the center of an artistic discourse. Photographers find that when working under any situation that they must become problem solvers. Common obstacles that arise are usually technical applications. In foundation courses I demonstrate controlling formal principles of design, fundamentals of lighting, image-capture devices, software and various printing methods ranging from traditional wet-lab processes and digital output. A keen development to the practical elements lends an array of aesthetic possibilities. In my assignments I create a set of obstacles for students to overcome. This task allows students to think more critically. With that being said, process is not enough. I methodically introduce the class class to the importance of building a visual literacy. Images are inadequate if we are unable to articulate our own ideas. We are constantly bombarded with images on a daily basis. As a way to expand the student's personal perspective of what photography can encompass, I encourage them to implement the narrative potential of photography in their own creative process. In turn they discover that photography is a convergence of all media. In order to become culturally educated and open minded, artists must be willing to employ in the integration of the ever-changing media-scape.

Lastly, in my experience as an educator it is valuable when one is empathetic with their students. To listen and understand a student's point of view helps build a sense of community and respect, allowing the class the freedom of self-expression. In a life committed to art, risks are necessary. To encourage growth, I take a hands-on approach, ensuring that they mature their conceptual understanding as well as constantly challenging them to commit to their work. Students should feel invited in the work space, and a result positive energy allows them to reflect on the roots of their success. Through this participatory practice, students discover exciting possibilities beyond the academic institution.

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