Teaching Philosophy


Some students view art as an escape -– a time to distance themselves from the stress and minutia of everyday life, and momentarily cast their more pressing academic/personal concerns aside. And yet, while the solitary practice of art making revives and restores us, it also provides us with a unique opportunity to come alive. As artists and educators, we recognize that art is at once an aesthetic, creative and intensely thought-provoking pursuit. It’s an opportunity to push boundaries, to dream beyond the realm of what’s possible, to create something new out of what’s already familiar and to visually explore aspects of our communities and ourselves. Moreover, it’s an avenue that enables us to prompt and provoke, to forcibly engage our viewers (and our critics) in interactive dialogue and to directly confront the issues plaguing us as individuals, and members of a collective culture.

In my classroom, I encourage children of all ages and skill levels to start developing their own artistic voice. I want my students asking questions, experimenting with new techniques, thinking more deeply about what they’re trying to say — and experiencing the unabashed pride that comes from creating a living, breathing artwork around that initial spark of an idea. I expose them to traditional and contemporary artists who dare to push boundaries, and encourage them to be brave and embrace who they are. To see that perfection is boring(!) — and trust that their work will always shine brightest when we can see the brushstrokes underneath.

For me, the greatest gift of being an educator comes from helping my students see their true creative potential – from giving them the courage and confidence to believe in themselves. To cultivate the urge to ask questions, the willingness to take chances and the tools to express their uniquely personal point of view. As a teacher, I strive to reach those who already identify as artists — and inspire those who have not yet unlocked the artist within. And to show them all there’s something amazing in the process.