In January 2018, I decided – after over a decade – to return to school to begin upon my doctoral journey. My first class at Teachers College, Columbia University – processes and structures in the visual arts – was an in-depth exploration of the properties, structures, and expressive uses of selected art materials in an effort to enrich and extend personal studio practices while also provoking insights in the role of materials in supporting, integrating, and challenging the artistic growth of students in an educational setting. Throughout the semester, we explored painting, drawing, papier-mâché, fabric arts, printmaking, deconstruction, paper sculpting/folding, collage arts, and more.
Our professor urged each of us to step outside our artistic norm, our comfort zones, and to take our art to a place that might make us uncomfortable. We also explored different styles of teaching, different ideologies around fostering classroom conversation, and the many ways to mediate discussion and feedback in regards to student’s artwork. It is said by some that, “those who can’t, teach,” but after completing this course I have learned that the statement should be, “those who can, teach.”